AARP International

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Why it matters

Greater diversity supports higher innovation revenue and profit margins.

Companies with above-average diversity in age, gender, nationality, career path, industry background, and education on their management teams report innovation revenue that is 19 percentage points higher and profit margins that are 9 percentage points higher than companies with below-average diversity.1

A flourishing multigenerational workforce will support macroeconomic growth for countries.

A 1% increase in the share of working-age population is associated with a 1.5% growth in GDP per capita.2 $3.5 trillion—The potential longterm GDP gain from raising the employment of people age 55 and older to maximize labor force participation across OECD countries and match the rate of New Zealand, the highest performing benchmark country.3

A multigenerational workforce improves employee productivity.

The relative productivity of both older and younger workers is significantly higher in companies that used mixed-age teams than in companies that do not.4 A study of 18,000 German companies found that a 10% increase in age heterogeneity at innovative companies increases annual productivity by approximately 3.5%.5

Age-diverse designers create innovative products and services that benefit a wide range of consumers.

Age-diverse designers at companies like OXO6 and Bank of America Merrill Lynch7 have created products to support consumers at all life stages.

 

Learn from the promising practices of other companies and governments worldwide

Use the worksheet to align as a team and build the case for adopting an age-inclusive practice at your organization. 

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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.

Designing for older consumers to meet the needs of all.

Sam Farber, the founder of OXO, invented the company’s signature Good Grip handles after seeing his wife struggle with ordinary kitchen tools due to arthritis. He designed the Good Grip handle in 1990 at the age of 66.

Today, OXO’s products are known for their comfortable grip—all because they were designed to be easy to hold and control for all sizes and hand strengths.

Designing to meet the needs of one age or life stage group can lead to innovations that are universally beneficial.

Source: “Behind the Design: OXO’s Iconic Good Grips Handles”, OXO 2017


Proactively addressing the aging workforce with early assessments.

Mauritius, an African island nation, is projected to become an aged society within the next five years, when 14% of its population will be above age 65. Today, the government is proactively addressing aging as an issue that will impact the competitiveness of its economy and society.

In 2018, the Mauritian government launched a national survey to assess the current reality of the aging workforce and to develop a strategic plan for the future. Though the survey and research have yet to be finished, the results will be a starting point for employers, employees, trade unions, and government to adapt to the new workforce.

Governments can conduct national assessments that serve as the beginning of a multi-stakeholder approach to adapting to the aging workforce.

Source: Mauritius ARC Report, AARP 2018; United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division


Assisting with student debt through tax-free contributions.

Most employees in the United States are required to pay taxes on employer contributions towards student debt payments. Abbott Labs, a medical device manufacturer, developed a tax-free solution for its employees by depositing funds towards student debt payments in a 401K retirement account.

The voluntary program rewards employees who dedicate at least 2% of their paycheck to student loan repayment. In return, the company will provide a 5% contribution toward the employee’s retirement account. This tax-free income helps employees prepare for retirement without committing their own money and incentivizes responsible student loan repayment.

Employers can use existing benefit systems to incentivize employees to build financial security over their life course.

Source: “Abbott 401(k) program to help employees who have student debt could become national model”, Chicago Tribune 2018


  1. “How Diverse Leadership Teams Boost Innovation.” Boston Consulting Group, 2018
  2. “On the Impact of Demographic Change on Growth, Savings, and Poverty.” World Bank, 2016
  3. “PwC Golden Age Index.” PwC, 2018
  4. “Are personnel measures effective in increasing productivity of old workers?” Labour Economics, 2013
  5. “The Impact of Aging and Age Diversity on Company Performance.” SSRN, 2009
  6. “Behind the Design: OXO’s Iconic Good Grips Handles.” OXO, 2017
  7. “How Merrill Lynch Is Planning for Its Customers to Live to 100.” Harvard Business Review, 2019
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