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Dealing with age microaggressions

Our latest guide in our inclusion and diversity series on microaggressions tackles the topic of ageism, or being treated unfairly because of your age. The guide outlines the effects of ageism, how to recognise and tackle age related microaggressions and take positive actions to be age inclusive.

Microaggressions are intentional or unintentional comments or actions directed against a person who is usually part of a marginalised group, which signal a lack of respect and inequality.

Age-related microaggressions covers the impact of ageism on both younger and older members of the profession and includes downloadable posters on age-related microaggressions for display in your workplace.

RPS Head of Professional Belonging Amandeep Doll said:

“This new guide has been produced with the help of fantastic volunteers from our Action in Belonging, Culture and Diversity (ABCD) group. I’d like to thank Anna Robinson, Jaspreet Sohal, Mary Tompkins, Janice Perkins and Mike Beaman for all their support.

“Ageism can strike both young and older pharmacists and a common factor experienced by both is that their capability may be doubted because of their age. This is deeply unfair.

“I’m very proud that our ABCD group have now created five guides tackling different forms of microaggressions to enable you to create a fairer and more equal workplace. All these guides are free and open access for the whole profession.”

Mary Tompkins, Chair of the RPS Retired Pharmacists Group, said: “I recognise that age related microaggressions occurred throughout my career, although discussion with young and old alike shows this is not always recognised, either now or in the past! It’s important to be aware and to develop ways to change.”

Janice Perkins, ABCD volunteer, said: “I’m delighted to have contributed to this work on ageism so that we can start the discussion on how all generations are potentially impacted. Ageism is often based on assumption and bias and this work highlights areas we can all focus on and, where appropriate, small changes we can make to our behaviours and language.”

Mike Beaman, ABCD volunteer, said: “In the 21st century I still find it shocking that there is so much prejudice around after all the achievements there have been to accept inclusion and diversity in our society. Why should it be wrong to be different?  After all that is what human nature is all about.”

Read our guide on age microaggressions

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