Recognising the valuable knowledge and experience of senior colleagues

Ambition, talent and the desire to keep working on your own development don’t vanish when you reach the age of 45 – quite the opposite! And thanks to their knowledge and experience, senior colleagues have lots of added value, both for their teams and for ING as a whole. ING’s Experience network for employees aged 45 and over is on a mission to increase awareness of that fact among managers and colleagues.

Marjan Pie (56) and Job Stierman (59) are Experience committee members. None of them feel that they themselves have received fewer opportunities due to their age, they all wholeheartedly support Experience’s mission. Marjan: “We’re all aware of cases of colleagues aged over 45 being placed lower down the list for certain projects, training or new roles. Personally, I believe it’s important that older employees’ experience is recognised and valued.” 

To increase awareness of the added value of senior colleagues within the company, and to meet new people is the goal. Job: “I was keen to channel my energy into something other than just work, and I regard the Experience goals as interesting and worthwhile. The role that you play as a senior team member deserves a bit more recognition.” 

D&I also relates to age 

Job: “There’s an amazing amount of diversity and inclusion (D&I) within ING in all respects, and that’s great because only then can we truly represent our customers and society in general. Age might not be the first aspect that springs to mind when you think of D&I, but it’s a real issue nevertheless. Mixed-age teams simply work better.” 

Juniors and seniors reinforce one another 

Marjan: “A team with a mix of young and old, junior and senior colleagues, has a very beneficial dynamic. They reinforce one another, because the younger ones have lots of energy and bring fresh perspectives, while the seniors can provide coaching, guidance and tips. They’ve usually got lots of experience and know how things work within the company. It’s also useful that they know how to navigate their way through ING’s pretty complex organisational structure.” 

“The aim of the Experience network is to ensure that over-45s feel seen, heard and appreciated within ING. It’s about enabling them to continue doing worthwhile work and making a contribution so that all of this group’s valuable knowledge and experience doesn’t go to waste. Our network is a place where we can find like-minded people, where we can sometimes air our frustrations and – above all – where we are working on solutions.” 

Own responsibility to remain employable 

Job: “Just like everyone else, our age group faces specific issues that are associated with our age or maturity level, so it’s nice to be able to share your experiences with people who understand. Together, you can reflect on how something makes you feel or what you can do about it. For example, I was recently asked to work on a succession plan. It made me wonder whether I could also be considered for succession plans myself, because I’m only 59 and I have a good few years in me yet. In fact, I was hired when I was ‘already’ 57, so I can’t say that my age has stood in the way of me being offered opportunities. It’s your own responsibility to ensure you remain employable. As long as you do that, there are plenty of opportunities.” 

Ambitions and plans 

Marjan: “Yes, the ball is definitely in our court. You need to keep yourself fit and healthy, do things you enjoy – both at work and outside of it – and move with the times. A lot of it comes down to your own mindset. It’s important to make it clear that you have plans and ambitions, and that you’re prepared to work for them. That applies to everyone at ING, regardless of their age. With the Experience network, we’re raising awareness of this fact – and that includes among managers, because they are the ones who have to offer senior employees the opportunities, of course. So let’s work together to ensure that colleagues in the twighlight of their careers can continue to do their jobs, still have growth opportunities and therefore remain enthusiastic and valuable for ING.” 

Job: “And as the management, let’s make it even more appealing for this group. Your needs change as you get older. By the way, I think it’s fair to say that at ING we’ve got some pretty good policies such as offering extra time off for care-givers or to do volunteer work.” 


The Experience network regularly organises guest lectures followed by networking drinks. The topics are very broad, ranging from pension provisions to cybersecurity and from financial planning to well-being during coronavirus restrictions. And there are sometimes events with a cultural slant, such as a guided tour of the Rijksmuseum or a trip to an exhibition of modern photography.

About Marjan

Marjan is Expert Lead Sourcing and Contract Management and initially worked at ING’s predecessor, NMB, from 1987 to 1991. She re-joined the company in 1996. Marjan is an avid golfer. “You find yourself with more time on your hands after you turn 50, and I make grateful use of that!”

About Job

Having regularly worked for ING as an external consultant over the course of 30 years, he joined the ING payroll in late 2019. He is now Risk Manager. “Even though I’m in my fifties, I’m actually in much better shape than I was ten years ago. Around three years ago I cycled all the way to Santiago de Compostela. And thanks to the pilgrim’s certificate, I’m free from sin too – so I’m healthy in body and spirit!”

Back to top