How to support age diversity and inclusion

When your workforce is all around the same age and lacks the benefits of multi-generational diversity

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Age is a characteristic that impacts every individual throughout their career – from starting out, through their thirties and onwards until retirement. Every business should recognise that a multi-generational workplace leads to sharing of knowledge and perspectives, plus it drives innovation

 

When to use this

When it’s clear all of your workforce is around the same age and lacks the benefits of employing people of all ages. The aim is to have a workplace that is diverse in age, where everyone feels included.

 

Things you can do

  • Understand what proportion of people fit into each age demographic, how different generational groups interact and the challenges they face

  • Bring people together e.g. arrange age inclusive socials, encourage lunch as a team

  • Don’t exclude potential candidates by specifying number of years’ experience required in job specs. State ‘working experience of the industry required’ if it is

  • Recruit from a diverse pool e.g. recruitment agencies with a focus on diversity, apprenticeships and return to work schemes

  • Request that the primary recipient of CVs removes references to age before sharing

  • Have age-diverse interview panels to present the company as it plans to hire, and broaden perspectives when evaluating candidates

 

Watch outs

  • Unconscious bias – subconsciously discriminating on age

  • Hiring people known by employees – may mirror their age group

  • Overlook the value of age diversity – help people to understand rather than make it HRs issue

  • Not just focusing on one end of the workforce – age diversity is for everyone

  • Impact of age vulnerability e.g. fear of latest tech or doing something for the first time

 

Longer term ideas

  • To drive younger people to consider media for their career, partner with local charities to run mentoring and talks to schools / colleges

  • To retain older generations, identify specific needs such as flexible working to fit around priorities e.g. better work life balance, caring for grandchildren, hobbies

  • Set up two-way mentorships for younger and older employees to trade practical skills e.g. tech know-how with experience

Written by

IAB UK

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