Editor’s note: Sean Campbell is CEO, and Isabel Gautschi is marketing assistant, at marketing research firm Cascade Insights, Portland, Ore. This is an edited version of a post that originally appeared under the title, “Tech needs more age diversity.” 

Despite frequent public commitments to diversity, the tech industry isn’t kind to those over age 35.

What’s more, many don’t see a problem with that. Remember when Mark Zuckerberg famously claimed that “young people are just smarter?”

Companies deprive themselves of the benefit of experience when they undervalue hiring and retaining workers who have made it beyond their 20s.

Cascade Insights was recently asked to present our research on ageism by industry. During our study, we analyzed 9.45 million LinkedIn profiles. Our analysis revealed that employees over the age of 35 are in the minority in the tech industry.

Our talk focused on our methodology, data and findings about the rampant ageism in tech. In this post we would like to provide more context for why age discrimination is depriving the industry of a plethora of talented workers and unduly undervaluing some of the sharpest minds in tech.

There is nothing that should limit those over 35 from having a job in tech. In fact, tech is worse off without them.

(We also presented our findings on the gender gap in tech. Check out our defense of women in tech.)

Depriving the industry of talent

Age discrimination is detrimental to valuable members of the workforce.

Companies should not discount the benefit of experience when hiring, acquiring andfunding.

Diversity benefits companies by making them more likely to innovate and raise profits. 

Older workers are more loyal, reducing turnover costs.

 How can we improve age diversity in tech? Here are some ideas.

For all of the above reasons, ageism in tech cannot simply be written off as older workers being less capable than their younger colleagues.