Ageism is more rampant in IT than other industries, believe nearly three-quarters of techies.
More than half of the respondents to a survey by online recruitment firm The IT Job Board feel that being too old has thwarted their job prospects.
New laws passed on 1 October make it illegal for companies to discriminate because of age, but the survey uncovers that many workers (37.8%) don’t know about this legislation.
Half the respondents think it’s impossible to scale the career ladder over the age of 40.
“Although the new laws rightly prevent ageism at either end of the spectrum, our research conveys that, in the technology sector, it is older workers that are getting the raw deal,” says The IT Job Board managing director Ray Duggins.
Employers will need to change their recruitment procedures to avoid infringing the new laws. A white paper by financial recruiter Nigel Lynn and employment law firm Glovers suggests dropping words such as 'mature' or 'dynamic' from recruitment ads. Recruiters should avoid asking candidates for their number of years’ experience, as this could be seen as discriminating against younger applicants.
Further care needs to be taken in the choice of images used in brochures or advertisements, avoiding pictures of exclusively young or mature staff.
“All those responsible for recruitment will have to ensure that the letter of the law is applied right from the concept phase of a particular recruitment requirement – from the creation of the job specification right through to how the vacancy is communicated,” says Steve Carter, managing director of Nigel Lynn.