Quoted: Silicon Valley’s ageism

“Hey, I’m forty years old and I have to get in front of a board of fresh-faced kids. I can’t look like I have a wife and two-point-five kids and a mortgage.”

— Dr. Seth Matarasso, San Francisco-based cosmetic surgeon,  describing to the New Republic how his clientele has shifted from middle-aged women to younger — think 20s, 30s and 40s — male tech workers. Silicon Valley is obsessed with youth, the article says, dubbing it among the most ageist places in America. “In talking to dozens of people around Silicon Valley over the past eight months — engineers, entrepreneurs, moneymen, uncomfortably inquisitive cosmetic surgeons — I got the distinct sense that it’s better to be perceived as naïve and immature than to have voted in the 1980s,”  writes Noam Scheiber, as he chronicles the complaints of a host of tech industry veterans who say they’re treated as over-the-hill after the age of 32.


At top, 20-somethings work at a “hacker house” in Mountain View.  (LiPo Ching /Bay Area News Group file photo)


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  • LoveYourDNA

    They may be smart and innovative, but lack maturity. I’m over working with a bunch of entitled brats. Remember this: it goes by very fast and YOU will be sitting on the other side of that high and mighty desk wondering why the new up-and-coming youngster won’t give you a break…

  • wgroth2

    Completely agree that there is ageism. I have been in the valley since my mid 20s, and am now late 40s. In hiring, ageism is a real, if unprovable, threat, and it hangs over everyone who is near middle aged. It is vastly more pronounced in startups than large companies. It is often couched in terms of questions, like “Will the candidate have enough energy?”.

  • Fred Stanley

    Nothing has changed in the valley probably since the ’70s companies can always find someone to move here and work their tail off, some make out, a lot don’t.