National Ageism Day – Unmasking Generational Stereotypes in the Workplace
posted on October 13, 2023
As you may know, October 7th marked National Ageism Day. It was a day dedicated to shining a light on one of the most prevalent forms of prejudice—ageism. What sets ageism apart is its sweeping range. It doesn’t discriminate based on how young or old you are. From baby boomers to centennials, everyone has felt the sting of age-based stereotypes at some point.
- Centennials (Gen Z, Born between 1997-2012): As the newest entrants in the workforce, centennials are still carving out their niche. However, they are already being saddled with unflattering stereotypes. They’re seen as having short attention spans, believing that they usually ‘know better’ which hinders their ability to absorb, accept, and adhere to workplace procedures, and being overly reliant on digital communication at the expense of personal interactions.
- Millennials (Born between 1981-1996): Often, millennials find themselves caught in a whirlwind of negative assumptions. They’re frequently labeled as entitled, lacking work ethic, or being overly dependent on technology. In the workplace, there’s a perception that they job-hop without loyalty, demand privileges without earning them, and are obsessed with ‘instant gratifications’ instead of long-term commitments.
- Generation X (Born between 1965-1979): Often positioned between the legacy of the baby boomers and the dynamism of the millennials, it has frequently faced its set of stereotypes. They’ve been pegged as being overly competitive and focused on their careers, to the point of being obsessed with work and results, who wouldn’t head home until every task was impeccably done. There is also the stereotype that this generation is less tech-savvy and more resistant to change than their younger counterparts.
We at Escalate PR understand and respect the multifaceted strengths inherent in each generation. However, at a time when the world is rapidly evolving and many firms are caught up in the wave of embracing only the ‘new’, Escalate PR stands out by celebrating Gen X’s unmatched zeal, perseverance, and meticulous approach to work. This generation, often marked by its tenacity to see projects through to the highest standard, dovetails perfectly with Escalate PR’s dedication to client satisfaction and excellence. Our firm astutely recognizes that the results-oriented nature of Gen X is not merely a personal trait but a collective asset that has the power to propel client campaigns to unparalleled success.
In the realm of public relations, experience matters in several critical areas:
- Deep-rooted Relationships: Over time, PR professionals cultivate a vast network of media and analyst contacts, influencers, and industry insiders. These relationships, built on trust and mutual respect, can’t be fast-tracked and are invaluable when trying to place a story or mitigate a crisis.
- Strategic Insight: While fresh perspectives are essential, seasoned PR professionals have the advantage of having seen a wider array of campaigns, both successful and failed ones. They can quickly discern what might work for a particular client or audience, drawing from their rich history of experiences.
- Crisis Management: When a brand is under fire, experience is irreplaceable. Veterans in PR have weathered numerous crises and can bring a level-headed, tested approach to damage control. Their ability to anticipate how audiences will react, based on past incidents, is invaluable.
- Understanding Nuances: The intricacies of communication, the subtleties in messaging, and the fine line between assertive and aggressive—these are nuances often best understood with experience. Experienced professionals have the benefit of hindsight, enabling them to craft messages that resonate without backfiring.
- Adaptability: Contrary to the stereotype that older professionals are resistant to change, many seasoned PR experts have adapted through numerous industry shifts, from the advent of digital media to the rise of influencer marketing. This adaptability is a testament to our resilience and versatility.
So, as we reflect on National Ageism Day, let’s champion the vibrancy, innovation, and fresh perspectives that youth infuse into our society. However, let’s also remember the profound value of experience. It’s often said that with age comes wisdom, and that wisdom, accumulated over years of trials and triumphs, is a cornerstone of success. Embrace every age for its unique offerings, and let’s work together to ensure a world where potential isn’t measured by years but by passion, talent, and knowledge.