• Log In
  • Sign Up
    • What would happen to you if rolled your eyes at a work colleague who is a person of color or LGBT
      orientation?  You’d be marched into HR for
      a session in sensitivity training and you might even be fired.  But it’s perfectly acceptable to dismiss
      older workers that way. Ageism is the last acceptable form of workplace discrimination.
      According to PwC, while 64% of companies have a formal diversity and inclusivity
      strategy, only 8% of those include age as a criteria.  While technically illegal, companies
      use code words with recruiters like “rising in their career” to signal that
      they are looking for someone young.

      The irony is that “old” is the one demographic of which we will ALL become members.  We
      won’t all gradually change our ethnicity, race or gender.  But we will all grow old, whether that’s
      defined as 40 or 50 or 60. And if you wanted to launch your own venture after
      you age out of your industry, good luck with fundraising. In 2011, Sun Microsystems
      co-founder and VC Vinod Khosla told a conference that “People under 35
      are the people who make change happen. People over 45 basically die in terms of
      new ideas.” Khosla said he based this statement on his belief that old
      entrepreneurs can’t innovate because they keep “falling back on old habits”.

      P.S. Khosla is 64 years old. Payback is a real bitch.

    • Staggered to hear that a successful business owner could be so off target. Its the generalisation behind his statement that really irritates. Sure, some older people can suffer from a lack of creativity, but they are not the ones you typically see trying to launch a business. Anyone, of whatever age, that has shown the courage to start an enterprise is unlikely to be the kind of person that is "living in the past".

      We might just as easily stereotype younger people, and suggest they are all prone to making mistakes through inexperience.

      Mr Khosla's ageist stereotyping looks, at first blush, to be the product of lazy thinking. I do not expect he has much by way of empirical evidence to support his comment, and his real purpose in making the statement was probably more political than anything else.