IBM Fueled Age Discrimination after Firing A LAKH Employees


International Business Machine Corporation (IBM) is the largest IT Company of the world which is known for consulting, hosting and researching apart from their central business which is to design, produce and sell computers, software, hardware, and related stuff. The company was founded in New York and works in more than 170 countries.

The company IBM usually creates news by registering new patents and designing next-gen machines such as ATM, floppy, hard disk drive, and many more for which it is credited. But this time, there is something new and unexpected. The company has been summoned as they fired 1, 00,000 employees in recent years.

The most sought after IBM is slammed for encouraging age discrimination after firing its experienced and aged employees without giving convincing reasons. That is the reason these ex-employees have sued it. The court has shared the statements where the fired employees have claimed IBM for laying them off because they wanted to hire youngsters in order to appear cool and modern like Amazon and Google Inc.

Most news channels are quoting Alan Wild, who worked at IBM for eight years as vice-president of HR department. He stated in front of the court that the company has “laid off 50,000 to 100,000 employees in just the last several years” – according to a court document.

Responding to Wild’s and many other former workers’ accusations, a spokesman stated that, “the company hires 50,000 employees each year, and spends nearly a half-billion dollars on training our team. We also receive more than 8,000 job applications every day, the highest rate that we’ve ever experienced, so there’s clear excitement about IBM’s strategy and direction for the future”.

We can trust the above statement as it is the largest company having the greatest number of employees, and they do receive these many applications and that the reason they have to replace their staff times, but the fact that they are only dismissing older employees without informing about the cause is something that is troubling these ex-employees.

Many of them are getting stresses and conscious of their aging which is negatively impacting their physical and mental health as they are losing confidence. The World Health Organization 2017 reports–

evidence shows that those who hold negative attitudes on ageing have a slower recovery from disability, live on average 7.5 years less than those who hold positive attitudes and are less likely to be socially integrated. Ageism also imposes barriers to the development of good policies on ageing and health as it influences the way problems are framed, the questions that are asked and the solutions that are offered.”

They would have to look for jobs which are not easy as it was years ago, and how would they appear for interviews with low self-esteem and self-confidence. IBM may have arguments to support their decision of dismissing more than a Lakh aged employees, which not only impacted their physical but mental health as well.

IBM was the top and most discussed company once, but lose ground after the appearance of companies like Google and Amazon guided by youngsters, and that’s the reason the management decided to lay off their workers. They wanted to revamp their old image and wished to appear cool and stylish one similar to its competitors. Atleast the former employees of International Business Machine or Big Blue believe so. According to the statement of one of the former employees, the company started to “correct the seniority mix” in 2014 and told them that the company needs to replace the aged staff with youngsters who “are generally much more innovative and receptive to technology than baby boomers.”

I would have sided the company had they given reasons such as reducing the high pay and additional benefits they have to offer the senior members, instead of saying it was for the reinvention of company image.

We have reinvented IBM in the past five years to target higher-value opportunities for our clients – according to their statement given to the court.

Alan Wild has something else to say though. He, being the vice-president of Human Resources told that the company was facing recruitment problems and that is when IBM decided to reinvent its image as a trendy and cool company instead of “an old fuddy-duddy organization.” After reading the statements of both parties we get a sense that the 108-year-old company did need some change, and they chose to replace the staff.


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