Fi Age Diversity

Age Diversity: A missed opportunity?

In both the US and the UK employers are waking up to the fact that the workforce is ageing. And they should, because for the first time in history, over 1/3rd of the working population are over 50!

There is growing evidence, however, that organizations on both sides of the Atlantic are failing to act.

In the UK the Chartered Management Institute (CIM) works with business and education to inspire people to become skilled leaders.

Their research found that although 85% of managers taking part in a recent survey said their organization was age inclusive, only 5% reported proactive efforts to recruit older workers.

Ann Francke, the CMI’s chief executive, described this as “a wake-up call for all organizations to practice what they preach”.

Meanwhile, in the US AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age.

In a recent interview AARP’s CEO, Jo Ann Jenkins, highlighted that “78% of our members recently surveyed told us they had faced some type of age discrimination in the last year … Yet, at the same time, older people are going to be the solution for many companies that are trying to hire people to deal with labor shortages and bring folks back into the workplace.”

Therese Procter reflected at the end of last year that “for many years the HR community (me included!) put our energy, focus and effort on progressive processes and practices that were supporting the needs of the younger working generation. Many of these innovations were ground-breaking – especially around maternity/paternity, IVF, adoption, childcare, etc. – and we should be proud of what we achieved.

“However, the ageing workforce means that we now have to widen our focus to meet the wellbeing and mental health needs of those in midlife and to consider how they can help them to live their best life while performing their job.”

As a proud midlife HR practitioner, Therese’s aim is to shine a light for employers on the issues people face at midlife and to provide education, policies, training, seminars, and guidelines to ensure organizations can maximize the performance of an age diverse workforce.

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