Canadian Political Events

Beyond Politics => General Discussion => Topic started by: MH on March 23, 2018, 07:12:06 am

Title: Age Discrimination at IBM
Post by: MH on March 23, 2018, 07:12:06 am
https://features.propublica.org/ibm/ibm-age-discrimination-american-workers/

This is a very long piece but I leave it for your comments.  I will likely read it piecemeal over the next while.  As a middle-aged manager of many millennials I am a little nervous to read it.
Title: Re: Age Discrimination at IBM
Post by: wilber on March 23, 2018, 10:28:21 am
https://features.propublica.org/ibm/ibm-age-discrimination-american-workers/

This is a very long piece but I leave it for your comments.  I will likely read it piecemeal over the next while.  As a middle-aged manager of many millennials I am a little nervous to read it.

Depressing. Wonder how old were the people doing the firing and what this reputation will for their recruitment.
Title: Re: Age Discrimination at IBM
Post by: MH on March 23, 2018, 10:33:49 am
My experience tells me that poorly managed companies are more ageist than well-managed ones.

The best managed company I ever worked for had uneducated 20 year olds working alongside 50-somethings with advanced degrees.  People who are capable tend to ignore things like age, race and sex in my experience.  They focus on ability.

Diversity is a result of maintaining a culture of excellence and recruiting from a diverse pool. 
Title: Re: Age Discrimination at IBM
Post by: Goddess on March 23, 2018, 11:11:08 am

Diversity is a result of maintaining a culture of excellence and recruiting from a diverse pool.

I like that definition better than Trudeau's.
Title: Re: Age Discrimination at IBM
Post by: TimG on March 23, 2018, 11:24:41 am
Every large company I have worked with has frozen hiring in high cost countries and only allow new people to be added in locations in cheaper locals.

When an onshore product team loses enough people due to retirement and/or job switching the entire product line is shipped overseas.

Nothing can be done to stop this. It is happening in Europe with robust worker protection laws and in Canada and the US.

The only thing that will stop this shift is a change in the cost structure. i.e. the cost of living has to come down in high cost countries but that will take decades with all of the vested interests.
Title: Re: Age Discrimination at IBM
Post by: MH on March 23, 2018, 11:32:36 am
Gartner declared IT offshoring dead in 2013.  That really means it had reached it's limit.

The adjustments you mentioned are overstated but some are happening.
Title: Re: Age Discrimination at IBM
Post by: TimG on March 23, 2018, 11:36:20 am
Gartner declared IT offshoring dead in 2013.  That really means it had reached it's limit.
Nope. It restarted after a lull.
Title: Re: Age Discrimination at IBM
Post by: MH on March 23, 2018, 11:51:48 am
Really.  I wonder why.
Title: Re: Age Discrimination at IBM
Post by: TimG on March 23, 2018, 12:00:48 pm
Really.  I wonder why.
Cost and the skills of offshore teams have increased (in some cases they are better than the US based team they replaced). Also, the lack of skilled people in the right locations pushes companies offshore.
Title: Re: Age Discrimination at IBM
Post by: BC_cheque on March 23, 2018, 12:15:51 pm
I have a friend working at Amazon making 200K/year and he seems to be oblivious to the fact that in the tech sector, everyone is a shooting star.  As bad as this is to say, it's like modelling, people will make a lot of cash but they should invest wisely because the tap turns off quickly. 

Very few professions still compensate seniority.  Teaching and accounting are the only two I can think of off the top of my head but even there, the expiry date may not be 40 but it does get to a point of diminishing returns around 60.

On top of it, I read an article recently: "100 is the 80, Are You Financially Prepared For Retirement?" 

All the way around depressing.
Title: Re: Age Discrimination at IBM
Post by: SirJohn on March 23, 2018, 12:46:18 pm
Didn't I recently post the story from someone's column about a longtime Liberal who applied for a job as a staffer with the party and was turned down because he was too old? He met with a Liberal MP who he described as 'brilliant' who frankly admitted he himself would never be hired because he was over forty.
Title: Re: Age Discrimination at IBM
Post by: wilber on March 23, 2018, 01:00:01 pm
Could Loganís Run become a reality?
Title: Re: Age Discrimination at IBM
Post by: SirJohn on March 23, 2018, 01:01:37 pm
Could Loganís Run become a reality?

