An interesting article in the New York Times last week about how technology companies are very young and very male, fails to even mention the possibility that the IT world may be too focused on hiring the under-30 crowd. And if indeed that’s the case, that the industry may be discriminating against older workers.
This from the piece:
The seven companies with the youngest workers, ranked from youngest to highest in median age, were Epic Games (26); Facebook (28); Zynga (28); Google (29); and AOL, Blizzard Entertainment, InfoSys, and Monster.com (all 30).
Younger companies tend to have workers with less time at the firm, which is partly an effect of being new and hiring intensively in recent years. Facebook’s median worker has been with the company just 1.1 years, while Intel, I.B.M., Oracle and others come in around six years.
Other factors are also in play, however. “The firms that are growing or innovating around new areas tend to have younger workers,” said Katie Bardaro, the lead economist at PayScale. “Older companies that aren’t changing with the times get older workers.”
But no where does he even give a nod to the fact that bias may be part of the reason.
It’s not a totally crazy thought.
Google for one is no stranger to allegations it’s not interested in the gray hair set.
And the tech sector overall has been accused of bypassing older workers. This from a story in the, you guessed it, New York Times last year:
Norman S. Matloff, a professor at the University of California, Davis, who has studied hiring patterns in the technology sector, said workers over 35 regularly face discrimination by technology companies.
Kris Stadelman, director of NOVA, the local work force investment board, which released a survey of human resource directors at 251 Bay Area technology companies last July, said that in her experience, candidates began to be screened out once they reached 40.
“Especially in social media, cloud computing and mobile apps, if you’re over 40 you’re perceived to be over the hill,” Ms. Stadelman said.
It’s unclear whether age bias is driving the low number of older workers at the companies the author of last week’s article included in his piece, but wouldn’t it had been a good idea to at least give some cyber ink to the issue.
(If you think you’ve been a victim of age discrimination or want to learn more about what your rights are, check out the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s page here.)