There was a Mercury News article this week by Michelle Quinn who has recently focused on Silicon Valley’s workforce diversity or lack thereof. Tech firms are admitting to the “difficulty” of creating this diversity in terms of gender and certain ethnicities. Thus they have been actively seeking recruits that are females, African-Americans, and Latinos.
But Michelle’s article pointed to age bias. One of her sources on employee ages is Payscale, an online salary, benefits and compensation information company, the median age of tech workers is 36.4 here in Santa Clara County. At Apple the median is 31, Google has crept up to 30, Facebook is 28, and LinkedIn is 29.
However, the article writer points out that there’s now a possible crack for Boomers in the opportunity window with the tightening labor market. Maturity brings soft skills, management experience, and for many of us, basic familiarity with the technology so important to these companies. So IF Boomers are interested in making an industry move, it seems now is the time to consider entry into high tech companies. Quinn writes that we still need to prove our worth since there is no stated policy in place from the top or even significant efforts at the hiring level to recruit us Boomers.
That’s still a big IF unless we are passionate about high tech and the trends in that industry so we are willing to do the proving. Is this the time we want to challenge the new establishment? Or do we want to seek fulfillment and personal satisfaction elsewhere? Each individual must determine if he/she is financially and emotionally ready to seek an encore career or volunteer-ship. Rick and I obviously chose to leave high tech in our fifties to enter the nonprofit world and international economic development. And feeling our renewed sense of fulfillment and personal satisfaction, we’ve never looked back.