Yvonne Gu McDowell, CRME, CHDM, CHBA, Director of Revenue Strategy, Outrigger Kaanapali Beach Resort, HSMAI Revenue Optimization Rising Leaders Council
As rising leaders, we often encounter age-related biases such as assumptions of inexperience, lack of credibility, or limited knowledge. We may also face barriers in accessing growth opportunities, receiving mentorship, and being entrusted with higher-level responsibilities. These challenges can hinder our professional development, career advancement, and overall job satisfaction. Addressing age discrimination and fostering inclusivity is not only crucial for promoting an equitable work environment but also for unlocking the potential of young leaders in revenue optimization. I brought this topic to the HSMAI Revenue Optimization Rising Leaders Council to discuss how to address this important topic.
Here are five ideas to address and change bias in the workplace:
- Openly discussing bias: Openly talking about inherent bias is crucial. By acknowledging and sharing personal experiences and expressing their dissatisfaction with derogatory remarks or stereotypes, young leaders can raise awareness and drive change. This act of voicing concern helps to challenge and dismantle unconscious bias that may exist within the organization.
- Creating awareness through training: Separating training for junior and senior members ensures that the training is tailored to the specific needs and challenges faced by young professionals.
- Building support networks: Establishing support networks specifically for young professionals like ERGs, with executive leadership and sponsorship, can provide a platform for young leaders to discuss their experience, challenges, and potential bias they encounter. These networks can create a sense of community and empower young leaders to tackle bias collectively.
- Demonstrating competence and value: young leaders can challenge bias by consistently demonstrating their competence and value in their roles. By consistently delivering high-quality work, supplying accurate data, and offering valuable insights, young leaders can challenge any preconceived notions or biases based on age. This approach helps to change beliefs and allows their skills and abilities to speak for themselves.
- Being authentic and bringing fresh perspectives: By being authentic and bringing fresh ideas to the table, rising leaders can challenge traditional ways of thinking and contribute to innovation and growth within the organization. This approach helps to break down stereotypes associated with age and highlights the value young leaders can bring to the workplace.
It is important to note that while these strategies can be effective, changing bias is an ongoing process that requires collective effort from individuals, organizations, and society as a whole.
- Women in Leadership Face Ageism at Every Age
- Ageism in the Workplace and 7 Ways to Fight It
- How organizations can address ageism as part of their DEI strategy