Age is just a number: over 50 companies show age-inclusive policies create opportunities and growth

24 Jan 2021

The World Economic Forum is working with public and private sector partners to help shape the workforce of the future in ways that benefit individuals and their societies.

The impact.

There is a global myth that productivity declines as workers age. In fact, including older workers is an untapped source for growth.

The world has entered a new phase of demographic development where people are living longer and healthier lives. As government pension schemes are generally ill-equipped to manage this change, insurers and other private-sector stakeholders have an opportunity to step in.

By adopting age-inclusive policies and empowering people to make informed, proactive decisions around their retirement, companies can help foster a multi-generational, inclusive workforce of the future.

The Forum, with the OECD and AARP created a digital learning platform to help employers. More than 50 global companies have joined the Living, Learning, Earning initiative including AIG, Allianz, Aegon, Home Instead, Invesco and Mercer.

What's the opportunity?

People are living and working longer than ever before, with multiple generations often working side by side. This should be seen as an opportunity, rather than a challenge.

According to AARP, discrimination against workers over age 50 cost the US economy $850 billion in 2018.

It is estimated that building multi-generational workforces and giving older employees greater opportunities to work could raise GDP per capita by 19% over the next three decades.

"If we want continuous economic growth and improvement in quality of life, the mindsets around age and the stereotypes that we have around age need to shift."

Martine Ferland President and CEO, Mercer

Our approach.

Partners engaged in the Forum’s Living, Learning and Earning Longer initiative are collaborating through a unique digital platform that employers can use to find case studies, statistics and research on the advantages of a multi-generational workforce.

In an effort to build consensus among global private sector stakeholders on principles and best practices to support a multi-generational, inclusive workforce, the initiative seeks to:

• Create a culture of respect, security and inclusion
• Establish standards, policies and procedures at the enterprise level
• Identify attractive work incentives (e.g. financial and retirement planning, work-retirement options, health and wellness plans, caregiving leave and assistance).

The Living Learning and Earning Longer collaboration has engaged more than 50 private sector companies to change cultures, introduce new policies and engage in practical changes to ensure inclusion of multi-generational workforces.

In addition, the OECD has produced a report based on substantial research, highlighting the many advantages that an age-inclusive workforce can offer employers, including increasing firm productivity, creating innovative products and enhancing team performance. The digital platform leverages learnings from the initiative to share with employers globally.

How can you get involved?

To harness the opportunity of this diverse workforce, all organizations must foster inclusion and collaboration between generations.

The Living, Learning, and Earning Longer initiative is hosted by the Forum’s Platform for Shaping the Future of Financial and Monetary Systems.

Contact the team via the link below to add your expertise on addressing age-inclusion in the workplace.

Learn more about the Platform

Access our webpage

Get more information

Read our latest report

Inquire about becoming a Forum Partner

Contact the team