Diversity and Inclusion: Age Diversity

Diversity and Inclusion

In the rapidly evolving business world, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) have become a cornerstone for organisational strategy. Although interrelated these terms cannot be used interchangeably.  

Define

Diversity in the workplace:

Diversity is the representation of different kinds of demographics, experiences, and perspectives in the workforce. This can mean gender diversity, racial diversity, ethnic diversity, age diversity, and so on.1 

Equity in the workplace:

Equity often is used interchangeably with equality. There is a minor but important difference between the two. Equality treats all people the same. Equity refers to the fair treatment of all people taking into consideration their unique circumstances in life and adjusting policy accordingly. This is to ensure that even if the starting point is not the same for everyone the finish line is equal for all.1 

Inclusion in the workplace:

Inclusion refers to how the workforce experiences the workplace which is a direct reflection of how welcoming the employers are of the diverse group of individuals.1 

These three terms go hand-in-hand and company strategies and policies are often made keeping all three in mind.  

While gender, racial, and ethnic diversity are very important in the workplace, unfortunately, not enough importance is given to age diversity. A PwC report shows that only 8% of organisations include age as part of their DEI strategy.2 This article will highlight the importance of age diversity and how WisdomCircle is disrupting the recruitment space and spreading awareness about multigenerational workforces. 

Importance of having a Multigenerational Workforce:

  • Different Perspectives and Innovation

A multigenerational workforce ensures a lot of different kinds of experiences in the team. Right from the experiences of WisGen* who have vast knowledge and more than two decades of experience to freshers bring a refreshing, up-to-date perspective on things. The unique perspectives give rise to critical and creative thinking which leads to innovative solutions to problems. Diverse teams make better decisions up to 87% of the time, according to a study conducted by Forbes.3

  • Enhanced Talent Pipeline and Employee Retention

Being open to hiring a diverse, multigenerational team helps the company look beyond traditional hiring demographics and be exposed to more talent. When one does away with biases, it opens the door to top talent regardless of gender, race, age, etc. An equitable and inclusive environment makes employees feel welcome and safe in their workspace. This ensures employee satisfaction and helps in the long-term retention of employees. 

  • Strategic thinking and better decision-making

The depth of experience that retired, senior professionals bring to the table is unparalleled. They have studied the market trends over the years and are better placed to strategically align the growth and expansion plans of companies according to these trends. “Companies with diverse teams are more likely to deliver higher financial returns than their non-diverse counterparts.4

  • Strengthening Global Brand

Employees are the face of an organisation. Having a good DEI strategy has the additional benefit of improving a company’s global brand and image. It organically builds trust in the company and attracts more employees and customers alike.  

  • Mentoring and reverse mentoring

Mentoring is usually thought to be an older person teaching the younger one. In a multigenerational workspace, both mentoring and reverse mentoring can be seen. The senior, retired people can mentor the younger generations through their life experiences and guide them, and the younger generation can help them with new technology and keep them up to date. Everyone in the team learns from each other and grows. 

  • Boosts morale

The inclusive workspace makes people feel safe and more seen and heard. This boosts team morale and job satisfaction. A study by the Journal of Applied Psychology showed that being a part of a mixed-aged workplace group increased motivation for older and younger colleagues and their intent to stay with the organization.4

Our growth trajectory and success stories are proof of the impact we are having on WisGen and Recruiters alike in advocating for multigenerational workforces. One such example is given below. 

The Company: The recruiter was a data sciences company providing big data services, decision sciences, and helping enterprises in data-driven decisions. They were also providing data science consulting and solutions designed to solve problems through analytical decision-making. 

Need: The company curated a program with the help of WisdomCircle, called the Grand Manager Program. This was to balance intelligence and agility with wisdom and experience. The idea was to match young leaders (called Apprentice Leaders) with 3-4 years of experience, managing a team of 10-20 people, to an experienced WisGen who could guide and mentor them personally and professionally. 

Outcome: WisdomCircle connected them to various WisGen whom they interviewed. They finalised and hired 5 candidates as a trial run for their company and renewed contracts for 3 of them once they finished their contract period.

Conclusion:

Diversity management in a workforce is very important for companies in this cut-throat business world to survive and prosper. WisdomCircle is doing its bit to spread awareness about age diversity and the benefits of hiring senior retired professionals in the workforce. 

As they say, charity/ change begins at home. The WisdomCircle team is a multigenerational, multicultural one where people come from varied backgrounds and have had a multitude of experiences. What unites us is our shared belief in the company and the work we are doing.

References:

  1. https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/mckinsey-explainers/what-is-diversity-equity-and-inclusion 
  2. https://hbr.org/2022/03/harnessing-the-power-of-age-diversity 
  3. https://www.qualtrics.com/au/experience-management/employee/dei/ 
  4. https://trainingmag.com/age-diversity-in-the-workplace/#:~:text=Only%208%20percent%20of%20organizations,starts%20in%20the%20hiring%20process

*WisGen : our talent pool of retirees or soon-to-retire folks, typically over the age of 50.

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