What is the age when a person can be termed as old? What is a younger age group? What is a generation gap? Is it a decade, 15 years or even less than this or more? These are some of the questions which are troubling the corporate nowadays because of increased generation diversity. One of the most affected industries due to this generation diversity is IT and BPO industry where almost 80% of the work force is under the age of 30. Mostly people belonging to age group of 20-30 work in this industry and they are known as knowledge workers.
Managing gender diversity has really become a challenge for many companies because of the decrease in generation gap. Earlier a generation gap was defined to be 20 years and then it fell to 10 years. Now it has shrink to such a level that even a difference of 5 years and 8 years is considered as a generation gap. The ultimate effect of gender diversity is that it is resulting in disharmony and disconnect among the employees. There are differences simmering up among the peer group and also superiors and subordinates. It is found that there are differences between Gen X, Gen E and Gen Y.
Major reasons for gender diversity in organisation
- The dreams and aspirations of the younger and senior employees do not match.
- Younger employees are technologically advanced than the older counterparts. They had access to better technology when compared to the people in the past and this digital divide is said to increase.
- The younger lot between the age group of 20-30 are economically empowered since they start drawing a higher salary at a very young age and these people are more dynamic and fast while adopting changes. Whereas the seniors who are older to them are said to think in a rigid format and there is reluctance to change.
A disconnect is also seen among people working in IT-BPO industry because people joining a company would be from different family and social backgrounds and would be coming from different places in India. India is well known for its cultural diversity. Generation gap and gender diversity as a problem is faced not only by big companies like IBM, Accenture, Genpact, TCS and Cognizant but also by smaller firms. Gen X and Gen E who are bosses to Gen Y usually are said to have disconnect among themselves. When Gen X and Gen E are said to be more family oriented and formal in their approach, Gen Y who spend more time on social media and mobile are said to be casual and do not think much about failures.
With this disconnect and conflict on the rise, the challenges that the IT-BPO company’s face is immense. Companies are trying their best to tide over this crisis and also resorting to ways like demographic profiling, mentoring, reverse mentoring etc. How far the companies would be able to address these problems in the long run needs to be seen since there is a huge increase in the young population in India.