Why We Need Older Women in the Workplace

Why We Need Older Women in the Workplace

“A good workplace is one in which you can look around and see versions of yourself five years from now, or ten. But for women, this exercise in mirroring gets harder and harder as they push toward 40, and 50, and beyond — for the simple reason that older women with ambition don’t stick around. They dial back, drop out, start their own thing. They want more control, flexibility; they find themselves trapped in one more meeting listening to one more self-serving anecdote by one more male superior who feels no urgency to head on home, and they reach their limit.”


“According to a 2012 report by Dow Jones, companies with at least one female senior executive are more likely to succeed than companies that have only men at the top. Venture-based start-ups with five or more women onboard are significantly more successful than those without. “

It’s hard enough to be a woman working in tech.

It’s harder to be a woman over 40 working in tech.

It’s almost not possible to be a woman over 50 working in tech. Certainly not on the tech track. More likely on the managerial track, but there’s precious few of them, too.

If you’re a woman of color, multiply all of the above by an additional factor of difficulty.

I’ve talked to many women about their tech careers and getting their first job as a career-switcher. If they’re over 35, I advise them to look at universities, government, and large corporations for their careers. These are the institutions less likely to be affected by ageism, sexism, and racism.

(FYI: My GRANDMOTHER, who would be 98 today if she were still alive, programmed TV satellites in the early 70s. With punch cards. SHE was hard-core. The first computer I used was a 1976-era Heathkit computer that my grandfather assembled from parts. My grandmother taught me BASIC at the age of 6, while I sat on her knee. Literally. So yeah, #NotAllMoms, #NotAllGrandmas.)

Jen Kramer @jen4web