In the words of the great McEnroe, “You can NOT be serious!”

In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, age discrimination seems to be advocated as a generally accepted business practice by a professor at the Kellogg School. Frankly, I’m appalled by the statement itself and all of its dark and legal implications.

“It makes sense, with revenues getting tighter and profits getting smaller, that companies are looking to cut costs. One way to do that is to get rid of senior higher-salaried employees and promote younger workers, usually at lower salaries, says Adam Galinsky, a professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.”

Tell me that this is not what they are teaching in business school these days. It is flawed thinking from so many angles. Not to mention that it totally devalues the knowledge, experience and judgment that older workers have accumulated over the course of their careers and employ every day in their jobs. According to many experts, building and nurturing a multi-generational workforce is essential to the success of just about any business today.

Had this article been framed simply as helpful tips for the young or first-time manager, some of the advice I would probably dispense myself. I have been mentored and I have been a mentor. It can be a very productive learning experience. But here’s the thing. A good mentor has years of experience and a wide range of knowledge and judgment to share. So, I ask, why would a leading company, or any company looking to survive these days, cast its seasoned talent indiscriminately to the wind?

To read the full article go to




  1. Jim-80129

    That is basically what Circuit City did with it’s older, more experienced staff and look where they ended up… The short-term gain can lead to a longer-term disaster.

  2. kate

    I’m frustrated enough that I may say at my next interview:
    1/ I will not take two days off every four weeks because of “cramps”,
    2/ I will not require maternity leave.
    3/ I will not spend the workday on personal telephone calls because I was raised differently.
    4/ I was born when they were still giving out attention spans, and have great powers of concentration.
    5/ In neither my business or personal life do I have time for schmoozing, office-visiting, gossip-fests, etc., etc.
    6/ If hired, we have a contract: you give me a full day’s pay and I’ll give you a full day’s work.

  3. Valerie

    Kate said what so many of us 50+ers feel. Kudos to her for her ingenious way of expressing our frustrations and for making us laugh at the same time. Humor is often anxiety’s best antidote.

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