Live your best life & take care
According to a survey with responses from 729 participants aged 18- 70+, with 65% of respondents coming from the United States and the majority of the remainder coming from Canada, the UK and Europe ‘lookism’ often trumps the performance of women when they are evaluated and often are pushed to the sidelines and/or pushed out to make room for younger workers. Once terminated, women find it much more challenging to get rehired at a time when may they lack funds for retirement. The pressure is especially high on single women and mothers 50+, which is a fast growing demographic. In many countries the retirement age is 67 years. It's not acceptable to be seen as less valuable or even irrelevant the last 17 years of your career, while having a lot of value to offer to jobs, companies and co-workers.
Ageing is a beautiful journey of collecting knowledge and experience. It is a privilege, however gendered ageism a growing and relevant problem. Physical ageing is a biological degenerative process, which can't be completely stopped, but can be positively influenced. For example, I work daily with a team on the creation of evidence based skincare products to significantly improve visible signs of ageing and quality of life. This requires that >80% of users agree that the product makes them feel more attractive, confident and comfortable in their skin. Unfortunately more needs to be done and age discrimination laws are less effective for mature women (McLaughin LABOUR 2020). Therefore gendered ageism should be addressed in diversity & inclusivity initiatives. When I turned 50, I joined an initiative in the company I work for called "New Generation 50+". It's a work-in-progress, however a start to reduce and hopefully together stop (gendered) ageism in the workplace and society. We should not accept the devaluation of mature women (or men). Many feel almost "invisible". If they don't "see you", make people listen to you and speak up if you feel you are not treated fairly. Many companies focus on recruiting "young talents". I would like to challenging them to hire, engage and retain 45+ talents. Being talented doesn't have an expiration date.
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