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Following are examples of career disruption:
Jacqueline is a woman in her 50s who has spent decades working in the insurance business. After years of performance reviews describing her outstanding work ethic, her fortunes turned once she started reporting to a woman 20 years her junior. Under her new manager, Jacqueline felt set up to fail—she was assigned more cases and held to much higher standards than her younger colleagues. Jacqueline’s manager issued a formal performance evaluation that characterized her as failing in her duties. Although Jacqueline was supposed to have 90 days to improve, her manager fired her after a few days.
At the age of 44, Veronica had worked as a bartender at a neighbourhood bar for more than two decades. The bar was being sold, however, and the buyers told Veronica that she was too old to be a bartender, disparaging her age and gender in front of other employees and customers before the sale was finalized. They did not keep her on, and instead hired significantly younger women.
Iman is a 62-year-old sociology professor with significant scholarship credentials, several teaching awards, and an illustrious record, including three stints as department chair. Her positive career recognition came to an end when the university hired a much younger dean, who denied her funding to hire needed full-time faculty, accused her of poor leadership, and favoured her younger colleagues. The dean eventually told her that he would not approve an additional term for her to serve as department chair.
Simone is 55, and has become the primary caregiver for her aging parents. At first, her manager at work was really understanding about her need for flexible start times to her day, but she started to notice that she was being left out of email streams on important decisions on projects that she was a part of. When she followed up with her boss and asked about being excluded, her manager’s response was that he didn’t want to overburden her with too many emails. Weeks later, in a team meeting, she was unaware of an important decision that was made on the project, and felt like a fool when she was speaking to an issue that no longer mattered. She felt incompetent, and professionally ghosted. Soon after, Simone was taken off the project altogether. She felt humiliated and unsupported.