Survey highlights high levels of ageism in tech sector

A new survey shows that ageism in the tech and IT sector is rife.



Ageism is rife in the IT and tech sector with nearly two thirds of employees [61%] saying they think there is age prejudice and people deemed ‘too old’ for the sector by the age of just 38, according to data released by tech recruiter CWJobs.

The survey of 2,000 workers and 250 tech and IT workers who have experienced age discrimination, shows 41% IT and tech sector workers said they have observed age discrimination in the workplace, compared to 27% average across other UK industries, with age discrimination starting over a decade earlier than the national industry average.

The study founds IT and tech sector employees start experiencing ageism at the age of 29 and are considered ‘too old’ for their industry by 38. 36% of tech workers told CWJobs that someone has implied their career is likely to be negatively impacted by their increasing age. 57% say they feel old when compared to their co-workers and that they start to feel old at 37, 10 years earlier than in other sectors.

The most common forms of age-based discrimination include not being offered a job (47%), being overlooked for a promotion (31%) and being excluded from social activities (28%).

Of the many insults levied against IT and tech workers, the most frequently used are ‘Old Git’ (58%), ‘Old Fart’ (61%) and ‘Dinosaur’ (56%).  60% have heard it said that ‘Old people don’t understand technology’.

Across all industries, male workers were the most likely to be on the receiving end of ageist insults.  Yet many in the industry don’t know that age discrimination is illegal. Only 47% of victims of ageism in the tech industry know this, according to the survey. Half (51%) choose to leave their job because of age discrimination.

Dominic Harvey, Director at CWJobs, says: ‘”As well as being the right thing to do, digital skills shortages across the UK mean such blatant discriminatory attitudes against people’s age simply makes no business sense.

“Making assumptions about what a worker considered to be older can or can’t do, discounts the wealth of experience and talent that these individuals can bring to a business. People tend to think of the ageing workforce as a future trend to look out for, it isn’t, it’s happening now.

“Across the UK’s industries we need to accept this as the positive development it represents for those on the lookout for experienced top-tier talent. Employers can ensure they are hiring age-positively by becoming more mindful about how they choose to advertise their vacancies. By using inclusive, age-neutral language and
images in job adverts, employers can encourage age-diversity amongst applicants and minimising potentially damaging age biases in the workforce.’’


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