- The tech industry systemically hires millennials over Generation Xers, according to a Visier report of 330,000 U.S. workers from 2015 to 2016. However, ageist hiring practices are not reflected in salaries as older tech workers are compensated similarly to "tenured age peers."
- Millennials, those born between 1982 and 1995, make up more than 42% of the tech workforce compared to 26% of the non-tech workforce. Gen Xers, those born between 1965 and 1981, make up 45% of tech workers, and baby boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, only make up 11%.
- The study found the average age of tech workers to be about five years younger than their non-tech counterparts, an age gap also present in managerial positions. Both workforce sectors have a peak promotional age around 30 years old followed by a decline in promotional opportunity.
The tech industry is already plagued with criticism for a lack of diversity, which often results in minority resignations. Around 37% of tech workers resigned because of mistreatment, according to a Harris Poll. About 80% of respondents claimed to have experienced at least one type of mistreatment at work in the form of unfair management, sexual harassment, bullying and stereotyping.
Hiring is the first process in which companies can amend possible hiring bias. In order to avoid potential discrimination against gender, race or age-based biases, among others, organizations need a candidate pool that pulls both deeply and broadly from many sources.
In top Silicon Valley companies, average career experience ranges from five to six years. Only legacy companies like HP and IBM average about 10 years in industry experience, perhaps as a result of valuing more seasoned tech professionals.
Though hiring younger tech workers is common in most tech work, some sectors require an older workforce. The IRS, among other federal agencies, stores so much sensitive data that maintaining legacy infrastructure takes precedent over modernization. Older tech workers are often retained to use outdated code that new workers are unfamiliar with, but agencies are now facing their retirement from the workforce.