There are many issues in life that arise as you age. These issues do not disappear in the job market, or on your resume. Ageism in the workplace, especially in relation to aging women, continues to be a problem. This is not only a challenge for advancement within a company but can also be seen when women of age decide to pursue a career change.
In a recent article by Forbes, Working Women’s Double Dose Of Discrimination: Gender And Ageism, the topic of sexism and ageism is discussed. David Neumark, an economics professor at the University of California found that woman experience age discrimination at a much younger age than men:
“The evidence of age discrimination against women kind of pops out in every study. Ageism at work begins at 40 for women and 45 for men. At that point, the employer no longer considers the worker for promotion or training.”
Considering the life expectancy of women is 84 years old, and the average age of retirement is 62 years old, 40 is incredibly young to be ruled out of certain positions or to be considered “too old” to be selected for employment or advancement.
From going grey, to wrinkles and smile lines, woman have long been held to a different standard. Consider the term “Silver Fox” for men. Woman, on the other hand, who choose to go grey, are often ridiculed and criticized over their choice. Sex and The City Star, Sarah Jessica Parker recently addressed the scrutiny she had received regarding her appearance at 56 years old:
“It almost feels as if people don’t want us to be perfectly okay with where we are, as if they almost enjoy us being pained by who we are today, whether we choose to age naturally and not look perfect, or whether you do something if that makes you feel better,” she said of the noise. “I know what I look like. I have no choice. What am I going to do about it? Stop aging? Disappear?”
In a BBC News article, Why do women appear to bear the brunt of ageism at work?, 72-year-old Bonnie Marcus, founder of Bonnie Marcus Leadership states the impact of visible signs of aging in women:
“As soon as women show any visible signs of aging, they are viewed as not only less attractive, but less competent…And as women get older, they face the double whammy of sexism and ageism.”
This paradigm must change. Aging should not be seen as weakness or incompetence. Rather, as a sign of strength and experience; both in life and in business. Often, as we grow older, we become more confident in ourselves which then reflects in our work ethic. Your age and experience can be used to your advantage, especially if done in an effective and impactful way.
If you are facing some of these obstacles in your own career journey, and need guidance, our team of professionals would love the opportunity to work with you. Do not let your age hold you back from the career you desire! You deserve it and you have earned it! Contact Resumes with Results today!