Older but as competent as any young worker

Madam Ivy Lim was hired by LogRhythm in March as a telesales executive and quickly became the company's best-performing telesales employee in the region.
Madam Ivy Lim was hired by LogRhythm in March as a telesales executive and quickly became the company's best-performing telesales employee in the region.PHOTO: ALICIA CHAN FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Many people would have been inspired by the story of 63-year-old Madam Ivy Lim (Moving into a job in cyber security at 63, July 24).

She successfully joined a security intelligence and analytics software firm LogRhythm and even became its best-performing telesales executive in the region.

The technological industry is a relatively new and fast-paced industry and it requires skills which older people may not necessarily have to remain competitive.

This makes the tech sector unpopular among older workers as they may have to acquire new skills that take time and effort to learn.

Also, employees in tech companies tend to be younger, making it more difficult for older workers to fit in the working culture. Tech companies probably also prefer younger employees for the same reasons.

Many employers have this irrational perception that older workers are less competent than their younger counterparts.

Older workers are often thought to be slower and harder to train. However, Madam Lim's exemplary work performance has proven otherwise.

She is a prime example of how age is not what is holding older workers back.

Companies, especially tech ones, should not discriminate against job applicants and employees based on their age.

I hope that more employers can embrace and appreciate older workers for their efforts and qualifications, and give them the opportunity to actively contribute to the economy and support their families financially.

Leung Zhi Ying (Miss)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 28, 2017, with the headline 'Older but as competent as any young worker'. Print Edition | Subscribe