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Social> Diversity 14 Apr 2021

Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials and Centennials: Talent in four generations

Much has been written about generational differences and how to classify the population according to someone's year of birth. The truth is that there is no exact or official definition of when a generation begins or ends and, depending on which demographers or researchers you consult, there are discrepancies about the years that comprise each generation.

‘Baby boomers’, generación X, ‘millennials’ y ‘centennials’:

It is also unclear what criteria determine a generational changeover, whether it is only the passage of a certain number of years, or whether it is marked by a relevant historical event or after a period of major changes. In any case, it is from the 1920s onwards that the classification by social generations begins.

Currently, within the working population, there are four groupings: Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y or Millennials, and Generation Z or Centennials.

Characteristics of each generation

Baby Boomers (1946- 1964): the end of World War II and the demographic explosion in many countries gave rise to the name of this generation, born in times of peace and economic prosperity. They are also called 'boomers.' This generation has had to adapt to new technologies and for that reason they are considered digital immigrants. They are imbued with the culture of effort and sacrifice, have great experience, and are said to be loyal, committed, great at team building, and used to working for many years in the same company.

Generation X (1965 - 1980): or the youth of the 80s, is considered the bridge between boomers and millennials. During the years that comprise this era, capitalism took root and consumerism took off, which is why they are considered ambitious. While the people born during this era cannot be considered digital natives because the technology in those years was limited, they have adapted very easily to the arrival of the Internet and the subsequent technological development. Teamwork and fostering trusting working relationships is also one of their hallmarks.

BBVA-generaciones-Baby boomers-generación X-millennials-centennials

Millennials or Generation Y (1981- 1996): also known as digital natives and the first truly global generation because they share the same values in all countries thanks to globalization and their connection through the Internet. They like learning and entrepreneurship. They lived through the 2008 crisis and therefore consider themselves tolerant to frustration. They are also self-confident and very committed, but they are not afraid of changing jobs. They can't imagine life without technology and are quick to adapt to new things.

Centennials or Generation Z (1997-2010): are the youngest grouping in the labor market and if anything characterizes them is that they live immersed in 'the Internet society,' consume only digital formats, study and read online. They are self-taught and Youtube tutorials are their great allies. This generation is at the forefront of social networks. They are very creative, flexible, and used to multitasking. They prefer remote work and they are innovative and pragmatic. However, they are not so easy to retain.

Generational diversity at BBVA: the value of being One Team

Generational diversity is a challenge because organizations should aim to reflect the composition of society as a whole. Intergenerational leadership is a great way to motivate and manage any company, as it is an advantage when it comes to reflecting the context in which it operates.

Within BBVA, the commitment to diversity is firm as it is one of the bank's strategic priorities, and in particular, generational diversity is one of the pillars that makes up this priority.

Currently, the financial institution´s data (excluding its Turkish unit), shows that the intergenerational makeup of the bank is in line with the active population: Millennials predominate with a representation of 52.3 percent, followed by Generation X with 34.9 percent, Boomers with 6.9 percent and, finally, Generation Z accounts for 5.9 percent of the workforce.  Gen Z is just starting to enter the job market.

“These four generations of talent not only coexist in BBVA but, with their own characteristics and differences, they understand each other, complement each other, and combine synergies,” José Antonio Gallego, head of Diversity at BBVA, explains. “The more diversity there is in people's abilities, ways of thinking and decision-making, the more the organization will benefit and the more value we can contribute demonstrating that we are one team,” he adds.