The New York Times weighed in this week on Silicon Valley’s monoculture with a feature article exploring gender discrimination written by Jodi Kantor and a Joe Nocera column on high technology’s ethnic and racial diversity problems and lack of real meritocracy. I’ll just chime in by noting – again- that Silicon Valley also has an age discrimination problem.
Silicon Valley culture is uniquely oriented toward youth, ageism is rampant. That was documented in an excellent report in The New Republic earlier this year, and I examined it in a Reuters column in June.
All these forms of workplace discrimination are illegal. But the lack of diversity also is bad for business. In the case of ageism, it means technology companies tend to ignore the explosive growth potential for products targeting aging Americans. It also means that it’s harder for start-ups focused in this area to get funding.