February 2019

Note from the editor

Ageism at Work: Fact or Fiction?

One of the most heartbreaking issues I’ve run into while working on CoveyClub is the constant discussion I have with women in their late 40s or early 50s who feel they have a target on their backs at work. It’s not just the usual office politics. It’s having seniority, being female, and therefore, most likely, having a large salary. Friends and new acquaintances tell me about how corporations make them feel marginalized, passed over, or even invisible. Many fabulously smart and accomplished women feel they have been moved into divisions that don’t take advantage of their skills and/or just parked till they retire or leave. Many fear rocking the boat or raising their heads because they wonder how, if they lost their current job, they would get another one this late in the game. While some of this is just general antsiness caused by extreme competition in any profession, some of it sure looks like ageism. What is interesting to me is that women certainly feel that they are being targeted more than men even though there is no definitive research to support the idea. Could it be that women are just more vocal about being let go than men? Or, as one person familiar with this topic suggested, could it be that women and men get let go at the same rate in their 50s but women have a harder time getting back into the workforce.

To dig out some real facts and figures,  CoveyClub and Reboot Accel are teaming up with NBC News and Know Your Value to conduct a nationwide survey targeting the challenges women 35 and older face in the workplace: ageism, discrimination, being forced out of the workplace, and relaunching after a career pause. Using this data as a framework, we will work to inform you about the steps you can take to reenter the workforce, understand the barriers placed in front of us (especially those of us over 50), and develop meaningful solutions for companies, lawmakers and employers to destigmatize age. The research will start in February and we hope to bring you results in the spring or summer.

To get the conversation started, Covey writer Katie Weisman interviewed women to get their stories and perspectives on the topic and unearthed the facts at hand in our piece below called “Ageism in the Workplace: Do Women Get Hit Harder?” Please read it and add your comments, which will help direct our future research and conclusions.

Even if you aren’t dating, you’ll want to giggle at our piece called  “The New Dating Slang: A Glossary for the Clueless.” You won’t believe the crazy things those millennials in your home or gathered around the office microwave are thinking and saying about the difficulties of finding a connection.  It’s truly hilarious (and, if you ask me, just a tad bit sad) and created by our veteran over-40 dater Cari Shane.

If you love decorating and personal style, don’t miss our wonderful piece called “The Joy of Junk and Clutter.” Mary Randolph Carter was a magazine and fashion icon and she reveals her organized approach to designing a home with gorgeous clutter. Does the idea of having all this stuff around you make you cringe or swoon? (I’m a swooner since my whole decorating style is about peeling paint.)

And don’t miss novelist Fiona Davis’ lovely paean to the confidence that comes with age called “Lady at the Bar.”

We have best business books for you, plus a lovely essay about handling Type 1 Diabetes, and an amazing story of turning a tragedy in early life into motivation for reinvention in later life (“A ‘Why Me?’ Reinvention”).

And remember: we at CoveyClub believe it’s never too late to find your bliss. Our wonderful guide on how to “Adopt a Child at Midlife” is from Jennifer Meyers, someone who did just that. Pass it along to anyone who needs inspiration.

We rely on your feedback to make TheCovey better, so please add comments. Have a happy February!

Say what?

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”

―Pablo Picasso

Hot flash!

Whereas women on average head into retirement with nearly $40,000 in savings, men head in with $60,000. Moreover, many older women face the dual responsibility of tending to both their elderly parents and their children. Eldercare providers are most commonly women aged 55 to 64, and nearly half of all elder caregivers also have children under 18 at home.

— Why Retaining Older Women in the Workforce Will Help the U.S. Economy – Knowledge@Wharton

CONTRIBUTORS

Fiona Davis

Fiona Davis

After getting a master’s degree at Columbia Journalism School, Fiona Davis fell in love with writing, leapfrogging from editor to freelance journalist before finally settling down as an author of historical fiction. She has three novels out now: The Dollhouse, The Address, and The Masterpiece.

Diane Flynn

Diane Flynn

Diane Flynn is the Cofounder and CEO of ReBoot Accel, a company that empowers women to lead lives of impact and helps them reenter the workforce after a long break. Diane is also a speaker, coach, and consultant and currently resides in San Francisco Bay Area.

Margie Goldsmith

Margie Goldsmith

Margie Goldsmith is a regular contributor to Forbes.com and Business Jet Traveler. She’s traveled to 135 countries and written about them all for publications including Travel + Leisure, Wall Street Journal, and New York Times. Margie has won 80 writing awards including Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Gold, ASJA Gold Award, multiple NATJA Gold Awards and four Folio Awards.