In a 2014 article Neil Scheiber wrote in The New Republic about the rampant ageism in Silicon Valley. This is more true than ever as Next For Me Advisor Karen Wickre wrote in Wired last year.
In the article Scheiber visits the second biggest distributor of botox in the country, catering to young tech workers eager to stay forever young.
He quotes a recruitment ad for an IT firm in Santa Clara.
We Want People Who Have Their Best Work Ahead of Them, Not Behind Them.
Further in the article, Dan Scheinman, a venture capitalist who faced his own discrimination as he aged, decided to address the older, underserved sector of entrepreneurs which he describes as
the mother of all undervalued opportunities.
Tracing the roots of the youth-obsessed culture to the 60s and 70s when hippies invaded the likes of IBM and started their own revolution with antiestablishment groups of technical innovators. This thinking has carried into the now mainstream companies and investors in tech.
V.C. Vinod Khosla told a conference that “people over forty-five basically die in terms of new ideas.” Michael Moritz, of Sequoia Capital, one of the most pedigreed firms in the tech world, once touted himself as “an incredibly enthusiastic fan of very talented twentysomethings starting companies.” His logic was simple: “They have great passion. They don’t have distractions like families and children and other things that get in the way.”
While there has been improvements in diversity training and practices in Silicon Valley, these are early days. Most diversity initiatives address gender and race and ageism is just coming into the foreground.
Link to full article: The Brutal Ageism of Tech