Of course ageism is a fact. Corporations don't value people with corporate history or acquired knowledge. They only see you as a large expense. I found this first while working for Vitesse Semiconductor. I was lead on a project considered to be almost impossible. And we built it. Ok, over budget and behind schedule, but done. When the project was done, so was I. Fired while I was on vacation. Officially a Reduction in Force. But all of the fired guys were over 50. I talked to a lawyer and she told me that it was almost impossible to prove. A few months later they hired some new younger guys.
The company eventually went out of business. Mismanagement will kill you. It took them about another 5 years or so, may they rot in hell. It was a terrible place to work anyway.
But, i removed all dates from my resume and anything that obviously showed how old I was, and after a month or so of searching, found a new position with a start up in Texas. Start ups are terrible places to work intellectually, but fun. They hire people for their resumes. They use good resumes to attract investors. Look at all the quality people we have to do the job. Unfortunately, the job sucks, but they actually gave me a pay raise from Vitesse. By the time the project was over and the company was going out of business, i was over 55 and worried.
But then i found another job down the road with another start up. Another pay raise. Another sucky job, but with free coffee and snacks. Offices with doors. By the time I was 60, it was pretty obvious that they were going belly up. I had designed 5 chips for them and they had sold about 100 units. They fired the whole department. Strangely, they are still in business. The good news was I saw that one coming and really did not do anything for the last six months except surf the net, apply for jobs, and go to lunch. But this wasn't really ageism.
The last one was for a startup in Maryland. I took a pay cut. Unfortunately, they were completely clueless about chip design and had a stupid schedule. I made the mistake of pointing this fact out to them one day when they were celebrating a week to go to project finish. I told them that they were at least two months out. They were livid. As soon as the project was completed, I was fired. It was the great recession, no one responded to my resumes, I collected unemployment until it ran out, then retired. The great recession got me low cost health care for a couple of years.
I dyed my hair, took every available class, learned to control my mouth, and still only made it to 62.
But it is ok.