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Author Topic: 40+ - Must we dye our hair to avoid bias?  (Read 1935 times)

Jerry Albright

  • Guest
Age has nothing to do with it........
« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2002, 10:01:28 am »
As I've posted before:  Age has less to do with your success in interviewing than your knowledge/expertise.

The average age of contractor I've worked with over the years has probably been over 50.

I am happy to say I just helped a guy find a good project (mainframe) and he is 66!  And quite qualified.

(He wouldn't be working now if his mutual funds were worth a @#%$!)


  • Guest
Jerry, in your part of the country that's probably true...
« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2002, 10:40:41 am »
but in many cases, the hiring manager may not feel
comfortable with someone with a rich experience level
and older too boot.

In insurance, drug, aerospace, and nuclear industries,
age is usually not factor, but in cutting edge industries,
age is a factor.  In know for a fact, that if you are living
in Silicon Valley (San Jose, CA) and you're over 35, yes
that's 35 years of age, then you are dead meat and
many recruiters won't waste their time representing you.

Industry, region, and function (i.e. mainframe) are just
a few of the factors that drive age discrimination.

David Cressey

  • Guest
It depends...
« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2002, 11:08:28 am »
It depends on many factors.

I've had recruiters tell me that they want to "deemphasize"  the fact that I have over 30 years experience.  I take that to mean that they want somebody with less experience,  and I take that to mean they want somebody younger.  

I declined to have those recruiters  represent me.


  • Guest
Re: Age has nothing to do with it........
« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2002, 11:28:15 am »
Don't you focus on AS/400 platform folks? If so, that would partially explain the higher ages you deal with.

Don't kid yourself, apparent age (physical appearance and "outdated" technological familiarity) can and does kill a lot of extremely qualified aspirants to Sr. level gigs.

I've been through it, as have many of my peers. Ageism is rampant in corporate America.


  • CCF Winner's Circle - Supporter
  • Wise Sage
  • *
  • Posts: 1681
Age Discrimination Lives
« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2002, 01:13:14 pm »
I agree with codger.  I've been on several interviews the past year  at surviving dot com's where nobody appears to be over 35 and 2 minutes into the interview it becomes obvious that there is no interest in older "set in their ways" people.  In Jerry's field or in areas where older workers are the norm (mainframe etc) this would not be an issue.  But in fast moving current technologies, my personal experience shows that age discrimination can be a problem.

David Cressey

  • Guest
Re: Age Discrimination Lives
« Reply #20 on: November 26, 2002, 04:02:36 am »
The problem is one of stereotyping.

I can see an interviewer not wanting to hire somebody because that person is "set in their ways" and those ways are out of tune with the way the rest of the team does business.

A long time practitioner of structured analysis and structured design might not do so well in an XP team, if it called for ways of interacting that were just anathema to that guy.

Where it becoes prejudicial discrimination is when the interviewer sees gray hair and thinks, "can't work with young people".  It's worth interviewing the person  to find out.

The one time I got hired by a dot com,  I really felt like I was in a foreign culture during the interview.  I decided, on the spot,  that the most productive use of the next hour, for me,  was to analyse their problems, to see if those were things I wanted to work on.

Turns out I blundered into a good way to present an interview.  Instead of focussing on me, me, me,  I ended up focussing on what they were trying to do.  That made a good impression.  I usually make a good impression,  except when I'm trying to :/

I got hired.  

John Masterson

  • Guest
Re: 40+ - Must we dye our hair to avoid bias?
« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2002, 09:22:25 am »
I decided, on the spot, that the most productive use of the next hour, for me, was to analyse their problems, to see if those were things I wanted to work on.

What happened was, instead of telling them you are a good analyst, you SHOWED them you are a good analyst by proving it as part the interview.

Good job! That's the way to do it!


  • Guest
Re: White hair creates an opportunity
« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2002, 12:19:54 pm »
Tell'em you did hard drugs for 5 years, that's why you look
60 going on 30 years of age.

PM4HIRE, who never misses a chance to look foolish!