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Is Grey the New Green in the workplace?

Article by Ceri Wheeldon

senior intern image

Last night I went to see the film The Intern, with Robert de Niro and Anne Hathaway ( if you get a chance to do so go! It’s the best film I’ve seen in ages). In the film retired executive Ben (Played by  de Niro) joins an internet company as a senior intern, much to the reluctance of the go-getting Chief Exec and founder played by Anne Hathaway.

As the champion of the Senior Intern initiative said ‘Grey is the New Green’. I don’t want to give away too much of the storyline, but  Ben’s maturity quickly becomes appreciated and his insights respected.

So, should employers in the real world be taking note and actively encouraging mature workers into their organisations. With an ageing population should the ‘grey movement’ now be gaining momentum in the workplace?

What can mature workers offer an employer?

We bring experience, wisdom, loyalty, commitment, energy and enthusiasm to both the role and the workplace.

As Ben (in the film) demonstrated, you can quickly pick up the skills you may have lacked in terms of technology, but the ability to assess situations, see the bigger picture, find solutions to problems and act as facilitator and mentor come naturally after decades of work and life experience.

As a mature worker we are able to concentrate on the tasks at hand and relish the opportunity to learn new skills and be part of a new environment.

So is Grey the New Green when it comes to the workplace?

Over 23million of the UK’s population is over 50 , with at least 12 million of these pre-state retirement age.  12 million individuals with the potential to add value to the workplace- and the economy and approximately one third of the potential working population. That’s a huge resource pool available, and one that should be appreciated and encouraged rather than ignored and rejected.

Employers need us. The economy needs us.

Grey is definitely the New Green!


And just for fun, here’s the trailer for The Intern 🙂


Ceri Wheeldon

Ceri is Founder and Editor of Fabafterfifty.co.uk She is a frequent speaker at events and in the media on topics related to women over 50 , including style and living agelessly. With 20+ years experience as a headhunter Ceri also now helps support those looking to extend their working lives.

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