SERVING THE QUANTITATIVE FINANCE COMMUNITY

AlanB
Topic Author
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Joined: July 14th, 2002, 3:00 am

### How Real Is Age Discrimination In "Quant-Land"?

Has anyone experienced overt discrimination - not only in searching for a job, but at one's current position? What form did it take? How does one resolve the issue? This is asked by way of performing a survey
Last edited by AlanB on June 20th, 2005, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SierpinskyJanitor
Posts: 1069
Joined: March 29th, 2005, 12:55 pm

### How Real Is Age Discrimination In "Quant-Land"?

shooting rampage.... always works!

migalley
Posts: 3696
Joined: June 13th, 2005, 10:54 am

### How Real Is Age Discrimination In "Quant-Land"?

QuoteOriginally posted by: SierpinskyJanitorshooting rampage.... always works!I think that impaling them would focus their minds better. With a shooting rampage, some of them would have a quick exit, but impaling (properly done) would ensure a slow and lingering death. hehehe! I'm sure that almost everybody has come up against age-discrimination during their careers. Be it because they're too young or too old.But it is often hidden by utilising experience (lack or surfeit of) as a substitute for age. Or even that they couldn't possible pay somebody of your age $X when the average is 20X (even if you are only earning X/2 when you apply and it obviously makes sense to apply for$X!).

Theguru
Posts: 31
Joined: April 14th, 2005, 8:48 am

### How Real Is Age Discrimination In "Quant-Land"?

I have the same question...I'm 30 attending an MSC...at the end I'm 31....and ...worst...I'm in europe!!!
Last edited by Theguru on June 20th, 2005, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

DominicConnor
Posts: 11684
Joined: July 14th, 2002, 3:00 am

### How Real Is Age Discrimination In "Quant-Land"?

Given that it's illegal in many countries, and most firms have some wooly "embracing diversity" policy, I'd be surprised to see much in the way of explicit bias.We do see job specifications where they say 3-5 years experience. Is that discrimination ?A question that hurts older candidates, even when it's not asked is "if you're so good, why haven't you reached a more senior position by now ?"Actually the worst questions are very often the ones you're not asked.There has also been qualification inflation over the last 10 years. Now it's harder to get a starter job with a first degree, some employers specify you must have a PhD or at least MSc. If you started duting the times when a BSc would do, then you have an issue.Some HH's and some HR's over compensate for the feelings of the manager you may be working for. Most managers, certainly the good ones care about what you can do. However a few get uncomfortable about having a more experienced person working for them. Since it's difficult to actually ask that question, the HR/HH's will over compensate, and simply filter older people out, even when the manager simply does not care.HR/HH's don't want to cause "embarassment" in this way, and it's no skin off their nose if good people get lost because their processes are often so bad that good people get lost randomly anyway.There is a fashion for short CVs. This can lead to over-compression, and of course hurts people who've done more.I hate short CVs, but that's the way it is.The trick I suppose is to to sell what you are.If you've done a lot of stuff, and that has aged you (certainly aged me), then say it.

SierpinskyJanitor
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Joined: March 29th, 2005, 12:55 pm

### How Real Is Age Discrimination In "Quant-Land"?

theguru, don´t be like that man! I am also 31, have only two Mscs, and still managed my first job as a quant-developer ...

migalley
Posts: 3696
Joined: June 13th, 2005, 10:54 am

### How Real Is Age Discrimination In "Quant-Land"?

QuoteOriginally posted by: DCFCGiven that it's illegal in many countries, and most firms have some wooly "embracing diversity" policy, I'd be surprised to see much in the way of explicit bias.We do see job specifications where they say 3-5 years experience. Is that discrimination ?A question that hurts older candidates, even when it's not asked is "if you're so good, why haven't you reached a more senior position by now ?"Actually the worst questions are very often the ones you're not asked.There has also been qualification inflation over the last 10 years. Now it's harder to get a starter job with a first degree, some employers specify you must have a PhD or at least MSc. If you started duting the times when a BSc would do, then you have an issue.Some HH's and some HR's over compensate for the feelings of the manager you may be working for. Most managers, certainly the good ones care about what you can do. However a few get uncomfortable about having a more experienced person working for them. Since it's difficult to actually ask that question, the HR/HH's will over compensate, and simply filter older people out, even when the manager simply does not care.HR/HH's don't want to cause "embarassment" in this way, and it's no skin off their nose if good people get lost because their processes are often so bad that good people get lost randomly anyway.There is a fashion for short CVs. This can lead to over-compression, and of course hurts people who've done more.I hate short CVs, but that's the way it is.The trick I suppose is to to sell what you are.If you've done a lot of stuff, and that has aged you (certainly aged me), then say it.A very good post.Yes it's true that if you are of a certain age, then it is expected that you will have been CEO of GE twice over. A totally unrealistic mindset. Not everyone wants to be Jack Welch or similar.Another element of discrimination I have come across is that having a PhD is believed to make you cleverer, and if you don't have one you are somehow kind of dumb. In fact, a person without a PhD could be no different in intelligence to a person with a PhD, but the reason he hasn't got a PhD is ONLY because he didn't want to do one.

