An intergenerational panel of six localization experts from varying countries agree: ageism still exists, but there are ways to combat it. This was the overwhelming sentiment shared during session 7 of LocLife™ — Is Ageism Getting Old?
Acclaro’s brand champion Javi Diaz hosted the recurring online event with the panel, featuring:
- Josep Bonet, director of the language and documentation services division at World Trade Organization
- Nancy Ferreira da Rocha, senior localization program manager at FedEx
- Marina Gracen-Farrell, localization consultant at Pearson
- Julio Leal, localization and globalization leader
- Laura Lorusso, localization manager at ActiveCampaign
- Mario Pluzny, localization manager
From generational gaps in the workplace and in our personal lives to the availability of opportunities, it seems age is more than just a number across the globe.
If you weren’t able to attend or you’d like to watch it again, here’s LocLife™ session 7 on-demand:
While the panelists, who come from America, Venezuela, Spain, Germany and Italy, each see ageism as an issue in their respective countries, they all believe there are ways to minimize it.
Nancy Ferreira da Rocha, from Generation X, spoke about Venezuela holding the world record for beauty pageant winners. “Beauty and youth are a very present value in South America. Younger people are seen as a dynamic force,” she said.
Josep Bonet joked that he’s too old to remember what generation he’s from and shared, “Age affected my career at the beginning. I started very late. I was too old for beginners but too inexperienced … If not for my friends, I would not have been here, and that was ageism.”
When asked if ageism is aggravated by other forms of discrimination, Baby Boomer Marina Gracen-Farrell remarked, “Ageism is compounded greatly by the other isms. Look at Hollywood. How many aging actresses do you see visibly? Women have a really difficult time once you get to a certain age. And it’s compounded even farther down when you add in race.”
A LocLifer in the live chat forum shared, “In 2019 Google agreed to pay $11 million to settle a class-action age discrimination lawsuit brought by over 200 job applicants over the age of 40, who were denied positions with the company.”
While ageism continues in Silicon Valley and many other industries, it can be combated, and each panelist shared their advice as to how.
“Have awareness that bias is a part of our human being and try to step away from that bias, Nancy Ferreira da Rocha said. “And remember, we’re all going to get old. Stay curious. Stay current. Know what’s going on and what’s new in the industry.”
Julio Leal, another Gen Xer like Nancy agreed and added, “Be compassionate. Take action to change it.”
Millennial Laura Lorusso pointed out that, “You don’t even have to put yourself in others’ shoes. You’re a few years away from it or you were already there, so remember what you’d want for yourself.”
Fellow Millennial Mario Pluzny reiterated the importance of respect, acknowledgment and awareness, adding “Just be kind to yourself and enjoy life.”
And for those of us in the localization industry, Marina Gracen-Farrell urged everyone to feel proud. “You’re learning languages. You’re learning new things … Tell others to come join us!”
Be sure to also join us at our next session of LocLife™ where we’ll talk about staying positive in the face of change. We also invite you to join us over at LocLife™ Community to continue the conversation with other LocLifers about this week’s event, and share what you’d like to hear about in the future.