Older women still face many challenges in business and at work
We talked to many women aged from 45 up to 90 about their experience of the world of work and enterprise. Amazingly in the 21st century, women aged 45 and above may face a number of challenges when it comes to finding career and business opportunities, Recognise any of these below? Or know someone that does?
Age discrimination: despite being illegal in many countries, age discrimination can still be a common barrier to employment for older workers, especially women aged 45-50+. They may be seen as less adaptable, less productive, less tech-savvy or generally less relevant to the current workforce.
Bias towards younger workers: there is often a bias towards younger workers in many industries, particularly in areas such as technology where youth is seen as being synonymous with innovation. This can make it difficult for older women to break into these fields or to find opportunities for career advancement.
Stereotyping: they may be perceived as being less competent, less capable, or less willing to embrace new technologies, which can make it harder to find job opportunities that match their skills and interests.
Lack of flexible working arrangements: such as part-time or flexible hours, in order to balance work and caregiving responsibilities.
Skills mismatch: they may have skills that are no longer in demand or may need to be retrained in order to be competitive in the job market.
Lack of networks and mentorship: Older women may have fewer networks and mentors in their industry compared to younger workers, which can make it harder for them to find new opportunities and advance in their careers.
Of course, this is not the whole story. There are many women of all ages who have created amazing businesses and have very successful careers. They show that women aged 45-50+ have a wealth of experience and knowledge to contribute business and work settings. For example:
- Maturity and stability: they tend to have a more stable and responsible approach to work, which can be particularly valuable in certain industries.
- Experience: they have often accumulated many years of experience in their field, which can be a valuable resource for both their colleagues and their employer.
- A strong work ethic and a desire to do a good job, which can be a positive influence on their coworkers and contribute to a positive work environment.
- Wisdom and perspective and offer a unique insight on workplace issues and often provide valuable advice to their colleagues and managers.
- Mentorship: sharing their experience and knowledge with younger employees to help them grow and develop in their careers.
- Loyalty: Older workers may be more committed to their employer, as they may be more likely to stay with the company for longer periods of time.
We hope to be working with some of these women to show how age can also be an advantage in business.