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Scenario: She’s Not Good with Computers – Discussion

The presumption is that Sandra is not good with computers because of her age. The popular notion is that a 58-year-old is not as skilled with technology as a 30-year-old. That’s a stereotypical – and discriminatory – presumption.

You can require Sandra to use the new web-based customer relation management system if the new policy applies equally to all employees, regardless of age.

Find out why Sandra is resistant to the change. Work with her on training on the new platform to show its advantages over her old way. Don’t assume that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Don’t let her stick with the old system because of her age—Sandra should have equal access to training and education to make sure she’s comfortable with the new policy.

You cannot change the way you treat Sandra because of her age. Examples might include:

  • “Since she’s getting older, she probably doesn’t want to travel as far. Let’s change her territory.” Sandra may request this, but you, as the employer, cannot initiate this line of questioning or decision-making.
  • “Fifty-eight is getting close to retirement. Let’s not put her in the running for a regional nurse manager promotion.”