Your shout: Age rage, prejudice, rewarding failure

Computer Weekly readers have their say. If you would like to comment on a story, e-mail [email protected]

Computer Weekly readers have their say. If you would like to comment on a story, e-mail [email protected]

Attitude to work matters more than just one's age

Diane Wicks

What a load of baloney Dave Overall wrote on age and employment (Computer Weekly, 3 October). He implied that medical cover and death in service premiums would go up if businesses have higher numbers of over forties in their employ.

Ill health is not the prerogative of the over forties. Is a 20 year old who burns the candle at both ends, drinking more than the recommended weekly intake of alcohol, smoking and maybe using substances a better bet than a 40 year old who is teetotal, diet conscious and gets eight hours' sleep most nights?

Yes, I know some 20 year olds fit my description of the older worker, and vice versa, that's my point - you cannot stereotype someone just because of their age.

Age is but a number. What is more important is health and attitude to life and work. A workforce should include people of all ages.

Qualifications attempt to level the playing field

Bunmi Olu

It is interesting that Ibukun Adebayo's article, which suggests aiming for more qualifications and removing identifiers such as one's age and sex from a CV, comes from a black, 40 year old woman - three factors that would readily make one a candidate for potential discrimination - while the voices of disagreement on the Letters page appear to come mainly from white men.

Taking Adebayo's suggestions in isolation, it is easy to pick holes in each of them. But taken together with previous articles she has written on racism and sexism in IT, it becomes clear that someone from an ethnic minority who happens to be over 40 and a woman will find it tougher to gain promotion in the industry than most.

They also run the risk of being eliminated for being "over qualified", as people from ethnic minorities tend to take more exams than most in an effort to put ourselves on a level footing to compete for jobs.

Prejudice is a fact of life for some IT professionals

John Banjo

Like Ibukun Adebayo, I also was born in England of Nigerian parents. Having worked in the IT industry and encountering the same problems as her, I had to change my first name to an English name just to get on life. I still have to give the agencies a copy of my passport just to show that I am entitled to work.

It is not about skill or your experience, but first your colour and accent, or lack of it.

Greater business focus needed to rise to top job

Richard Barker, Sovereign Business Integration

It is an unfortunate state of affairs that the CIO is often marginalised by his boardroom peers (Computer Weekly, 3 October). For companies to benefit from advances in technology, this situation needs to change, and the CIO's position in relation to other senior executives needs to be re-evaluated because only then can an organisation truly align IT with business.

As an increasingly gadget-obsessed board starts making technology demands, the business risks associated with this lack of control are growing. Unfocused, unjustifiable IT investment can and will cause business ruin. How many firms will be brought to the brink by directors' misunderstanding of technology issues combined with IT's inability to match technology potential with business needs?

The CIO has a depth of cross-business information and expertise that far exceeds any other senior manager. In fact, any good CIO should be a shoo-in for CEO. The fact that so few make that move - indeed, that IT is not seen as a natural breeding ground for the top job - is surely indicative of the fact that CIOs retain an inappropriate degree of technology focus.

Invest in failure - that's where the real money is

Sir Tristan (aka Paul Berry)

So there I was, Sir Tristan Delawney-Duckquick, head of Problematical Projects International, the group name for my business empire operating such household names as Tax Credits Ltd, NHS IT Woes UK plc, Revenue & Customs Tax System, and last but not least The Child Support Agency.

Life is good. Operating profits are up due in the main to golden handshakes, golden goodbyes, and a massive twelfty per cent increase in golden hellos and another over twelfty per cent in failed projects containing "pay me quick" get out clauses.

Really, I don't know why you all bother with property, you poor people. Invest in failure, that's where the real money is. More port anyone?

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