Much has been said about the tendency of tech companies to hire primarily young workers. There’s also the tired stereotype that older people are not “hip to new technology” to deal with. Like other hiring biases in tech, this issue seems to hit women in tech harder.
Today, on Susan B. Anthony day, we’re suggesting 5 reasons why it’s important to hire women over 40 to work at your tech startup.
1. Innovative and efficient
Workers over 40 can be extremely efficient in their jobs — frankly, they’ve been there, done that — and, thanks to their experience, can also greatly improve issues in the workflow or system management. Organizational research of tech startups has shown that older workers are often more innovative than younger workers. Vivek Wadwa who analyzed 500+ successful technology ventures said: “Older entrepreneurs are just able to build companies that are more advanced in their technology and more sophisticated in the way they deal with customers.”
2. Women = results
Companies with women in leadership roles outperform other companies all around the globe and have excellent results. Why? Because diverse teams make better decisions. Companies should include all genders, from varied socioeconomic, professional and educational backgrounds — both young blood and seasoned workers — and cross race, sexual orientation and faith borders. Some studies suggest that to get the most profit from gender diversity, companies should have at least 3 women on leadership positions. If that is case, why not bring an older woman on board?
3. They value time
Women over 40 pack some serious industry experience and some personal stories as well. Working mothers, for example, need to manage their time wisely and won’t work for a “clock-in, clock-out” type of job. Instead, they strategically prioritize projects, look for smart partnerships to reduce waste and can provide laser focus on what is really important. All skills that are crucial to your startup’s success.
4. A lifetime of experience (as a lady)
Women over 40 understand a range of life experiences and demographics important to the success of your startup — from teenage girls and just-starting-out 20-somethings, to working mothers. In addition, as women get older, they’re likely to have also been caregivers of older family members. This experience not only helps them empathize with a broader and larger audience, it can also help you build a new app for that audience.
5. Mentor and advocate
“She didn’t hold my hand too much, I’d go off and do things and she’d then review them. She’s been life changing.” says Jude about her mentor, Code First: Girls founder Amali de Alwis. Since the tech industry is still known for its gender inequality, it’s extremely important for younger women to find mentors, role models and advocates who help them navigate their careers — and more importantly — help advocate for them from positions of power. Women over 40 are ideal to take on this role and prepare the next generation of leaders in the tech industry.
Study after study shows that a diverse team makes smarter (and more profitable) decisions. Without including team members from various age groups in your team, you’re leaving money — and a better product — on the table.