Aug 24, 2022
AARP National Survey Reveals Close Link Between Discrimination and Working Women’s Financial Health
Two Thirds of Respondents Say They Experience Work-Place Discrimination that Impacts Their Earnings Potential

WASHINGTON— In its annual survey, Mirror/Mirror: Women’s Reflections on Beauty, Age and Media™ AARP reveals that women of all ages experience work-place discrimination regularly, and that discriminatory practices at work impact their earning potential as well as their financial health.

According to the study, discrimination is a real and common occurrence for most American women as they are treated differently due to their gender, age, race, ethnicity and/or skin tone, as well as their weight. In addition to suffering other forms of discrimination, women ages 50 and up experience age discrimination, as many appear to be deemed “too old”. In fact, while 62% of working women age 18+ reported experiencing age discrimination, a whole two thirds (66%) of working women 50+ reported being subjected to age discriminatory practices, says the survey.

“Every day, the financial security of too many women is impacted by acts of discrimination in the workplace. It is crucial that we eliminate barriers and ensure equality in pay and benefits for women,” said Yvette Peña, AARP Vice President, Audience Strategy in the office AARP Office of Diversity Equity and Inclusion. Discrimination in the workplace – based on gender, age, ethnicity or any other characteristic –is unacceptable,” she added.

According to the data, 57% of women 18+ have been overlooked, disrespected or devalued by a customer or colleague while at work; 42% have been passed over for a raise, promotion or chance to get ahead at work; 38% have been told to behave a certain way at work; 29% have been excluded from projects or meetings at work that would have helped them advance in their career; and 23% have been unfairly fired from a job or not been hired due to an unfair hiring practice.

AARP’s Mirror/Mirror survey also shows the top reason among women 50+ who experience discrimination “at least sometimes” is age (48%), while for those age 18-49, race/ethnicity/skin tone is the most prominent source of discrimination (54%). Women under 50 have often felt treated unfairly for “being too young,” while older women have felt disrespected for “being too old.”

The survey shows that while experiences of discrimination may vary, women who experience discrimination regularly adapt to it in similar ways. For example, 74% closely observe their surroundings,

58% carefully watch what they say and how they say it, and 51% consider feelings of safety and comfort in their everyday interactions.  

To learn more about the study, go to  For tips, tools, and resources on how to stay mentally and physically fit visit: and

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About AARP
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the nation's largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.

For further information: Gil Cabrera, AARP, 202-679-1043,