Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
gen z social media?width=719&height=464&fit=crop&auto=webp
gen z social media?width=398&height=256&fit=crop&auto=webp
Career > Work

Bridging the Generational Gap: Tackling Ageism in a Gen Z Driven Workforce

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at York U chapter.

The world is changing super fast and guess what? The workforce is changing right along with it! We’ve got Gen Z, born somewhere between the mid-1990s and early 2010s, stepping into the job scene. They’re bringing in some cool skills, unique perspectives and big dreams. But, here’s the catch – they’re also dealing with something not-so-cool: judgment from their older colleagues. In this article, we’re going to dive into Gen Z’s journey into the workforce and why we’ve got to tackle ageism to create a simultaneously chill and productive workplace.

The Workforce’s New Look:

The entrance of Gen Z is like a whole new era for jobs. They’re the tech-savvy crowd, super adaptable and totally into trying out new things. These traits make them hotshots in a job market that’s all about technology.

They’ve grown up in a world where everyone’s connected and information is just a click away. This condition has made them well-informed, socially aware, and pumped to make a positive change. Their entrepreneurial spirit and their commitment to important causes are shaking up how companies work and how business goes down.

Ageism – The Not-So-Cool Part:

But wait, there’s a twist. Even with all their potential, Gen Z peeps often get the short end of the stick when it comes to ageism. What’s that? Well, it’s when older folks assume their Gen Z colleagues don’t know much because they’re young, or they brush off their ideas and say stuff that’s belittling. That’s definitely not good for teamwork and it makes the office feel kind of awkward.

Ageism mostly happens because of stereotypes and a lack of willingness to understand each other. Older workers might think Gen Z is a bit too entitled, impatient or way too into their gadgets. On the flip side, Gen Z might see their older coworkers as being slow to change or not up-to-date with what’s hip. These misunderstandings can lead to problems and disrupt communication.

Beating Ageism:

But hold up, there are ways to deal with this. Companies can push for folks of all ages to work together on projects. That’s a way to get everyone to understand each other better and break those stereotypes.

Mentorship programs are a hit too. Older employees can show the ropes to the younger ones, and it’s a win-win. You get wisdom and know-how flowing, plus everyone builds better relationships.

Also, some regular training on new tech and trends can help everyone stay in the loop. This means that older employees can pick up Gen Z’s skills, and Gen Z can get the hang of some of the older ways of doing things.

And don’t forget open talk! Everyone needs to be able to chat openly and honestly, where all ideas count, and people are receptive to constructive criticism.

Lastly, we should give a shout-out to the diversity of experiences and ideas that each generation brings. It’s a superpower for solving problems and making big decisions.

Gen Z joining the workforce is a chance for companies to tap into their cool skills and fresh ideas for growth and innovation. But here’s the kicker: we’ve got to kick ageism out the door to make the most of it. By pushing teamwork, mentorship, learning, and open chat, companies can make a workspace where all generations can rock it together. Embracing this mix of experiences and ideas isn’t just great for Gen Z; it’s a win for everyone, and it’s how the workforce will stay strong for years to come.

Jessica is an Italian-Canadian student at York University pursuing a bachelor's degree in criminology. She is focused on studying the fields of criminal justice, human rights, and the complexities of the legal system.