Older People: Age and Experience

In her article for “financial times” Sarah Murray looks at the impact of the workforce of an ageing customer base.
By 2050 there will be more people aged over 60 than under the age of 15 (according to the International Labour Organisation). This means new challenges for the workforce. Employers should be prepared for it by fighting discrimination and providing challenging careers to persuade employees to stay in their job longer. Since there is no legislation most employer won’t think over their policies towards age, even though it would make a business sense. For example “B&Q” trust in the experiences and knowledge of older people and so their customers do. Concerning age one detail is overlooked very often: “People tend to look at older employees when they talk about age,” says Michael Stuber, founder of mi•st [ Consulting, the Cologne-based diversity consultancy. “What they often ignore is that the main clientele are people who are today 38 to 45. They are growing older and they have made their careers with an idea that they should be at a director’s rank by the age of 43, otherwise they won’t make it. And now it’s obvious that, particularly in times of lean management, they cannot all be promoted to director level.”
Employers should address a deep underlying problem: “That is the need to create an appealing working life for those growing older in a world where career structures, rather than being vertical, will look increasingly horizontal.”

This post summarizes the article “Older People: Age and experience” by Sarah Murray, publish in financial times.