Age is no bar

Should employers discriminate based on the age of their employees? Paul Faith / AFP
Should employers discriminate based on the age of their employees? Paul Faith / AFP

The conventional wisdom that talent and experience bear fruit in the job market often gets turned on its head when it comes to employing older people.

Consider JK Scheinberg, a long-term Apple engineer who retired from the company in 2008. Despite possessing vast knowledge of Apple’s technology and working on some of its most high-level projects, including its transition to using Intel chips, Mr Scheinberg was denied job at a Genius Bar – Apple’s retail tech support unit. The reason is simple: at 54, he was double the age of the rest of the interview pool.

This case outlines a growing concern with ageism in the workplace. Such discrimination can result in a leadership skill gap. There is no doubt that there are many benefits to having older people who can bring their vast knowledge, mature outlook and balanced perspectives to the office or factory floor. It is short-sighted of employers to disregard the talents of older people and nurture only the young.

Published: September 8, 2016 04:00 AM

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