08 Jun

Them vs. Us

As those of your who read my blogs regularly know, ageism is a hot button issue for me. As a 54 year old woman working in tech this shouldn’t be a big surprise.

I had a really interesting conversation with a MICE colleague the other night at a wonderful Event Planners Live event hosted by The MICE Blog. We were talking about a code of conduct in the Meetings Industry. The evening’s participants went table to table discussing this in term of:

• Clients
• Suppliers
• Agents
• Staff

It is the staff conversation that interested me the most. At the table there were two 50+ women with two Millennial women. To me that said something about gender balance in our industry but that is a different blog entirely.

The heart of the conversation was around the issue of Intergenerational Balance in the workforce. I had been speaking to a contemporary of mine that morning who had lost her job due to the fact that she was over 50 and her 29-year-old boss decided that she wouldn’t be able to pick up on the new technologies that were coming into use. He didn’t take her current excellent tech skills into account nor did he even give her a chance to try to learn. He just retired her off early and replaced her with another Millennial.

I told this story at the “staffing” table and was very interested to see that both my fellow baby boomers as well as the Millennials were all equally upset by it. We talked about it at length and came to the conclusion that in order to have an optimal workforce you have to have a mix of generations.
The Millennials learn from our years of experience in the workplace and we learn from their years of tech use.

Now that children learn to use a smart phone that has more computing power in it than the computers that first sent men to the moon, we have to realise that in terms of tech they do have an advantage.

That being said – there is no reason that we can’t all learn to use tech as it comes into the marketplace. Good training can make a world of difference.
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