Age discrimination for startup founders starts at 36

Last year, tech companies like Amazon and Facebook excluded older workers from their job ads by using social media ads that targeted only younger people.

Age discrimination starts at 36, at least in Silicon Valley.

State of Startups 2018, an annual survey polled by First Round Capital that talked to 529 venture-backed founders about what it’s like running a tech startup.

In a question about age, 37% of founders responded that investors are biased against founders based on their age (compared to 28% on gender and 26% on race).

On average, founders thought ageism in the industry began at age 46.

26%, however, believed age discrimination began at age 36.

An industry-wide problem

Recent research shows that once you hit 48, you are less likely to get a job in Silicon Valley.  Another recent survey showed that tech workers were concerned about age discrimination by age 40, and anecdotal evidence has backed that up for years.

Last year, tech companies like Amazon and Facebook excluded older workers from their job ads by using social media ads that targeted only younger people.

And although age discrimination is illegal, don’t expect the tech world to change overnight. This is the industry whose crowned king, Mark Zuckerberg, said in 2007, “If you want to found a successful company, you should only hire young people with technical expertise. Young people are just smarter.”

Sheila McClear|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at smcclear@theladders.com.