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consider their racist and sexist mindsets. So far, the training seems to be making a bigger difference thanformer initiatives, but the firm has a long way to go. Laszlo Bock, Google’s top HR executive, said, “Suddenly you gofrom being completely oblivious to going, ‘Oh my god, it’s everywhere.’” Critics are skeptical that Googleand other large technology firms will ever count women in their ranks in numbers that reflect thepopulation, though research continues to indicate that men and women are highly similar employees. Once Google hasachieved greater diversity than it currently has, perhaps its executives can begin to work on the paydifferentials: a recent Harvard study indicated that women computer scientists receive 89 percent of thepay men earn for the same jobs.Questions2-15. Does this article change your perception of Google as an employer? How? 2-16. Wouldyou agree that although Google helps to modernize the workplace in other companies, its ownworkforce is old-fashioned? 2-17. Why are older employees often neglected or discriminated against?Case 6Over the past century, the average age of the workforce has increased as medical science has continuedto enhance longevity and vitality. As we discussed in this chapter, many individuals will work past thepreviously established ages of retirement, and the fastest-growing segment of the workforce isindividuals over the age of 55. Unfortunately, older workers face a variety of discriminatory attitudes inthe workplace. Researchers scanned more than 100 publications on age discrimination to determinewhat types of age stereotypes were most prevalent across studies. They found that stereotypes inferredthat older workers are lower performers. Research, on the other hand, indicates they are not, andorganizations are realizing the benefits of this needed employee group. Dale Sweere, HR director forengineering firm Stanley Consultants, is one of the growing number of management professionalsactively recruiting the older workforce. Sweere says older workers “typically hit the ground runningmuch quicker and they fit into the organization well.” They bring to the job a higher skill level earnedthrough years of experience, remember an industry’s history, and know the aging customer base.
Tell that to the older worker who is unemployed. Older workers have long been sought by governmentcontractors, financial firms, and consultants, according to Cornelia Gamlem, president of consulting firmGEMS Group Ltd., and she actively recruits them. However, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reportsthat the average job search for an unemployed worker over age 55 is 56 weeks, versus 38 weeks for therest of the unemployed population. Enter the encore career, a.k.a. unretirement. Increasingly, olderworkers who aren’t finding fulfilling positions are seeking to opt out of traditional roles. After longcareers in the workforce, an increasing number are embracing flexible, work-from-home options such ascustomer service positions. For instance, Olga Howard, 71, signed on as an independent contractor for25–30 hours per week with Arise Virtual Solutions, handling questions for a financial software companyafter her long-term career ended. Others are starting up new businesses. Chris Farrell, author of