Ageism in Tech: Why Older Designers Are Better Than Younger Designers(medium.com)

almost 2 years ago from Christina Wu, Product Designer

  • Paul ArmstrongPaul Armstrong, almost 2 years ago

    I'm 46. I don't think of myself as old (that is until I learn that many of the peopleI work with are closer in age to my children than me — but that's neither here or there).

    I believe there is more a "fear" of ageism versus and actual problem with ageism. We all fear that will be judged, not based on our talent or experience, but on things we are not able to change. And that can and does happen, but I don't believe it's systemic (though I don't have anything other than anecdotal evidence).

    The most experience I have related to "ageism" is related to "costs", because experience almost always equals expense. Companies that are more interested in saving money than in paying for talent, it's not ageism, it's shortsighted stupidity. The best teams are the teams with diversity (in age, gender, ethnicity, ability, experience, expertise, etc).

    I've been in design for 25 years. I'm in the position now of hiring and leading and growing other designers. Age has never been something I've thought about — I'm more likely not to hire someone because of their personality and attitude (willingness to learn and collaborate) than their age. And as I've seen written, ageism does cut both ways.

    There are far too many words that need, at the very least clarification, and at the most consensus. What is "older"? When you're 36? 38? 45? 56? What is "better"? Better in creativity? Design solutions? Effectiveness? Leadership? Patience? What is "younger"? 21? 29? 35? Without having any sort of commonly understood definition of what any of that means, there can never be any worthwhile discussion.

    3 points