I'm sure Trudeau will fling himself into a beam of laser light as soon as he's not cute any more.
Title: Re: Age Discrimination at IBM
Post by: MH on March 23, 2018, 02:30:57 pm
Cost and the skills of offshore teams have increased (in some cases they are better than the US based team they replaced). Also, the lack of skilled people in the right locations pushes companies offshore.

Yes ... that explains offshoring but not why it would start again after a lull.  They are hiring everywhere in IT now, mainframe people onshore too, which is what I was.
Title: Re: Age Discrimination at IBM
Post by: TimG on March 23, 2018, 02:48:24 pm
Yes ... that explains offshoring but not why it would start again after a lull.  They are hiring everywhere in IT now, mainframe people onshore too, which is what I was.
2008 caused companies to retrench and  avoid risks like offshoring. The economy recovers and companies start offshoring again. The difference is this time they are much more selective about what goes overseas. IT providing support to local teams stays. Maintaining product s/w and testing goes offshore.
Title: Re: Age Discrimination at IBM
Post by: MH on March 23, 2018, 03:09:33 pm
2008 caused companies to retrench and  avoid risks like offshoring. The economy recovers and companies start offshoring again. The difference is this time they are much more selective about what goes overseas. IT providing support to local teams stays. Maintaining product s/w and testing goes offshore.

Right but I read that report in 2013.  I'll admit that I probably took it too seriously, because it's Gartner, and assumed it was done as an increasing trend.  But it was 5 years after 2008.  I will check again.

Also - IT isn't just coders, and IT support.  Testing can also stay onshore but outside corporate.  Our testers are work-at-home types outside Toronto.
Title: Re: Age Discrimination at IBM
Post by: ?Impact on March 23, 2018, 03:14:23 pm
Just to throw things on a tangent concerning offshoring. Trump's latest round of tariff rants is based on China (and others, but directed at China) stealing intellectual property. Is that not one of the dangers of offshoring? The "savings" have come home to haunt us.
Title: Re: Age Discrimination at IBM
Post by: MH on March 23, 2018, 03:27:00 pm
I don't know how much of a threat stealing IP  from offshoring really is.

The big 4 are: Google Apple Facebook Amazon.  How much of their IP can be stolen ?  They own cloud services that come from their brand/URL.

I can't find anything to say what has happened since 2012/2013 with offshoring.  This article seems to say it's a negligible trend, but it's kind of a pop journalism piece:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/modeledbehavior/2018/02/25/the-world-loves-a-scary-labor-market-story/#7e04b989f30d

The Gartner report was significant, but from the articles I have found it seems like there was a big drop around 2012-2013 and that seems to have triggered the 'offshoring is dead' meme.  Banks are still offshoring new work, but they are perhaps the slowest lumbering dinosaurs in the Canadian economy next to the government which obviously would never offshore anything for political reasons.
Title: Re: Age Discrimination at IBM
Post by: MH on March 23, 2018, 03:29:23 pm
This:

https://customerthink.com/face-up-innovations-with-information-technology-outsourcing-trends-in-2018/

Points out that agile and light-methodology development is still rising, and I have seen that.  What the methodology needs is business-savvy, and nearshore people who can talk to business.  Advantage: North Americans.
Title: Re: Age Discrimination at IBM
Post by: waldo on March 23, 2018, 05:22:48 pm
As a middle-aged manager of many millennials I am a little nervous to read it.

as a 'more mature' contractor, aren't you in the cat-bird seat? I've caught a few of your past posts that seemed to suggest your current employer needed a grey-beard to keep an eye on their lil'pups. Of course you're aware most employers creatively play the 'right-sizing' game to... replace expensive long-term loyalty with less expensive pups fresh out of school... where new hire creativity rises to, as can be managed, reductions in benes.

