|  Blog

How Ageism Can Hurt Your Marketing Program

This is the third in a four-part investigative series on age discrimination in the marketing hiring landscape. You can catch up on the prevalence of age discrimination in the hiring process here and how companies can combat age discrimination here.

If you look around the table at your next marketing meeting and see a team of folks that all entered the job market in the same decade, your marketing program may be suffering from the effects of age bias and discrimination.

Age discrimination is largely ignored in the workplace. 64 percent of CEOs report having diversity and inclusion initiatives, but only eight percent include age as part of their efforts, according to PwC research. In marketing hiring where terms like “digital native” are thrown around as requirements for roles, age bias looms large.

Diversity and inclusion make stronger marketing programs across gender, background, skillset, orientation, personality, and age. Here are five reasons to prioritize making sure your marketing team is multigenerational.

How Ageism Can Hurt Your Marketing Program

  1. Multigenerational teams come up with more creative solutions. When more diversified experience and perspectives are brought to the table, ideas are challenged and sharpened. Bettina Deynes, vice president of human resources for the Society for Human Resource Management said “if you’ve ever witnessed a team spanning 50 or more years come together to solve a problem, you know that that’s when the magic happens.”

  2. Older workers have fewer distractions. Since most older workers have kids that are older or grown, older workers have more margin to focus on work. They are not in a phase of life where they feel conflicted about competing priorities of work and family. Having a team of people at various phases of life is an asset.

  3. Multigenerational teams understand multigenerational clients and customers. The entire population is aging. With more older workers staying in the workforce than previous generations, it is time for marketing to shift toward being aimed at older workers. These folks represent a large and swelling market of decision makers. Who better to market to older Americans than older Americans?

  4. Older workers bring a wealth of experience. This is the top reason that older marketers are hired. While older workers can learn digital skills, younger workers can’t acquire the wisdom of decades of experience. The communication, problem solving, culture building, and leadership skills that are cultivated over decades is irreplaceable.

  5. Older workers are loyal. According to a study by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, nine out of ten workers over age 50 are somewhat or very satisfied with their jobs. They are not on the lookout for the next opportunity to advance their careers. According to a survey by the Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends project, 54 percent of workers older than 65 are still employed because they want to be—not because they need the money. This means that they’re motivated by desire or passion and are less likely to be a job hopper. The survey also found that 54 percent of workers age 65 and older say they are “completely satisfied” with their jobs, compared with just 29 percent of workers ages 16 to 64.

Age discrimination is not only wrong, it’s also bad for business. Multigenerational teams bring diversity of perspectives and experiences that lead to innovative solutions and better results.

by McKinley Marketing Partners