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Pushing through barriers: What value women bring to the job market

Bowling Green, KY (March 4, 2021) - Really, the question is: When it comes to re-entering the “paying” workforce, why do we devalue a woman’s worth because her labor experience looks different than a Monday-through-Friday job? There are numerous reasons for re-entering the workforce, but should the reasons matter? Women who have a lifetime of experience in many different arenas should be celebrated and valued, not dismissed. 

I want to take time during Women’s History Month to celebrate all women, but especially those with a wealth of knowledge who are continuing to contribute to the job market, the betterment of society, and tearing down the stigma that women do not have anything to offer in their 50s and beyond.       

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Most women have more experience than a résumé can convey, but in unconventional ways. They have raised children, participated in jobs, sat on PTAS, been elected to high-profile community boards dealing with the public at large, ran political campaigns, opened family businesses, helped friends open businesses, ran charitable galas and large events, and much more. Yet this work has no value to a human resource officer who depends upon a computer to pick out key words on a résumé. I have no problem saying companies that are depending on a machine to send you the best workers are missing the entire human connection and best fit for your company.   

If you look up the 10 most likely jobs in which a 50-plus-year-old women has the best possibility of success, you will see they have long been the same: teacher, counselor, nursing, real-estate, etc. What you will not see here is accountants, technologies and technology sales, CEOs, and CFOs. Yet, those jobs are exactly what women have been doing their entire life. Most people will say you can teach a profession, but you cannot teach intangibles like leadership, time management, managing a diverse group, conflict resolution. I am here to say that most women in their 50s have acquired these skills, and it would benefit your company greatly to offer an interview because it is an opportunity they have earned. Women in their 50s are well suited for leadership, not just entry-level jobs.  

We celebrate the value women bring to the job market. Keep pushing through the barriers.  

Pam Waggoner

About the Author: Pam Waggoner is a Community Technology Advisor for Connected Nation. She coordinates and manages the activities of planning teams in support of Connected Nation’s Connected Community Engagement Program and the development of community-specific community team creation, data gathering, and technology action planning.