January 07, 2019

Age is strongest investor bias against tech start-up founders

Age is strongest investor bias against tech start-up founders

Start-ups in the technology industry suffer heavily from ageism, especially when it comes to trying to garner investment.

New research from a survey of US start-up founders by First Round Capital, finds that 37% of tech start-up founders said age is the strongest investor bias against them. Ageism starts, on average, at the age of 46 in the tech industry, and as young as 36 for tech entrepreneurs.

René Böheim, writes that: “Studies of US data indicate that the sector-specific rate of technological progress leads to more unemployment and the early retirement of older workers.” Not only is ageism a problem in the industry, but 26% cited gender and 26% cited race as well.

Considering that research often suggests age diversity in the workplace has many positives for all workers, particularly by increasing productivity and performance, this is a worrying sign for a fast-growing and important industry.

Furthermore, 85% of participants said they have formal or informal diversity and inclusion policies at their companies, and they believed that America’s tech industry would be demographically representative, in both race and gender, in the next 20 years.

“Attitudinal barriers relate to age stereotypes and negative beliefs and expectations of employers about workers based only on their age. Employers commonly consider older workers to have lower learning potential, even though the gap in training performance with younger workers can be reduced by training interventions that are matched to the learning needs of older workers,” says Matteo Picchio, in his IZA World of Labor article, Is training effective for older workers?

Read more articles on workplace discrimination.