Karen Wickre is Wired Magazine’s Backchannel worklife columnist and a Next For Me Advisor. Wickre has enjoyed a long run in Silicon Valley, including at Google and Twitter.
In this recent article she outlines the sometimes obvious and not always so obvious nuance of age discrimination in the tech industry. She notes:
But there’s one bias that doesn’t get addressed much: age. The very people who might be affected by age discrimination often don’t want to bring it up—especially in Silicon Valley. Let’s face it: Few of us over 40 want to be considered “old” or label ourselves as outsiders. If workers do come forward, age discrimination is very hard to prove, since it’s often hidden by internal reorganizations, budget cuts, and employee “at-will” agreements. The subject of “older workers” can be a legal minefield for companies—to even acknowledge it is to open a Pandora’s box of issues.
In the article she outlines several strategies for making business more inclusive and open to “olds”.
- Career Development
- Mentoring programs
- Valuing individual contributors
- Outside learning
- Recognition and credit for volunteer activities
- Phased retirement
- Benefits and perks
Link to the full article: Surviving As An Old In The Tech World