Times are Changing: Age, Sex and Our Future (1 of 2)
Most everything we have come to know is being disrupted and changed… seemingly all at once.
And for this conversation I’m not even referring to the technological or globalization changes that have impacted every function and facet of our business life.
I’m talking about the massive change in diversity we are undergoing in our workplace.
Not a diversity of race (although that is certainly another consideration with the impact of globalization), I’m talking about
the diversity of gender and generations.
These changes are so significant that they are an ‘Adapt or Die’ threat level to the survival of your business over the next decade or two.
At the same time, if you DO adapt, and quickly, this can become one of your greatest advantages, helping you build a dynamic and thriving organization over the next several years, adding to your experience that these are the most exciting times to be alive.
A new milestone in U.S. history has been reached…
to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are more women working than men.
- Unemployment for men: 9.3% compared to 7.6% for women.
- 78% of the layoffs in recent years were men.
- More married women have unemployed husbands than ever before, a record 21%.
- Stay-at-home dads have doubled in recent years, making 1 out of 5 stay-at-home parents a father.
Add all that to this…
- 20.1 million women have bachelor’s degrees vs. 18.7 million men—a discrepancy of 1.4 million (it has been increasing since women passed men in 1996).
- And now, for the first time, women have passed men in gaining advanced college degrees.
All this gives us a very clear view of the future of our business culture. The era of yang-based business is over. It’s important you learn the yin way of doing business if you want to continue to thrive going forward.
Add that to this interesting challenge…
In prior years, we have had three generations, sometimes four, but today because people are living and working longer…
- We will soon have five generations in the workplace—all at once.
- In four years Millennials (born between 1977 and 1997) will account for half of all the employees in the world, according
to Harvard Business Review.
- It’s important to realize these are not all fresh from dorm rooms 20-somethings. By 2015 the oldest of this generation will be around 35, holding roles of significant leadership and executive management.
- Also, while the median age of the working population in the United States is around 36.7, in emerging markets, it is closer to 26 years old, with a larger population of younger workers.
Learning how to recruit, retain, motivate and leverage the diversity of experience, skills and capabilities of both genders and these different generations will be essential for you to stay competitive during these dynamic, very exciting and fast-changing times.
Now that you have this new awareness, in the next post I will give you two methods to help prepare and develop your internal culture and your leadership capability so you can not only adapt to survive, but actually thrive by leveraging these exciting shifts shaping our future.
How have you seen the workforce change? What have you done to adapt to these changes? Share your ideas and thoughts in the comments below.