IT professionals believe ageism is more prevalent in IT than in other professions, according to a survey of 325 staff.
More than 50% of the IT professionals surveyed said their search for work had been hindered because they were too old. Some 22.8% said they did not get their preferred position, and 5.1% said they had been forced to take a pay cut because of their age.
The findings, from a survey by The IT Job Board, coincide with the introduction of the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations this month, which make it illegal to discriminate on the grounds of age.
The survey found that 14.5% of older workers claim to have lost out on training because of their age. Some 10.8% said they had been turned down for promotion, and 6.2% did not receive a pay rise.
Nearly 50% of IT professionals said they did not believe it was possible to make progress up the career ladder after the age of 40.
Despite this, IT professionals felt that older workers could bring valuable skills to an organisation. More than 43% said older workers brought management and people skills, 42.8% said they contributed experience of the job, and 36.6% said older workers offered greater company loyalty.
Discrimination can also be a problem for younger workers, the survey revealed. About 12% of respondents said their search for work had been hindered because they were too young.
it workers' experiences
● "I was told I had no chance of getting the job because of my age [too old], but they had to interview me because I had qualifications."
● "I was told the company did not take permanent staff above a certain age."
● "The recruitment consultant didn't put me forward for various positions, and commented 'aren't you a bit old?' I was 34 at the time."
● "After 25 years of constant employment, I have been unemployed since my 50th birthday."
● "Very little interest from agencies - one said I should apply for a bus pass."
● "Most people hiring are about 35 years old and find it hard to hire someone older and more experienced."
Source: IT Jobs Board