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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Age diversity: why old and young offer the perfect balance

IbyIMD+ Published 13 September 2023 in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion • 6 min read • Audio availableAudio available

Age diversity, like any other form of diversity, can lead to increased innovation and problem-solving. Combining the different strengths of younger and older employees, such as quick decision-making and holistic thinking, can yield better results. 

What does diversity mean to you? You may think about gender, race, ethnicity, perhaps sexual orientation. Would you consider age? Most organizations don’t – to their detriment. 

Only eight per cent of Fortune 1000 companies have added age as a metric to consider when thinking about whether they’re a diverse workplace, according to Chip Conley, the American hospitality entrepreneur and author of Wisdom @ Work. 

Yet age diversity is just like any other type of diversity – employees from different generations bring different skills, experiences, and viewpoints to the table, helping to increase innovation and creative problem-solving. 

Research from Germany on age-diverse workplaces has found that if you have only young people on a team, they make decisions quickly and make more mistakes, while older people take a longer time but make fewer mistakes. If you combine the two, you’ll get much better results. This is because younger and older brains work quite differently.…

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