You can work on changing attitudes around you – This is more of an ongoing process which needs to be dealt with tactfully and intelligently.
- By your own behaviour you can already set a good example to change this mindset.
- Drip feed, at every opportunity, compliments about, and examples of, older people doing something well.
- In particular, try using phrases like ‘well, obviously with her years of experience, she is the ideal person to solve this’ or something along those lines… Highlighting that it is her age and many years at work that make her so valuable and having such excellent skills/knowledge, is a very positive way to slowly change people’s attitudes.
- Bring into conversation that so many high flyers these days are older women, e.g. Christine Lagarde, Angela Merkel, Indra Nooyi, Marillyn Hewson, Carolyn McCall etc and making the point that at this stage women are redynamised because they have so much more freedom and energy, children left home, confidence, focus etc…
- You can also use statistics on the advantages of mature women in the workplace, the benefits that they give the company.
Some people will remain bigoted forever, but many will simply be unthinking and your information can be a key step in changing their outlook, benefitting you, other 50+ colleagues, the company and the colleague whose mind you have just opened – a win-win situation!
“Anna Cook is particularly passionate about mentoring women executives, and the 50+ sector, in finding clarity in their career choices to achieve freedom, fulfilment and leadership success. She created and became CEO of her first company in the entertainment industry at age 32. Midlife approaching, hungry for a dynamic change, she refocused her experience, founding WomenUP Ltd, a specialist consultancy focusing on the challenges of corporate gender balance strategy”. Creator of the process SCOPE for career fulfilment.
On the personal front, she is a committed dog lover and accomplished horsewoman, passionately interested in ballet, and a devotee of adventurous hiking and trekking.