Jobs4.0 (

Jobs4.0 (

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


The illogic of age discrimination is confirmed to me every day, in myriad ways. Whenever I see a study on how mature workers require less training time, or how they stay in their jobs longer than younger workers, I wonder why more employers aren't agressively seeking out experienced workers. Instead, far too many HR managers simply hit delete when they see a resume of a candidate over 40. We get emails every day from job seekers who are 41 or 47, even some in their late 30's (!) detailing their experiences with ageism.

So why is it that the perspective changes so dramatically when we talk about the top positions at companies? The lead story in today's Wall Street Journal casually mentions (the article is not about ageism) how 'instead of a young, 42-year old CEO..."(emphasis added) the company would be co-headed by men who are 71 and 61.

I agree 42 is young, but not just for a CEO. It's young for almost any job. Why is 42 considered young for the most challenging position at a company but not for other jobs that are less stressful and less demanding? If a 42 year old is young for a CEO, isn't 42 also young for an accounting or sales or IT or any other position? Why not 52? Or if the 71 year old can still be CEO, can't companies hire someone at 64, someone with skills and maturity who can add value into their 70's? A 64 year old can stay in that job for 10 years -- how long do people in their 20's stay in the same job?

The point is that job seekers over 40 just want to find an employer that will hire people based on their talent, energy and work habits and just because they are not applying to be CEO doesn't make them older -- it just makes them valuable.

No comments: