For the International Monetary Fund’s Christine Lagarde and other noted business leaders, gray hair doesn’t seem to be a factor. But it can be a trickier issue for regular working women, according to an April 3 Associated Press story.
Traditionally, going gray hasn’t been as big of a problem for guys. Apparently, that’s still the case, say sources interviewed for the story.
“While the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 was created to protect employees 40 years of age and older, some men and women may still encounter ageism in the workplace,” says Stephanie Martinez Kluga, a manager for Insperity, a Houston-based company that provides human resources services to small and medium-size businesses.
“The long-standing perception that men with gray hair are experienced and women with gray hair are simply old may still be an issue that affects employees in workplaces across the U.S.,” she adds.
Anne Kreamer, author of a book titled “Going Gray,” didn’t become gray and proud until she left her day job to become self employed. In the AP story, she says context matters when it comes to gray in the workplace. For example, academia might be more color-tolerant than high-tech. Job description and your rung on the ladder also might be factors.
Maybe this type of issue is why some women leave traditional jobs to become entrepreneurs. You can read the full AP story here.