What do you see as the future for older women in business?
– Tamara M.
My experience has been that as I have gotten older, it seems I am getting more and more invisible to the corporate leadership while the aging men seem to get more power and respect. A man’s wrinkles and gray hair are signs of distinction; in a woman, they often are treated with disdain.
You can’t stop progress, but what is important about now and going forward is that when we combine ageism and sexism or ageism and, God forbid, misogyny, they are conflated together in a molotov-like explosive potion wreaking havoc on women’s careers, stifling their aspirations, and messing with their lives in general. No surprise that with the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, women of all ages are leaving positions or shutting down businesses in droves. But it’s not just those women with young families, it’s those at the other end of the midlife spectrum, now close to retirement as they confront the Silver Ceiling.
Therefore, women suffer more than men when it comes to ageism and stereotyping as societally women are considered more invisible, more irrelevant, etc., as they age. This is an important conversation to pursue because the reality is that women are the leaders of the future. Women are moving us into a whole new paradigm shift because women do mean business.
Women consumers are the ones that are doing the buying and also are in the workforce bringing in their own money. They are now in more and more positions of leadership and we know from tons of research that women in leadership positions are making a humongous difference to the bottom line, as well as to the culture itself.
Bottomline: All women – with Boomer women leading the way – mean bigger business, so the workplace and marketplace have got to catch up to serving these women, not only as consumers, but as employees and as leaders of the future themselves. Each of us cannot let ourselves be considered irrelevant or over-the-hill at any age or stage. That takes us standing up and standing out, and stepping forward and not worrying about making waves, realizing that this is the time for women to lead. It’s our time to Rock Our Age!™
So again, this means a mindset shift not only for men, but for women as well, to be more assertive.