IT among worst at age discrimination, says EEOC officer
By David Weldon
The information technology field is revealing itself to be a high mix of hypocrisy when it comes to solving its own worker shortage.
Study after study reveals that IT is grossly under-represented by women, minorities and millennial workers. Now, it turns out that the IT field may also be the worst of all at age discrimination.
In a presentation before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Senior Counsel Cathy Ventrell-Monsees discussed the growing problem of age discrimination in a workforce dominated by recruiters focused on new technologies and younger talent.
Only one week earlier, Ventrell-Monsees blasted Silicon Valley for years of age discrimination in a speech before the National Press Foundation, noted abusersgotowork.com.
As Ventrell-Monsees sees it, the technology field is particularly rife with age discrimination, and many high tech firms in particular make no bones about their hiring preferences.
An article at Bankrate cited an example of a cloud computing company that advertised, "We want people who have their best work ahead of them, not behind them."
"That is a sentiment, we believe, that is shared by many tech companies," Ventrell-Monsees stressed.
If age discrimination is indeed prominent among tech employers, it is doubly bad news.
It is certainly bad news for tech employers, who already complain of the difficulty in finding enough skilled IT workers. In that light, every segment of the IT workforce – regardless of age, gender, race, or religion – is precious.
It is also bad news for the older IT worker that may find themselves between jobs – or so they think. If a baby boomer IT worker suddenly has to seek new employment and they can't easily get it that may pose definite personal hardships.
As numerous recent retirement studies have confirmed, the typical American is less and less prepared to face retirement each year due to rising costs of living and healthcare. That means most Americans must now work until they are 67, or 70, or beyond.
Woe to the older IT worker that is suddenly out of work, and out of luck at landing that next gig.
Woe also to the IT field if employers are not working hard to recruit and retain older IT workers. As FierceCIO recently noted, the retirement of tens of thousands of baby boomer IT workers is about to blow the existing skills gap wide open.
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Ellen Pao files appeal in gender discrimination suit loss
Ellen Pao files court appeal in gender discrimination fight
By David Weldon
Reddit interim CEO Ellen Pao has vowed to fight on in her battle against what she claims was sexual discrimination in her last job, at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Yesterday Pao filed an appeal of the March court ruling that dismissed her discrimination suit against that company.
The Pao case generated considerable public interest and media attention this spring, with many calling it an example of the discrimination culture that runs rampant in Silicon Valley. The venture capital firm does considerable business with Valley tech firms and startups, and Pao said she was victim of the same type of gender bias that many accuse technology firms in the valley of.
As noted by Ars Technica, a jury did not find that Kleiner had discriminated against Pao when she was a partner at the firm. She had charged that she was denied several promotions on the basis of her gender. The jury also did not find that the firm had retaliated against Pao after she brought her original suit against the firm. In fact, the jury dismissed all four charges in Pao's suit.
Pao faced a 40-day appeals window in which to reach to the original court decision, which she has now done. After the jury reached its earlier verdict, Kleiner submitted a $1 million request to Pao's attorneys for legal fee reimbursement to defend against Pao's suit. The firm said it would waive that request in the event that no appeal was filed against the ruling.
Pao's attorneys responsed to the Kleiner action by submitting a motion to strike a large portion of the Kleiner costs, the article noted.
In response to yesterday's appeal filing by Pao, Kleiner spokeswoman Christina Lee said "We remain commited to gender diversity in the workplace and believe that women in technology would be best served by focusing on this issue outside of continued litigation," CNBC noted.
One of her first actions as newly named interim CEO in November was to disallow the negotiation of salaries for new hires.
"Men negotiate harder than women do and sometimes women get penalized when they do negotiate," Pao said. "So as part of our recruiting process we don't negotiate with candidates."
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