CLSOR Fellow Sue Weston published an article in May 2021 discussing the idea of bridging the age divide in business. Below is a small excerpt. You may read the entire article at Inside Supply Management Magazine
Creating an inclusive workplace with a multigenerational workforce often requires recalibrating ingrained perceptions and assumptions about others and preventing unconscious bias from influencing actions.
Workplace inclusion requires an environment of mutual respect, where age does not define an individual’s attitude or aptitude. Since French lexicographer Emile Littré in 1863 defined a generation as “all men living more or less in the same time,” individuals from a generation are assumed to have similar attributes, under the mindset, “If I know your age, I can anticipate your behavior.”
The crux of age bias begins with a false assumption: Categorization provides an understanding of a person’s abilities. Generational classifications, instead, are predictors of group behaviors, used for developing marketing strategy and product design, or by researchers for anticipating attitudinal shifts. Their predictive nature is based on people of similar ages (or “age cohorts”) sharing perspectives, attitudes, values and life. But while generational predictions can be applied to large groups, they do not represent individual views.