Age disparities in the workplace cause tensions
- Millennials may dominate the tech workforce, but their opinions on workplace diversity and benefits are not reflective of the workforce in general, according to a Modis study of more than 1,500 STEM decision makers. One-third of millennials, age 25 and under, said the biggest challenge to workplace diversity was gender, but close to 60% of Baby Boomers ages 55-64 cited age disparities as the biggest challenge.
- Potential for advancement beat out salary as the top benefit for hiring talent, and all age groups said flexible hours was the most enticing "potential benefit." Workers under 35-years-old selected paid, long-term parental leave as the most important employee benefit more often than other age groups.
- Approximately 70% of decision makers plan to offer bonuses in 2017, and close to three-quarters plan to expand their employee base in 2018. Hiring is made difficult by a lack of soft skills, especially teamwork and communication, according to hiring managers.
Gender and racial diversity often hit the headlines, causing PR nightmares for many companies but, more often than not, also forcing hiring managers and the C-suite to reevaluate their worker base. Age, however, is often left out of the spotlight.
Close to half of tech workers have admitted fears their age would cause them to lose their jobs, and close to one-quarter say it is a fear they think about often. These sentiments come amid a period of transition for tech companies and IT departments.
Outdated and legacy systems still prevail — across smaller companies with limited resources and even in the government — and many older workers fill a niche role because they know how to operate these old systems.
As companies digitize and take advantage of modern tech, however, members of older generations who refuse to pick new systems and skills up are facing stiff competition from tech-savvy millennials.
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