Breaking News
Engineering Pop Culture!

Age discrimination survey in the engineering workplace

NO RATINGS
View Comments: Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
Page 1 / 4   >   >>
phoenixdave
User Rank
Rookie
re: Age discrimination survey in the engineering workplace
phoenixdave   5/24/2011 1:39:18 PM
NO RATINGS
I believe the technical community within the companies still value age and experience, but the administrative community tends to view people as a "cost" and thus older engineers are more costly than younger engineers. Coming in through an engineering contacts and not through HR seems to have a higher success for older workers with valued experience.

cdhmanning
User Rank
Rookie
re: Age discrimination survey in the engineering workplace
cdhmanning   5/23/2011 6:41:12 PM
NO RATINGS
The ultimate problem with the housing bubble is that it fuels **consumption** not **production**. It is fine to rack up some debt if that is going to help make you more productive and earn you more. Unfortunately, as a generalisation, the USA spends on consumption. That is not a model that works for long.

apummer945
User Rank
Rookie
re: Age discrimination survey in the engineering workplace
apummer945   5/20/2011 9:48:33 AM
NO RATINGS
if you have a technical intelligence, very solid background, broad range of skills, not to easy to replace amount experience, still following the "news", you will be always needed. Quite often happens, that after a seminar, where I asked a few question I get a call; "would you be interested to talk to us?" [YOU WOULD NOT SEE, BUT I AM 72]

Jerrysc
User Rank
Manager
re: Age discrimination survey in the engineering workplace
Jerrysc   5/20/2011 2:56:33 AM
NO RATINGS
Engineering college buddy started his own small business and only hired new engineering graduates of his alma mater. Age, per se, was not a consideration, but of course they were invariably 22 to 30. He said they were highly innovative and productive and had not yet developed bad habits. He didnt expect them to stay for more than a couple of years. Lets see --- that was about 50 years ago!

goafrit
User Rank
Manager
re: Age discrimination survey in the engineering workplace
goafrit   5/19/2011 5:45:58 PM
NO RATINGS
Good point. People think that wearing suit is the only promotion.

Neo10
User Rank
Rookie
re: Age discrimination survey in the engineering workplace
Neo10   5/19/2011 2:27:32 AM
NO RATINGS
There is something called "assists" credit in football which is apart from the goals scored by a person. It measures the individuals contribution in totality not just shots on goal. So a similar metric would give a a more accurate value to an employees contribution to the company. This is not really measured in most companies, they just go by plain deliveries/project which is tells just half the story but probably a full story for the youngsters.

LiketoBike
User Rank
CEO
re: Age discrimination survey in the engineering workplace
LiketoBike   5/17/2011 2:49:12 PM
NO RATINGS
Perhaps our experiences (data) are just different. I see the hours issue as a component of (maybe partly an excuse for) age discrimination. And I'm not old enough yet to be overly burdened with this, but I have seen it happen to older colleagues, and am basically trying to prepare. Previous suggestions sum up as: look young, act young, and keep current. Surely we can formulate a stronger strategy; at least I hope so!

ausalan
User Rank
Rookie
re: Age discrimination survey in the engineering workplace
ausalan   5/17/2011 2:08:13 PM
NO RATINGS
Yes, I agree completely that measuring an employees contribution is difficult, but this is not restricted to older versus younger employees. I've had the benefit of working for companies that do recognize the benefits of experience, and pay accordingly. In my industry, those benefits pretty much flatten out after 15-20 years; but some of my peers in the 50+ group think they should continue to earn more and more money each year while expending less effort. Taken by itself, the absolute number of hours worked is important in many ways, but is irrelevant to the topic of age discrimination. Personally, I'm tired of working ~70 hours a week and will be changing jobs within the year. But I don't expect to make as much as I'm making now, and I won't blame age discrimination if that's the case.

LiketoBike
User Rank
CEO
re: Age discrimination survey in the engineering workplace
LiketoBike   5/17/2011 1:18:59 PM
NO RATINGS
Hmm...fewer than how many? Fewer than 70? It's one thing if the older, "less productive" worker puts in 35 hours to the youngster's 50. It's quite another if the older worker puts in 45 or 50 compared to an "expected" 60-70. Sure, a lot of this is cultural. Doesn't mean it's in the company's long-term best interest. Or even that it's morally right. And quite a lot of this is intangible (not like kloc per week or inches of pcb trace per hour). "Actual work output" also consists of application of experience. Much of engineering is a decision tree, so "don't go here" and "do go there" and "these items are missing from this list of tasks", especially when it speeds up a project OR keeps it from going down a rabbit trail, has value - great leveraged value. Not "because I said so" but "been there, done that, and HERE IS THE ANALYSIS" - meaningful metrics for "work output" like that are very hard to generate. In the end, every situation (and person) is different. Facing and dealing with that reality takes more effort than pigeon-holing people into two age brackets.

ausalan
User Rank
Rookie
re: Age discrimination survey in the engineering workplace
ausalan   5/16/2011 11:56:31 PM
NO RATINGS
While there are exceptions and short-term dislocations, common sense dictates that most companies will eventualy revert to paying most of their employees according to the companies' perception of the employees value; otherwise one company could exploit the situation and dominate the industry by assembling a workforce out of laid-off and underpaid workers from other companies. As someone who has worked as a design engineer and manager for almost 30 years, it is clear to me that older workers are usually not the most productive employees on a team (measured by actual work output over the course of year), though they're often the highest paid; I see this happening in myself. What should we expect the company to do in that situation? Unfortunately, in most industries in the U.S., it is culturally unacceptable for a company to reduce the pay of an individual worker to match a declining contribution, so they're laid off instead. I've heard that in some other cultures there is no stigma (nor threat of a lawsuit) attached to having your salary move up and down as you pass through stages in life in which your abilities and commitment to the job naturally vary. Older workers are valued for their experience and maturity, and it's expected that they will work fewer hours and not be given the high-pressure assignments in return for lower pay. By the way, if a company discriminates against you because you're working fewer hours than you used to, it's not age discrimination.

Page 1 / 4   >   >>
More Blogs from Engineering Pop Culture!
This collection of places from technology history, museums, and modern marvels is a roadmap for an engineering adventure that will take you around the world.
A future engineering student gives his advice on making the most of the time-honored tradition of the college visits road trip.
Manufacturing engineer Jeremy Cook discusses a few machine failure problems that seemed complicated at the onset, but were quite simple to solve in the end, and the lessons he learned.
Jeremy Cook's Cigar Box Creepster opens up when triggered with a knock or other sound, then slams back down as if to express “his” annoyance.
How to deal with a meatball of a manager who issues an edict that makes no earthly sense? Ignore it.
Flash Poll
Radio
LATEST ARCHIVED BROADCAST
EE Times editor Junko Yoshida grills two executives --Rick Walker, senior product marketing manager for IoT and home automation for CSR, and Jim Reich, CTO and co-founder at Palatehome.
Like Us on Facebook

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
EE Times on Twitter
EE Times Twitter Feed