Silicon Valley's ageism problem

The New Republic's Noam Sheiber:
Silicon Valley has become one of the most ageist places in America. Tech luminaries who otherwise pride themselves on their dedication to meritocracy don’t think twice about deriding the not-actually-old. “Young people are just smarter,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told an audience at Stanford back in 2007. As I write, the website of ServiceNow, a large Santa Clara–based I.T. services company, features the following advisory in large letters atop its “careers” page: “We Want People Who Have Their Best Work Ahead of Them, Not Behind Them.”

Notable Replies

  1. Much of this article is about ageism affecting those in their forties--not boomers.

  2. skrap says:

    This ageism is all about hiring young guns who will work 80+ hour weeks without complaining. They feel like they're being "hardcore programmers", when really they're being abused by their employer for the primary benefit of executives and venture capitalists. You can't fool older folks with the same nonsense, and you don't want them in your company spreading their "dangerous ideas" about work/life balance.

    I've been there, lived that life, and now I'm thousands of miles away, and much happier for it.

  3. “We Want People Who Have Their Best Work Ahead of Them, Not Behind Them.”

    Wow. I'm surprised HR/legal let that fly on the website.

  4. Ageism is hardly something new in fields like computer programming and graphic design. It kicks in around age 40. It has little to do with generations; I first noticed it in the 1980s. It has nothing to do with competence or energy, any more than race, sex, body shape, or other prejudices do, with one exception: young people are easier to play for suckers. This is very important to predators like Zuckerberg.

  5. This is another reason why tech CEOs lobbying non-stop to be able to lure away the already sparse number of tech workers from developing nations into the US to work on the latest cat cartoon app is such rubbish. They treat existing workers like crap and ignore huge pools of workers because they want people they can push around instead of implementing fair labor practices. Why worry about workers quitting when treated badly when you can get the government to import them from nations that can ill afford to lose them? It's a double whammy to national and global society.

Continue the discussion bbs.boingboing.net

46 more replies

Participants