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Why is Corporate Gerontology critical?

It combines the social sciences—psychology, sociology, industrial relations, economics and ergonomics. United States demographics have transformed from a "Population Pyramid," with a relatively small number of people over age 85, to a more rectangular shape, due partly to increased longevity. By 2030, according to U.S. Census projections, one in five Americans will be over age 65. In fact, along with a dynamic increase in immigration from Latin America and Asia, we have larger numbers of children filling schools and demanding resources. Many middle aged workers are in the "Sandwich Generation," with elderly parents requiring care and attention at the same time that their teenaged children do. Absenteeism rates rise and cost companies more. These serious demographic and cultural changes, and intergenerational conflict, need to be understood.

Companies depend on corporate gerontologists to analyze potential opportunities resulting from national policy changes and demographic trends.

Age neutral companies are more successful in attracting new talent. All types of diversity are good business because they allow all employees an equal voice and opportunity to succeed. Different perspectives have been shown to add to product innovation as well as provide better understanding of customers' needs. It's illegal for companies with more than 20 employees to discriminate against older job applicants, training opportunities, or when planning reductions in force. Ageist stereotypes about older workers can create a negative work environment, harming not only the older workers but younger staff, as well. Higher turnover costs result, as even younger workers depart for more age-neutral opportunities.

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