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Women in Leadership: the Untapped Power of the Over 50’s

Perhaps because I fit the demographic, I have been noticing of late in the media, (social and otherwise), through conversations with clients, friends and colleagues, that women in the 50 plus age bracket are under appreciated and underused in the leadership space across industries. This may be because of time taken off due to caring roles or high level responsibility not sought for the same reason. It could be because women, more than men believe that they are not good enough and won’t apply for positions unless they meet all of the criteria. Or it could be because workplaces are not flexible enough for them to manage competing responsibilities. Whatever the reason, this group of women is an untapped resource that has a lot to contribute.

To unapologetically generalise, women in their 50’s have had a lot of experience in the workforce and many have also been in a caring role of some kind, whether of children or ageing parents. They are also often active in their communities. Make no mistake, these are leadership roles and the capabilities and behaviours are the same. Some of them are:

  • Influencing
  • Negotiation
  • Delegation
  • Communication skills
  • Conflict management
  • Managing unacceptable behaviour
  • Creativity
  • Tolerance
  • Wisdom
  • Problem solving
  • Nothing much phases them they’ve seen it all before and know it will be ok in the end
  • They understand the importance of family and balance and well being across life
  • They have made mistakes and have taken responsibility many times over
  • They lead more from a place of compassion than ego
  • They are effective workplace culture influencers

What do you think – am I right or wrong here?

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