AARP International

Share This

Why it matters

Greater diversity drives engagement and performance.

An organization’s diversity practices contribute directly to greater employee engagement.1 American business units in the top quartile of engagement realize 21% higher profitability than those in the bottom quartile.2

Leaders can foster feelings of inclusion in individual employees, leading to better team performance.

Globally, employees who work with inclusive managers report a 70% increase in experiences of belonging, fairness, respect, value, psychological safety, and inspiration. Increased feelings of inclusion lead to an increase in perceived team performance by 17%, decision-making quality by 20%, and team collaboration by 29%.3

Age discrimination intersects with other forms of discrimination.

Women4 and some minorities5 may experience more age discrimination in the US. Confronting bias in race and gender will require addressing age bias as well.

An age-inclusive culture supports a stable organization.

An age-diverse workforce can help maintain the long-term continuity of an organization by facilitating intergenerational knowledge transfer.6 In addition, a European study found that older employees’ reliability, stability, and consistency is higher than that of their younger counterparts.7


Assess the strengths and weaknesses of your age-inclusive initiatives8

Use the worksheet to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses in different facets of your age-specific diversity and inclusion initiatives.  Learn More

Promising Practices

Learn about the innovations and practices that companies and governments around the world are implementing to harness the potential of the multigenerational workforce.

Supporting flexible work through a culture of understanding

Sodexo, a leading food and facilities management company in France, focused on team culture and building generational diversity to establish a shared workforce understanding around flexible work options.

Sodexo expanded its view of flexibility to account for the different ways flexible work options apply across the workforce and throughout an employee’s life-course. This mindset shift led to adapting workplace policy to underpin the new organizational culture around flexible working, providing all managers with training in managing flexible working arrangements, and HR coaching around designing flexible and effective options tailored to the individual and team needs.

A supportive team and leadership culture is required for flexible work policies to foster more age-inclusive ways of working.

Source: Becoming an Age-friendly Employer, Centre for Ageing Better 2018

Transferring wisdom to apprentices of all ages.

Newport News Shipbuilding’s apprentice program previously excluded applicants over the age of 21.

After abolishing the apprenticeship age limit in 1996, the company began accepting apprentices from diverse backgrounds and life stages ranging from college grads to veterans and career switchers. Today, the company is seeing the highest program completion rates come from apprentices with experience previously working at the company.

Removing age barriers to training allows companies to effectively fill skill gaps and support lifelong learning.

Source: Disrupt Aging in the Workforce, AARP 2016

Establishing a baseline for reducing ageism.

The Australian government estimated that the economy loses over AUD 10 billion (USD 7.2 billion) per year due to age discrimination-driven unemployment.

In order to gauge the depth of the ageism challenge, the government conducted a National Prevalence Survey of Age Discrimination in the Workplace and is using the results as a benchmark to measure the effectiveness of future anti-ageism programs.

A first step in eliminating age discrimination and unlocking the productivity of experienced workers is to understand the prevalence and impact it has today.

Source: Australia ARC Report, AARP 2018

  1. “The role of diversity practices and inclusion in promoting trust and employee engagement.” Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 2015
  2. “Employee Engagement on the Rise in the US.” Gallup, 2018
  3. “The Diversity and Inclusion Revolution: Eight Powerful Truths.” Deloitte Review, 2018
  4. “Age Discrimination and Hiring of Older Workers.” Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, 2017
  5. The Value of Experience: AARP Multicultural Work and Jobs Study. AARP, 2018
  6. “The Impact of Aging and Age Diversity on Company Performance.” SSRN, 2009
  7. “Keeping It Steady: Older Adults Perform More Consistently on Cognitive Tasks Than Younger Adults.” Psychological Science, 2013
  8. Creating Quality Jobs: A Framework for the Multigenerational Workforce. AARP, 2018