ISR guest writer, Sidney Rose, shares his thoughts on ageism in International Education.
Ageism is everywhere, yet it is the most socially “normalized” of any prejudice. Many of us would like to believe prejudice is a problem of the past, but this is clearly not the case. Incidents of prejudice and discrimination occur every day, including ageism, as practiced by International Schools and recruitment agencies.
I have been involved in international education for more than 30 years. I rose through the ranks: from teacher to Head of Department, then Deputy Head, and finally School Principal. I have been the Founding Principal of international schools in Sweden, Qatar, India (twice), China and most recently, Vietnam. I am an “expert” at obtaining Cambridge and IB accreditation and all things related to setting up a new school, to include acting as consultant to a few start-ups.
Finding a new assignment used to be relatively easy. I was in demand and commanded a good salary. Now that I am over 65, I can’t find a job. Suddenly no-one wants me! Recruitment agencies won’t even let me sign on with them. This, despite my credentials, experience and expertise.
I’m lively, energetic and enthusiastic about international education and in better shape than many younger men. I still have much to give, but my date of birth is a problem. If I remove my DOB from my resume, I get great responses from schools and recruiters… but when my age is finally revealed, everything suddenly goes quiet. You would think they would at least want to meet me and access my overall fitness to serve.
ISR covered this topic several years ago and perhaps it needs revisiting. Recruitment agencies are becoming ever more difficult. Ageism is rife and stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination against people based on age is ever more widespread in international education.
I would like to reopen a discussion on this topic. To participate please scroll down and share your thoughts.