Marilyn Ducksworth Files Age Discrimination Suit Against Penguin – Publishers Weekly - Jim Milliot
Marilyn Ducksworth, longtime director of corporate communications for Penguin Group USA, filed an age discrimination lawsuit on Wednesday afternoon in New York Supreme Court. Ducksworth, who was also senior v-p and executive director of publicity for G.P. Putnam’s Sons/Riverhead Books and associate publisher of Putnam, left Penguin August 31 after a 27-year career with the publishing house. Among the details in the complaint is the assertion that she was kept from helping to plan for the transition as Penguin CEO from David Shanks to CFO Coram Williams in January 2014.
We find out later in the article that several of the older employees were cut, with the excuse that the industry needed faster, “nimble” workers for the changing industry (therefore, younger). While I completely understand the desire for cuts in order to have a quicker process, companies need an equal balance of young and old, new and experienced. While older employees may be generalized as stubborn to accept changing technology, stuck in traditional ways, and resistant to new ideas, the same could be said about younger employees: rash, quick judgements, poor consequences, etc. I wish Marilyn the best of luck, and that Penguin (all publishers, really) looks for field knowledge more than speed. Speed isn’t everything. That can ruin a company.