AlanB
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Joined: July 14th, 2002, 3:00 am

### How Real Is Age Discrimination In "Quant-Land"?

QuoteOriginally posted by: migalleyQuoteAnother element of discrimination I have come across is that having a PhD is believed to make you cleverer, and if you don't have one you are somehow kind of dumb. In fact, a person without a PhD could be no different in intelligence to a person with a PhD, but the reason he hasn't got a PhD is ONLY because he didn't want to do one."Yes it's true that if you are of a certain age, then it is expected that you will have been CEO of GE twice over. A totally unrealistic mindset. Not everyone wants to be Jack Welch or similar."Excellent observation!!With all due respect, although you make a very good points, I'd like to stick to the topic of age discrimination. Thanks.
Last edited by AlanB on June 20th, 2005, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

AlanB
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Joined: July 14th, 2002, 3:00 am

### How Real Is Age Discrimination In "Quant-Land"?

I think I mentioned under another topic - I still think I should form a consulting firm where I'll only hire those who are considered "old" and run rings around the younger, less experienced types.
Last edited by AlanB on June 20th, 2005, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SierpinskyJanitor
Posts: 1069
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### How Real Is Age Discrimination In "Quant-Land"?

you find plenty of those already!
Last edited by SierpinskyJanitor on June 20th, 2005, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

AlanB
Topic Author
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Joined: July 14th, 2002, 3:00 am

### How Real Is Age Discrimination In "Quant-Land"?

QuoteOriginally posted by: SierpinskyJanitoryou find plenty of those already!In the U.S.?

migalley
Posts: 3696
Joined: June 13th, 2005, 10:54 am

### How Real Is Age Discrimination In "Quant-Land"?

QuoteOriginally posted by: SierpinskyJanitoryou find plenty of those already!What I've always wanted to do...flower arranging!

SierpinskyJanitor
Posts: 1069
Joined: March 29th, 2005, 12:55 pm

### How Real Is Age Discrimination In "Quant-Land"?

you can always suggest your own senior-citizen quantitative branch in any one of these recruitment agencies! I imagine the add: "Extremely savvy ADA developer! At least 3-5 (decades) of hard-real time development expertise under mild coma. Key skills: stochastic pre-calculus, Strotanovich DE, analytical solution to PDEs, Theory of fluxions (Newtonian differentials). Highly driven person (wheelchair included). Contact ASAHP, as soon as humanly possible."
Last edited by SierpinskyJanitor on June 20th, 2005, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

migalley
Posts: 3696
Joined: June 13th, 2005, 10:54 am

### How Real Is Age Discrimination In "Quant-Land"?

QuoteOriginally posted by: SierpinskyJanitoryou can always suggest your own senior-citizen quantitative branch in any one of these recruitment agencies! I imagine the add: "Extremely savvy ADA developer! At least 3-5 (decades) of hard-real time development expertise under mild coma. Key skills: stochastic pre-calculus, Strotanovich DE, analytical solution to PDEs, Theory of fluxions (Newtonian differentials). Highly driven person (wheelchair included). Contact ASAHP, as soon as humanly possible."That's me to a tee. Apart from the ADA which I learnt and promptly forgot back in 1980 or thereabouts. Ho Ho Ho!!!But the wheelchair sounds far too modern for me. I prefer an old fashioned bath chair.

SierpinskyJanitor
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Joined: March 29th, 2005, 12:55 pm

### How Real Is Age Discrimination In "Quant-Land"?

Speaking of which, it seems I have reached my seniority in this cool forum. Thanks.