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The chair of a media organisation made up of predominantly inner-city based baby boomers and technologically illiterate gen-X public servants has today offered her thoughts on the current standard of young people entering the workforce.
Ita Buttrose has been quoted saying Millennials in the Australian workforce “lack resilience” and need “hugging” for constant reassurance and also “need to be thanked”.
“You have to understand they seemed to lack the resilience that I remember from my younger days.
As Buttrose points out, the easily bruised 20-somethings did not exist in her day, when majority of the media workforce was unionised and there was literally 20,000 jobs going for human interest reporters, who never needed to upskill because they literally just had to print shit onto a newspaper and people would buy it.
Buttrose, 78, was referring to her journalistic career which started as a copy girl on The Australian Womens Weekly, which was then owned by the Packer family – who were well known for not tolerating any dead wood.
Buttrose, who was paid a liveable wage that allowed her to comfortably buy a property for the cost of one year’s salary, said in those days, not hearing from someone like a Packer was good because “no news means good news”.
However, in a media landscape still dominated by board members who are the same age as Buttrose – with a workforce mostly made up of 50+ lifers who really want to just pretend the internet doesn’t exist – millennials can be difficult to manage.
Mostly because they appreciate hearing feedback on the work they are doing, which might even come across as outdated and foreign to anyone with the slightest understanding of modern audience behaviours.
Buttrose now holds the position of Chair of the public broadcaster, an organisation well known for hoarding some of the most unemployable boomers in the public service.
“It seems to me that today’s younger workers, they need much more assurance and they need to be thanked, which is something that many companies don’t do” she said Buttrose in a recent interview.
“Why can’t they just shut up and sit in their same rusted on seat in Ultimo and make interns show them how to use the same software program every single day for 50 years in the same outdated department before they usually take five years long service leave and then move to one day a week on full salary”
“They’re very keen on being thanked and they almost need hugging.”