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Would You Consider Hiring a 50 Plus Woman In a Leadership Role? It Would Be a Shame Not To

Here is my assertion. Women in the 50 plus age bracket are an untapped resource in the leadership space across industries. Even if they have never been in a senior paid leadership role. Older Women have a lot to contribute.

That is not to say that younger women or older men are not also fantastic at leadership. But when women reach 50 and beyond, a range of stereotypes are wheeled out to keep us in our place and there is an increasing lack of employment opportunities available to us. Now women are not strangers to stereotypes and we know they have a big impact on women’s equality generally. I have written about this before. It commonly comes up in the coaching work I do with Women and I also address it in my online programs. But the stereotypes that exist for those of us past 50 are different. I am sure when you read them, they will be familiar to you:

  • We are overqualified
  • Or, we don’t have the skills due to time out of the labour market.
  • Unpaid work is devalued even by the spouses of women who have spent time working in the home (and who are often the ones hiring). Also a workers value is determined by their previous ability to earn
  • We poorly adapt to change
  • Will be sick a lot and may moan about hot flushes
  • The skills required in a caring role, still predominantly undertaken by women across our lives, are misunderstood, underappreciated and undervalued.

No doubt you can think of others.

So lets change the conversation and have a look at what 50 plus women have to offer. Lets flip some of these outdated and unfair views and stereotypes.

To unapologetically generalise:

Women in in their fifties and beyond have often been in a caring role, whether of children or ageing parents, the skill set is the same and it includes all of the following leadership qualities and capabilities. If you are not convinced think about your own mother or another amazing mother you know and apply each of these concepts to that role. Think of managing toddlers and teens, illnesses and boundaries and creating positive family cultures:

  • Visioning (for family, for children, for self)
  • Goal setting
  • Influencing
  • Negotiation
  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • Creating a shared understanding and creating positive cultures
  • Conflict resolution
  • Change management / adaptability
  • Problem solving
  • Having difficult conversations
  • Use of strategies and tools
  • Acknowledging and praising good work
  • Effective decision making
  • Delegation
  • High level of Emotional Intelligence and behaviour regulation
  • And they have wanted others to be the best they can be and helped them to get there.

In addition, older Women:

  • Have had to keep learning and growing
  • Take less notice of their ego, are less concerned with what others think of them and are more outward looking
  • Know a lot about people and human behaviour
  • They communicate well, even in stressful situations
  • They know a lot about a great many things, but generally don’t need to keep proving it
  • Nothing much phases them they’ve seen it all before and know it will be ok in the end
  • They have failed many times and got up to try again
  • They have made many mistakes and have learnt to take responsibility for them. They have helped others to do the same.
  • They understand the importance of family career and well being across life

Would you consider hiring a 50 plus Woman in a leadership role? It would be a shame not to wouldn’t it?

If you are 50 plus and would like some support with your career planning please give me a call on  0421 775 924

References 

Women Over 50 Can’t Find Jobs https://www.pbs.org/newshour/economy/women-over-50-face-cant-find-jobs [14.11.17]

Never mind the menopause, why women in the workplace are finished at 50 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/work/never-mind-the-menopause-why-women-in-the-workplace-are-finished/ [14.11.17]

 

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