these new pups have no ingrained loyalty - working for the singleEmployerMan for 25-35 years isn't in their wheelhouse. Besides, in the IT world you speak to, many of the developer-pups are so socially inept that they play right into 18+ hour cubicle shuttering - how dickensian! So, as I said, there's a real niche market for managing nannies - you're in demand! 
Title: Re: Age Discrimination at IBM
Post by: MH on March 23, 2018, 06:10:01 pm
as a 'more mature' contractor, aren't you in the cat-bird seat? I've caught a few of your past posts that seemed to suggest your current employer needed a grey-beard to keep an eye on their lil'pups. Of course you're aware most employers creatively play the 'right-sizing' game to... replace expensive long-term loyalty with less expensive pups fresh out of school... where new hire creativity rises to, as can be managed, reductions in benes.

Well... there are a lot of forces at play.

Macro:
-I'm in the startup game now, so it's about getting money, making some money, then selling the company to Google or Amazon
-Even if offshoring is a thing, the world economy is doing what globalization promised.  Our company is sending money all over the world and getting money from all over the world.

Medcro:
-Toronto is expensive and still short of IT workers. 

Micro:
-I am old but young-ish.  Young people like me, and I like them.  I am a great listener and good at fostering collaboration.
-I can't be replaced by young people because they don't have the wisdom I have.  I mentor young people.
-You will never be fired if you are irreplaceable

That said, I am sick of the contractor game and for personal reasons I may release on here I'm going full-time again (I hope) by May or June.  I am asking for a 30% raise over my last full-time job and 4w vacation. 

Don't be jealous.  I am slaving away and getting beat up everyday.  I need this money so I can - gasp - try to buy a home in Toronto for the first time.  Wish me luck.

Quote
these new pups have no ingrained loyalty - working for the singleEmployerMan for 25-35 years isn't in their wheelhouse. Besides, in the IT world you speak to, many of the developer-pups are so socially inept that they play right into 18+ hour cubicle shuttering - how dickensian! So, as I said, there's a real niche market for managing nannies - you're in demand!

The pups I work with have never worked for a company that's been around even 5 years.  They work crazy hours, and are amazingly bright and adaptive.    We don't have cubicles but looong tables, which is exactly how offices worked in Dickens' time.  We also have comfy couches, fridges and cupboards loaded with snacks and a gorgeous lake view from the 15th floor.  And Ping Pong.
Title: Re: Age Discrimination at IBM
Post by: TimG on March 23, 2018, 06:14:20 pm
the government which obviously would never offshore anything for political reasons.
Many large Canadian government IT projects are developed offshore because the cost is too prohibitive to do them in Canada.
Title: Re: Age Discrimination at IBM
Post by: MH on March 23, 2018, 06:19:45 pm
Many large Canadian government IT projects are developed offshore because the cost is too prohibitive to do them in Canada.

 :o ???

I am a little stunned.  The CBC - who rakes the banks over the coals for offshoring - hasn't said a peep about this ?  Let me check....

Nope didn't find anything. 
Title: Re: Age Discrimination at IBM
Post by: TimG on March 23, 2018, 06:25:22 pm
I am a little stunned.  The CBC - who rakes the banks over the coals for offshoring - hasn't said a peep about this ?  Let me check....
It is laundered through IT service contractors (like IBM) who bid on the work. There is always a local team which interacts with the government people and does some of the work but a large chunk of the work is done in India. Pick any government IT project done in the last 10 years and I would bet offshore workers are involved.

Keep in mind government officials are often faced with a choice of do nothing or offshore. There is rarely budget for a complete onshore team but a few really sensitive DOD or CRA projects might qualify for that kind of money.

Lastly, there is a huge difference between firing in house workers so their jobs can be done offshore which is what the banks did and hiring an IT services company to complete a project with offshore labour.
Title: Re: Age Discrimination at IBM
Post by: Gorgeous Graham on March 23, 2018, 06:33:14 pm
My experience tells me that poorly managed companies are more ageist than well-managed ones.

