Which industries come to mind when you think about age discrimination? Professions such as model or athlete probably come to mind. These jobs revolve around youth and are not reflective of regular occupations open to all types of people.

The sector that faces the most age discrimination is the tech industry, reports Business Insider. At first, you may think this makes sense because technology is ever-changing and the current generation is the most adept at working with technology. However, a study by Visier shows that there is more than meets the eye.

What is age discrimination?

Before looking at the study results, it is important to first understand what qualifies as age discrimination. This happens when employers favor those below 40 years of age despite older employees having equal or greater skills and experience. Favoritism may show in hires, promotions, raises, perks and job retention.

Ageism in the tech world

Middle-aged workers actually make up slightly more of the workforce in tech than millennials do, yet the percentage of middle-aged employees in non-tech jobs is even higher. Baby boomers in tech comprise less than half of employees than they do outside of tech. Also, both those in management positions and beneath tend to be five years younger than their counterparts in other occupations.

However, the reason for this is not performance issues with the older population. On the contrary, older tech workers have higher performance reviews than their peers in non-tech positions, whose reviews decline with age. Despite their high ratings and maturity, older workers have lower promotion rates than younger workers do, and tech companies do not hire as many older workers as they do younger workers.

In some cases, experience works against employees, as new, young hires are less expensive to pay. Sometimes, specific positions cater to the interests and skills of each age group. Whatever the reason, age discrimination is illegal and eligible for taking legal action against offending employers.