Discrimination Problem and High-Paying Industry


Baby boomers are being left in the dust. | Vadim_Key/iStock/Getty Images

Discrimination Problem and High-Paying Industry

There’s nothingِ worse thanِ a hostile work environment.
Bullying, harassment, andِ discrimination canِ affect yourِ productivity, health, andِ overall well-being.
We won’t sugarcoat it: Baby boomers haveِ it rougher thanِ most.

Equality is the issue

Older workers haveِ beenِ claiming bias forِ years.
It’s difficult toِ establish evidence ofِ ageism inِ the workforce, butِ people haveِ tried.
Researchers sentِ outِ 40,000 identical resumes withِ age asِ the onlyِ difference andِ found theِ interview callback rate drops fromِ young applicants toِ middle-aged applicants andِ even furtherِ fromِ middle-aged applicants toِ older applicants aroundِ age 65.

Baby boomers often face a harder time getting their foot in the door. | Highwaystarz-Photography/iStock/Getty Images

Tech is the industry

The tech industry isِ the fastest growing in theِ world.
This poses a problem forِ boomers.
Seventeen percent ofِ employees inِ the companies surveyed byِ Indeed wereِ age 20 toِ 30, whileِ 29% wereِ somewhereِ betweenِ 31 andِ 35.

How concerned are these tech companies? Not very.

No boomers, no problem

To put itِ simply, nearlyِ halfِ (46%) ofِ tech employees areِ millennials.
Indeed foundِ only 23% ofِ respondents believed theِ millennial generation wasِ overrepresented, andِ even fewerِ (18%) thought baby boomers wereِ underrepresented inِ their companies.
They’re alsoِ less likelyِ to haveِ families andِ are willingِ toِ work longer hours.

Tech companies, such as Google, are growing at increasing rates. | SpVVK/iStock/Getty Images

Highly competitive industries favor younger, cheaper workers — and that’s a problem.

Advantage: Millennials

California cities, suchِ asِ San Francisco andِ San Jose, attract anِ equal number ofِ older andِ younger employees.
So itِ isِ entirelyِ possible thatِ boomers andِ millennials areِ competing forِ the sameِ high-profile jobs.
When experience — or, inِ other words, industry knowledge — isn’t theِ problem, companies areِ more likelyِ to whittle theirِ candidate choices usingِ a differentِ method.

However, in some ways, age discrimination at work happens naturally. Here’s how.

Younger employees are typically willing to work later for less. | warrengoldswain/iStock/Getty Images

A difference in skills

Undoubtedly, there’s a stereotype thatِ onlyِ younger, tech-savvy workers areِ valuable toِ companies andِ that theِ ability toِ learn theِ job rightِ awayِ outweighs theِ wisdom older workers bring toِ theِ table.
More millennials click onِ certainِ job postings, suchِ asِ “game tester,” “Java developer,” andِ “UX designer,” whileِ boomers navigate towardِ jobs, suchِ asِ “IT project manager,” “engineering lead,” andِ “telecommunications engineer.” Boomers seek roles requiring combined experience, suchِ asِ leadership andِ technical prowess, whereasِ millennials areِ focused onِ highly specifiedِ postings requiring detailed process knowledge.
Therefore, itِ couldِ beِ these positions areِ prone toِ greater age disparity simply becauseِ of application trends.

Diversity, tech, and profits

It bodes wellِ forِ the tech industry toِ prioritize diversity.
Sure, millennials bring anِ untapped energy source intoِ the office, oftenِ atِ a muchِ cheaper rate, butِ older people areِ just asِ innovative — ifِ not moreِ — thanِ their younger counterparts.
Older workers areِ better apt toِ solve moreِ complex, deep-rooted problems thanksِ to theirِ career longevity andِ detailed level ofِ understanding.

Millennials grew up in the industry and are willing to be paid less. | Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

How can boomers combat such bias?

You couldِ take theِ obvious route andِ create yourِ ownِ job.
Overcoming age discrimination isِ allِ aboutِ leveraging yourِ skills overِ millennials.
Years inِ the industry meanِ you canِ utilize yourِ network ofِ connections asِ anِ advantage overِ entry-level workers.