How Can We Achieve Age Diversity in Silicon Valley?
Steven Levy

Being a man in my mid 40s I PERSONALLY have experienced this first hand in San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

Ever since I moved to the Bay Area in 2008, I have been in and out of work unable to find permanent employment. Those jobs that are permanent usually do not pay nearly enough to live somewhat comfortably anywhere in California.
Employers in this country especially here in the city of San Francisco actively engage in employment ageism while actively denying it exists. They also take advantage of “at will” laws that say that an employer can fire or let go an employee anytime with or without cause for any reason or no reason whatsoever. Uber and Lift are some of the many companies taking advantage of the “contract” or temporary employee.

Case in point : In September 2015 I was hired by a job agent for what I later was told would be a 6 month contract position which was part-time in the city as a help desk technician for the main corporate headquarters of a large hotel chain where the main headquarters is located in San Francisco. I worked only 2 days and was dismissed. Keep in mind that I was the 9th candidate that was let go by the hiring manager who also happens to be the IT manger as well and I worked directly under her.

I reported on time, did my job to the best of my ability and asked questions. On the third day I reported on time, let the front desk secretary call her to let me into the office and then I received a phone call from my job agent that I just got the pink slip. The excuse? I wasn’t “the right fit”.
Caught me completely off guard. Took me a moment to take it all in. It must be nice to expect someone who was just hired to learn a job in two days all while working under a power-hungry, narcissistic, cold, calculating and callous person who is the hiring manager and IT Lead in a position this individual has held very comfortably on her ever widening ass for 6 years. I’ve worked in many IT support positions with all kinds of people but this is the first time I truly disliked someone.
What I also didn’t like was the fact that my recruiter was trying to calm me down telling me that it “wasn’t personal”.
IT IS VERY FUCKING PERSONAL. This isn’t a game. This is people’s lives you are fucking with. There is not a person in the world on the shit end of being let go that would blame me for feeling this way.

I wrote a detailed report to my job agent about my experience with this individual. Sure enough, my report was forwarded to my agent’s corporate offices which resulted in severing ties with the company and I was told that the job position was closed immediately after.

This is an example of the mindset of the corporate culture here.
I’ve gone to many interviews with job descriptions where it was in person, I was cross examined with questions, the people were very nice, some of whom told me that they themselves didn’t know anything when they started, and I find out a day later that they decided to go with someone else. Before this stint, I did another in person interview 2 weeks before that. And I have been trying relentlessly to find permanent work, constantly filling out applications even in retail where the pay sucks and even they don’t want to hire me.

I know my age has A LOT to do with it. Age discrimination is VERY real in San Francisco / Silicon Valley. Anyone who tells you different is a liar.

Even this gentleman has a lot to say about it :