The best managed company I ever worked for had uneducated 20 year olds working alongside 50-somethings with advanced degrees.  People who are capable tend to ignore things like age, race and sex in my experience.  They focus on ability.

Diversity is a result of maintaining a culture of excellence and recruiting from a diverse pool.

IMO, diversity of abilities is far more important in most workplace than diversity based on things like sex/age/country of origin etc.  It's invaluable to have different people with different strengths to bring to the table.  You can have 5 employees all doing the same job working on the same project, but with different talents/strengths and having those recognized and taken advantage of you can create some amazing things, everyone will look at a problem and have different great ideas to bring to the table that will add up to success.

Diversity based on gender/race etc. can be valuable as well because different groups see the world through a different lens and bring those different perspectives to the table, but that would depend on the type of work too.  ie:  having group diversity within a  roadwork crew isn't going to have much benefits compared to in an HR office.
Title: Re: Age Discrimination at IBM
Post by: Gorgeous Graham on March 23, 2018, 06:39:25 pm
The thing with a tech company is that age can play a huge part.  I don't work in the tech field but in my workplace I noticed younger people are more tech-savy, able to pick up new software and hardware quicker, sometimes far quicker, are able to generally type faster etc.  Millennial grew up with computers in the home their whole lives and were typing at a very young age & computers were a fundamental part of their schooling unlike previous generations.  To millennials, touch-typing is like walking to them, for older generations a lot still type with 2 fingers.

edit:  that doesn't mean people should be blankly prejudiced & discriminated against based on their age.  If you're 50 and as tech savvy as a 25 y/o then age should be no factor.
Title: Re: Age Discrimination at IBM
Post by: kimmy on March 24, 2018, 11:04:43 am
these new pups have no ingrained loyalty - working for the singleEmployerMan for 25-35 years isn't in their wheelhouse.

This goes both ways.  The days of spending 25-35 years with a single employer are over, and everyone knows it.  Young workers know that  they'll be the first to be let to if the employer needs to cut costs or finds a cheaper way to replace them.  In the SuperGlobalEconomicMeltdown of 10 years ago, it was disproportionately millennials who were on the receiving end of downsizing (alongside with older workers who opted for early retirement packages, a luxury most millennial workers will never have.) In a job market where precariousness and instability are the norm, knowing when to jump ship is a survival trait.

Complaining about the lack of loyalty from young workers seems to indicate a lack of understanding.  Many of them would probably be delighted to trade the so-called freedom for the security of a 25-35 year career with an employer, except that they know that such a thing simply doesn't exist.

 -k
Title: Re: Age Discrimination at IBM
Post by: SirJohn on March 24, 2018, 11:12:45 am
Complaining about the lack of loyalty from young workers seems to indicate a lack of understanding.  Many of them would probably be delighted to trade the so-called freedom for the security of a 25-35 year career with an employer, except that they know that such a thing simply doesn't exist.

 -k

It does for anyone working for the government. When was the last time you heard of municipal, provincial or federal workers laid off in any substantial numbers? Not to mention teachers.
Title: Re: Age Discrimination at IBM
Post by: waldo on March 24, 2018, 11:36:16 am
these new pups have no ingrained loyalty - working for the singleEmployerMan for 25-35 years isn't in their wheelhouse. Besides, in the IT world you speak to, many of the developer-pups are so socially inept that they play right into 18+ hour cubicle shuttering - how dickensian!
Complaining about the lack of loyalty from young workers seems to indicate a lack of understanding.  Many of them would probably be delighted to trade the so-called freedom for the security of a 25-35 year career with an employer, except that they know that such a thing simply doesn't exist.

uhhh... where the complaint? No - I understand quite well; your expressed "long-term single employer security" doesn't rank highly, at all... pups today are typically resume hounds - a new(er) version of (perceived) enhanced security. Apparently (excluding contracting), there's a view that a resume presenting a long employer list over a relatively short time-frame is an expression of resiliency, drive, a thirst for knowledge, etc., versus a lack of commitment.
Title: Re: Age Discrimination at IBM
Post by: MH on March 24, 2018, 02:36:08 pm
It is laundered through IT service contractors (like IBM) who bid on the work. There is always a local team which interacts with the government people and does some of the work but a large chunk of the work is done in India. Pick any government IT project done in the last 10 years and I would bet offshore workers are involved.

