The tech industries not-so-secret bias: Ageism
“When I tried to knock on tech’s door for a job, even though I was qualified as f—, it refused to answer because I was too old,” Dyson, now 50, says. “I couldn’t knock on the door. The door was closed.” Jon Swartz, USA TODAY
If you lose your job in the tech industry it is known that it is difficult to find a job again. If you are a woman in the tech industry it is next to impossible. The situation is so bad, that workers who find themselves out of a job, often give up. They have to move out of that industry completely, quit working altogether, or start a business on their own.
If you read the “how to” articles in this blog regarding how to write your resume, you will get interview calls. However, once you walk in the door for a face to face interview, your age becomes apparent. Tech companies interviewers will openly point out they are looking for people straight out of college. This is outright ageism, but they are unlikely to be sued.
Glassdoor, a large data company that also assists with job searches, found that the median age of the American worker is 42, but companies like Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft have a median age of 29-33.
“Dan Lyons, a journalist in his 50’s who wrote about his experience at a technology start-up in his new book Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble, put it this way: “I saw a place where ‘old people’ — those over 40 and certainly over 50 — were largely unwanted.” “Jon Swartz, USA TODAY
This problem is not getting better and Washington is doing little to correct the problem. We are throwing away a critical part of our brain trust. There are many situations in everyday corporate life where experience counts. Sometimes, being old enough to say “been there, done that” is important.