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Ageism in Tech.

With the world of tech constantly developing and more opportunities rising for younger generations, we discuss the gap in ages when it comes down to working in this industry, whilst also showing you a handful of successful Founders & CEO's of the tech industry.

It's no secret that the tech industry struggles with diversity, even those who have adopted a diversity initiative can often be overlooked especially when it comes down to age. Employers who discriminate against older workers face the risk of violating the Employment Act, which covers age discrimination and it also protects workers over the age of 40, but despite this law, workers still face 'unconscious' discrimination no matter how old you are.

According to a new study, younger generations like millennials that work for tech companies tend to receive a high proportion of promotions or take on higher level roles. Even though 'older' workers may have stronger performance records - it seems as though a lot of promotions and opportunities for higher roles start to appear less for those over the age of 30.

Not only do the statistics show that it's harder to receive promotions with the more experience you have, it also shows that the average age of workers in the industry are at least five years lower than in non-technical industries - resulting in the 'older' employees being a lot younger than you'd expect.

We decided to look at some successful Founders and CEO's over 30, who break the typical conventions of the 'over 30' stereotype and in fact prove that you're still more than capable of building your career path whenever you feel like it.

Hayden Wood - Bulb

Hayden Wood, former management consultant, is one of the founders for the British energy supplier Bulb. Since their launch in 2015, they have managed to grow rapidly with over 1.5 million customers that represent 5% of the domestic market share.

The business offers 100% renewable electricity from solar, wind and hydro, with their gas being 100% carbon neutral too. They offset the emissions from the gas they supply by supporting carbon reduction projects globally - whilst also being one of the biggest buyers of green gas for homes in the UK, meaning a huge portion of their gas mix comes from renewable sources.

Bulb have even been able to move their co-working office spaces to a larger office in the centre of London to provide enough space for their growing number of employees, which currently sits at more than 1,000.

Back in 2018, Bulb managed to raise £60 million in investment from investors including DST Global and Magnetar - all contributing towards their current revenue of £1.52B.

Romina Savova - PensionBee

Romina Savova started her career in investment banking at Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, she then became the founder and CEO at PensionBee. The company is a pension consolidation tool that allows their customers to manage various different schemes all in one place within the UK.

They've helped thousands of their customers to be pension confident, allowing them to transfer their old pensions into one easy online plan. They have the ability to manage their pension from the palm of their hand - checking their balance, viewing their retirement income, and also setting up contributions and withdrawals online.

After struggling to move her own pension over after changing jobs, she believed that there was an easier way to do so whilst using technology.

"I thought that there must be a way to make pensions simple, and was confident that technology could be used to solve the problem. After a short period of market research, speaking to potential customers, business partners and investors, I took the plunge and founded PensionBee in 2014." - Romina Savova.

William Shu - Deliveroo

Former Morgan Stanley investment banker, Will Shu co-founded online food delivery app Deliveroo back in 2013. Deliveroo aims to bring a wide range of restaurant food into people's homes through it's own network of couriers all from the click of a button from your phone.

Will Shu decided to work as Deliveroo's first ever "rider", picking food up from the restaurants and delivering it to their customers to see how the experience would work for not only them but the couriers too. He continued to ride his scooter around, completing deliveries for six hours a day in order to understand the delivery logistics.

Since their launch, they have grown to be one of the most popular food delivery services within the UK - bringing in revenue of £277 million back in just 2017, with the company being valued at over $2bn. After such a success here in the UK, they spread out globally across 13 different countries.

Georgina Nelson - TruRating

Georgina Nelson was working for Which? as a senior lawyer up until 2013, which was when she realised very few customers were actually giving customer feedback when they were asked - she found it was often impossible to work out whether ratings were coming from real customers.

Upon leaving, Georgina then founded TruRating, raising a total of £15.6 million in funding and opening a brand new office in Atlanta which holds a strong Fin-Tech industry.

TruRating works by flashing up simple feedback questions on the payment terminals used by their customers. The company claims that nine out of ten customers actually complete the feedback, which will allow them to take the data gathered and put it online - providing it's own rival to the likes of Tripadvisor.

"As I talked to businesses it became clear that they were desperate for a way to get reliable feedback representing how the majority of their customers really felt. From the other side, whenever I asked people they said they’d be more than happy to give their views, they simply wanted a quick and easy way to do so. Taking this into account, we set out to build a point-of-sale ratings system that would be fit for all requirements." - Georgina Nelson.

It's clear to see that the stereotype of being over 30 in the tech industry shouldn't hold you back from applying for the roles and taking the promotions - but with the statistics based on age within the tech industry, it needs to be taken into consideration to create the change, especially when the age range is so low in comparison to other industries.

At Talented Recruitment Group, we believe that inclusivity within the workplace is highly important. Since we recruit for the IT & Tech industry, we make sure we take all equality and inclusivity into account every step of the way.

We also thought it was great to see so many female role models like Romina Savova and Georgina Nelson whilst looking into the successful founders & CEO's after discussing female inclusivity in our previous blog post Women In Tech. This is something we hope continues with the future of the Tech & IT industry.

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