Well, yes.  That checks out.

Quote
Keep in mind government officials are often faced with a choice of do nothing or offshore. There is rarely budget for a complete onshore team but a few really sensitive DOD or CRA projects might qualify for that kind of money.

Ok.

Quote
Lastly, there is a huge difference between firing in house workers so their jobs can be done offshore which is what the banks did and hiring an IT services company to complete a project with offshore labour.

Also makes sense.

I usually don't reply when I agree with/understand a post but this thread has a lot of technical explanations so I wanted to acknowledge your post.
Title: Re: Age Discrimination at IBM
Post by: MH on March 24, 2018, 02:38:20 pm
IMO, diversity of abilities is far more important in most workplace than diversity based on things like sex/age/country of origin etc.  It's invaluable to have different people with different strengths to bring to the table.  You can have 5 employees all doing the same job working on the same project, but with different talents/strengths and having those recognized and taken advantage of you can create some amazing things, everyone will look at a problem and have different great ideas to bring to the table that will add up to success.

Sure, but you won't get that insight until someone has been on the ground for awhile.

Quote
Diversity based on gender/race etc. can be valuable as well because different groups see the world through a different lens and bring those different perspectives to the table, but that would depend on the type of work too.  ie:  having group diversity within a  roadwork crew isn't going to have much benefits compared to in an HR office.

There's not really much value other than it shows your firm doesn't limit hiring and it opens up the pool of opportunities you can pick from.  My industry is different in that we are always very much looking for people and can't find them.  It's not like the proverbial new Walmart that has 1,500 people who apply to be a door greeter.
Title: Re: Age Discrimination at IBM
Post by: MH on March 24, 2018, 02:39:44 pm
The thing with a tech company is that age can play a huge part.  I don't work in the tech field but in my workplace I noticed younger people are more tech-savy, able to pick up new software and hardware quicker, sometimes far quicker, are able to generally type faster etc.  Millennial grew up with computers in the home their whole lives and were typing at a very young age & computers were a fundamental part of their schooling unlike previous generations.  To millennials, touch-typing is like walking to them, for older generations a lot still type with 2 fingers.

Its a mix.  In my experience good people want to learn from the experiences the others have.  It's about creating a strong team with complimentary skills, a variety of experience and youth and so on.
Title: Re: Age Discrimination at IBM
Post by: MH on March 24, 2018, 02:41:03 pm
It does for anyone working for the government. When was the last time you heard of municipal, provincial or federal workers laid off in any substantial numbers? Not to mention teachers.

Right.  And so their security becomes a special hell which is lack of mobility. 

 
Title: Re: Age Discrimination at IBM
Post by: SirJohn on March 24, 2018, 06:25:02 pm
Right.  And so their security becomes a special hell which is lack of mobility.

Not necessarily. I know people who have bounced around throughout the government, from one department to another to another.
Title: Re: Age Discrimination at IBM
Post by: MH on March 24, 2018, 07:06:07 pm
Not necessarily. I know people who have bounced around throughout the government, from one department to another to another.

I never thought of that.  I only have experience with teachers and with civil servants in small towns with no option of moving, so you are correct.
Title: Re: Age Discrimination at IBM
Post by: Gorgeous Graham on March 24, 2018, 08:18:00 pm
It's not like the proverbial new Walmart that has 1,500 people who apply to be a door greeter.

You mean security guard. heh heh
Title: Re: Age Discrimination at IBM
Post by: MH on March 25, 2018, 07:02:07 am
You mean security guard. heh heh

?  I don't get it.  I want to get it.