Tech Workers Fear Age Discrimination
For many San Francisco technology workers, age discrimination remains a serious concern. According to one survey, 43 percent of tech employees from the baby boom generation are concerned about losing their jobs due to their age. The survey involved over 1,000 professionals across the country, focusing on tech workers with an average of over 15 years of experience in the industry. While close to half of all employees are millennials, only 23 percent of the respondents felt that there was an overrepresentation of younger people on the job. An even smaller number, 18 percent, felt that there were too few baby boomers in the workplace.
Age discrimination is illegal, but many older workers are concerned that they will be driven out from their jobs. Promotion of youth culture can lead to an unwelcoming environment that discourages older workers. In many cases, people with decision-making power may have inaccurate ideas about the capacity of older workers. They may judge older workers more harshly and expect them to be more out-of-touch with current developments, even though baby boomers in the tech industry are often intimately familiar with innovative technologies and new developments. Despite one’s performance, however, inaccurate ideas can still put their employment at risk, and it can be more difficult to find a new job at an older age.
Many experts emphasize that there is no link between creativity and age. Younger and older people can all be part of creative processes and technological development. By constructing teams that are diverse in demographic categories, including age, companies can gain substantial value.
Despite the benefits of multigenerational workplaces, older employees may encounter serious problems with workplace discrimination. Workers over 40 who have lost their jobs or missed out on a promotion due to their age can consult with an employment lawyer about seeking compensation for their losses.