Brave Spaces: age and generational barriers in the workplace

Nour Gobara

General, Situ News

Here at Situ, we are committed to facilitating a culture of respect in the workplace and work hard to ensure every voice is heard. One of our three core values, ‘Champions of Connection’, serves to emphasise our people-centric approach. Through this principle, we champion openness, togetherness, and understanding. A fundamental way we work towards this is through our Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion (DE&I) committee.

A man and a woman sat at a desk

Every two months, our dedicated DE&I committee hold a ‘Brave Space’ on a related topic. These discussions provide a safe space for the Situ Team to get together and discuss different aspects of DE&I and the impacts these have on the workplace. So far, we have found these conversations allow us to tackle barriers our team face, as well as confront misconceptions we may unknowingly hold.

For our most recent session, we focused on age and generational barriers encountered in an ever-changing workplace, as well as the world around us.

Bridging age and generational barriers: our Brave Space discussion

We ran three Brave Space sessions in the course of an afternoon, allowing the Situ Team to choose a timeslot that best fit their agenda. Hosting separate discussions also allowed for smaller groups, and thus more participation from attendees.

Within these sessions, the DE&I committee presented their meticulous research. Intergenerational perspectives on the following acted as our sections: identity, education, wellness and health, and technology. Our DE&I committee addressed how societal changes to these topics influence conversation dynamics between generations, causing barriers in the workplace and our personal lives.

Our team members discussed how different generations perceive tattoos and were surprised to learn that around 40% of recruiters would be cautious about hiring those with visible tattoos. More surprising to the attendees was how, here in the southwest, around 10.2% of households are without access to the Internet (ONS, 2019). A fact which became more poinant when it was pointed out the majoity of these are disabled and/or elderly individuals, and that households on average spend 13% more without access to online savings (Cebr, 2015).

Encouraging participation through interactive elements

To encourage participation from everyone, we used an online quiz platform to allow attendees to present their thoughts on each topic. This also allowed our remote participants to contribute more easily. We found this to be a successful method of boosting engagement. Luckily, we were able to extend the Brave Space’s inherently accepting and non-judgemental approach to the variety of nicknames chosen for the quiz.

Cartoon people sat around a table with a lightbulb above their heads

Our external DE&I meetings

As well as our internal DE&I meetings with our fellow employees, we also lead external ‘DE&I Southwest Meetings’ with other companies. Beginning in October 2023, these gatherings have allowed us to explore DE&I topics from the perspective of other industries and in the wider context of South West England.

Trowers & Hamlins were the hosts of our most recent Southwest DE&I meeting, held in Exeter’s beautiful Southernhay. With five other companies participating in the discussion (Devon Air Ambulance, Libraries Unlimited, AdopStar, Trowers & Hamlins, and Verum Recruitment), topics varied. Within this meeting, we looked at case studies that presented challenges with generational barriers.

Through these discussions, both internal and external, we repeatedly find evidence that diversity encourages innovation, strengthens teams, and formulates mutual respect. Breaking down barriers is not just a goal but a shared commitment towards inclusivity.


Our Brave Spaces are proving to be a successful avenue for presenting DE&I topics to the Situ Team. The interactive model has also proved to be an effective way of inspiring participation. In future, we intend to investigate further methods of encouraging involvement from the team. We are also grateful for the companies who participated in our external DE&I meetings and look forward to continuing to promote the importance of DE&I.