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Mentoring in the workplace: does age matter?

by on May 27, 2015

This article on the Fortune website features a headline claiming that young workers make the best mentors. Though if I were the author (Kim Getty) I think I’d be a bit cross as the article itself doesn’t actually say this; it challenges the assumption that the mentoring relationship necessarily involves an older mentor and a younger mentee, making the point that, ‘regardless of age, mentorships are great resources for career development and professional growth‘.

However, whilst applauding this sentiment and the implicit challenge of age-related stereotypes in relation to mentoring roles, it’s a bit disappointing to see the same article also reinforcing the notions of a workforce segmented by generations. It talks about there being ‘substantial differences between Gen X, Y, and Z in terms of education, culture, and how they process information‘ and of a ‘generational gap in business‘. We have blogged extensively on this topic (as well as noting a recent trend towards rejecting generational labels) but clearly there is still work to be done to challenge some of these stereotypes too!

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