Another Example of Age Discrimination in the Digital Age

EditorialTeam.The Information
Staff at The Information

Is it any wonder that older people are almost invisible in society today, except for their reliance upon adult diapers, anti-depressants and “Help! I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up!”  buttons?

The Information, a New York-based technology web site and magazine start-up,  has rolled out a new subscription plan for people aged 30 and under.

The “Young Professional Plan” offers a discounted rate to the magazine, and a low-cost “all-access plan” and the opportunity to join “a Facebook group only for people 30 and under.”

CEO Jessica E. Lessin, who founded the magazine in 2013, said the plan is “designed to serve people who are early in their careers and haven’t reached their earning potential and are looking for events where they can meet people from outside their own companies.” Lessin is described as a former Wall Street Journal writer “with family money.”

How would Ms. Lessin feel about a networking opportunity for only male professionals?

Did it even occur to Ms. Lessin that the “Young Professional Plan” is ageist.  You can be any age and start out in a career in advertising, earn less than your peak potential, and desire to meet people from outside your own company.

Not so long ago, when I began my career as a journalist in the dark ages, one of my first assignments as a staff reporter at The Hartford Courant was to cover a speech by Homer Babbidge, then a candidate for governor of CT.  The event was staged at The Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic, Ct. by the Newcomen Society, a non-profit educational society that, it turned out, was all male.

I was told I could not enter the big white tent to cover the gubernatorial candidate’s speech because the event was male-only.

I can convey many instances through the years where I encountered male-only opportunities and sexual harassment that limited my career opportunities. In fact, Ms. Lessin might be interested to know that courageous women in my generation made it possible for  young women like herself to pursue  career opportunities without regard to gender.

One day, sooner than she thinks, Ms. Lessin will be in her mid-40s and wondering where the magic went. (BTW – women start to suffer serious age discrimination in their mid-40s.) She’ll have herself to blame.

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