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Issue 5: Age Differences and Discrimination

One underappreciated consequence of the aging population phenomenon is that we are now experiencing what is arguably the most age-diverse workforce in modern history (Hanks & Icenogle, 2001; Newton, 2006; Toossi, 2004). As our workforce continues to age, shifts in the age demo - graphic composition (i.e., the age diversity) of organizations and their subunits will become more apparent (Roth, Wegge, & Schmidt, 2007). Several factors have influenced and will continue to drive this trend. For example, in Western countries, younger people entering the workforce are more educated than ever before (Hussar & Bailey, 2013; Ryan & Siebens, 2012; Stoops, 2003) and could feasibly rise to positions of power in organizations more quickly than others have in the past (e.g., promotion rates vary as a function of age) (Rosenbaum, 1979; see also Clemens, 2012 conceptualization of the “fast track effect”). Furthermore, older workers are increasingly delaying retirement beyond the normative retirement age (Baltes & Rudolph, 2012; Burtless, 2012; Flynn, 2010), and already retired individuals are seeking re-employment in bridge employment roles in higher numbers than before (e.g., Adams & Rau, 2004; Kim & Feldman, 2000; Weckerle & Shultz, 1999).