I was highly disappointed and saddened to find this new negative venture from LinkedIn! While I have the greatest respect for leaders included in this list I find it very upsetting that there is age discrimination involved. I am a very strong advocate of equality. Why should there be an age component attached to leadership? What message are we sending to our society? That only people under the age of 35 can innovate and lead successful companies? When LinkedIn started, we all joined in to find connections, jobs, share our expertise and knowledge, form networks, and use it as a platform to share our voice with regard to issues that matter most in our fields and society. I never thought it would lead to our information being used to discriminate about our age!
Yesterday, I had a conversation with one of my great colleagues. When it comes to the biotechnology/pharmaceutical industry he is as accomplished and savvy as it gets. I have the outmost respect and appreciation for his expertise and many years of top notch experience in my filed. He was telling me that he, as I have heard from many other colleagues, is deeply disappointed in the way the employee selection in our industry is progressing for the past decade. He said that there is a lot of resistance toward hiring older employees at work. If you go through an extensive interview process and have all the qualifications necessary for a position, over 90 percent of the times you can be sure that a younger candidate gets selected over the older one. Why we discussed? Many theories came to our mind and we discussed the topic extensively. Whatever the underlying reason, I strongly believed that discriminations, including age discrimination is a very negative trend and something I strongly oppose. In my opinion, this new project from LinkedIn is sending the wrong message to our society. I am a very strong believer that innovation, professionalism, top expertise and great leadership are qualities that have nothing to do with age and everything to do with hard work, dedication, and selflessness. Furthermore, I believe that our great accomplishments and achievements in life are somewhat personal in nature and not a subject to brag about. Are we (or in this case LinkedIn) trying to prove something to ourselves or to our colleagues?
I do not wish to receive this list any longer from LinkedIn and strongly recommend that LinkedIn discontinues this controversial project. If you agree with me please write to LinkedIn and oppose this movement.
Hope (Arezou) Azarani
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