If you've applied for a job recently, you've probably seen one of those online résumé or CV builder tools that allow applicants to create a quick online résumé or CV. Recently a job seeker in the United States was looking for work. On a question asking when he'd graduated or gotten his first professional job, he clicked on the drop-down list to find he was unable to answer.
The years offered in the drop-down list only went back as far as 1980.
The man was 70 years old and would have graduated or gotten his first professional job around 1967—more than a decade before the 1980 cutoff. The application process automatically excluded any applicant over the age of 52 years old.
How did this happen? Was this age discrimination—an intentional decision to exclude people 50 years old or older from the pool of applicants? Or was it an unintentional oversight (a blind spot) by the development team?
If it was a mistake, then there is a good chance that unconscious bias played a part in the choices the developing team made while creating this résumé builder. It may not have occurred to them that a 70-year-old person, or even a 55-year-old person, might be looking for a job! Perhaps the developers had a preconceived idea of what a typical job hunter looks like and based the drop-down list on their own experience or what was familiar to them. Or maybe the developers were on a tight deadline and working quickly and they didn't take the time to think about all of the potential applicants.