Sentiments of Seasoned Professional Women
“The Golden Years”, “The Prime of Our Lives”, “The Pinnacle of Our Careers”. Many of us, are familiar with these phrases as they have historically depicted a positive sentiment for seasoned professional women both in their careers and in their lives. But given the rather drastic shift in corporate America over the years from an inclusive-centric ideology to a Millennial-focused model, we cannot help but question whether these positive sentiments toward older seasoned professional women are rapidly fading into empty platitudes.
The pinnacle of our careers
Most of us who have ever spent time in corporate America know that business fads come and go. Whether it is the “Diversity and Inclusion” campaign or the “Good Corporate Citizen” effort, or even now the new “More Women in Tech” campaign, these fads speak a lofty sermon about doing the right thing and about inclusiveness for all, but instead fail to deliver results. For older professional women, these exclusive fads have turned “The Pinnacle of Our Careers” sentiment into the worse nightmare of their lives.
While the articles have been few, the available research depicting bias and discrimination toward older women in the workplace has given strong support to the fact thatseasoned professional women are rapidly being squeezed out of their positions and are continually being passed over for recruitment and hire. Additionally, “The Shortage of Women in Sr.-Level Positions” argument has proven that seasoned older women are being passed over for promotion as well.
Is this the type of “Diversity and Inclusion for Women” that corporations are envisioning?
The Harvard Business Review published an article on the subject earlier this year which took a rather poignant look into this phenomenon Women are Being Forced Out of the Workforce. While this increasing problem has been widespread in all industries, certain sectors such as IT, finance and consulting have especially been singled out as industries where age bias and discrimination against older seasoned women is not only increasing in proportion, but is also seen as the status quo. This problem has been so pervasive in Tech in corporate America that it has raised many brows at the EEOC calling for more diversity in the sector. The USA Today highlighted their findings in its recent article EEOC- More Diversity Needed in Tech Hiring .
Have these women become undesirables?
So what are these older seasoned professional women to do if they are becoming “undesirables” in corporate America? Many have forged solutions of their own by becoming entrepreneurs and building successful companies, consultancies and coaching practices. Others from previous generations have made it to the Senior and C-Suite Levels and speak on panels. Yet, still others trying to retain their jobs have even resorted to plastic surgery in a continued attempt to fit in with the “youthful” culture that their firms encourage. However, many women have not been as fortunate. Lacking in spousal support or financial resources, some have struggled and have even been forced into minimum wage work, poverty and even death.
While choosing the fresh new Millennial blooms may be exciting and “En Vogue” for corporate America, the seasoned flowers are quickly being pruned unjustly.
Do you need help with your career plan – check out the 3Plus Coaching Programs