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Retaining and Maximizing the Use of the Mature Workforce. Joint Conference of the National Council on the Aging and the American Society on Aging Presented By: Jenny Erwin, Regional Administrator U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau, Region 9 Wednesday, March 12, 2003.
of the National Council on the Aging
and the American Society on Aging
Jenny Erwin, Regional Administrator
U.S. Department of Labor
Women’s Bureau, Region 9
Wednesday, March 12, 2003
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, General Accounting Office (GAO)
Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, General Accounting Office (GAO)
Women’s labor force participation rates, ages 55 and above: 1980, 1990, 2000 and projected 2010.
Source: Monthly Labor Review, 11/2001
Occupational distribution of women workers over age 55.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Source: “Packed Facts” on the Senior Market
Human Resource Managers Report the Following Attributes:
Myths & false assumptions need to be addressed:
The cross-cultural, or “cross-age” work interaction needs to be addressed, especially in younger managers to ensure they are not operating with stereotypes. Solutions include training, mentoring, educating younger supervising and hiring managers.
Overcome the stereotype that older women workers are not “competitive” or the best. Distribute the facts that show older workers offer experience, consistency, and greater pay-back due to better longevity.
Older workers may need special pre-interview or pre-hiring training, re: resume writing, interviewing and how to present themselves.
The stereotype that older women workers can’t deal with pressure needs to be overcome by recognizing that ability to cope with stress is related more to personality than to age. Also experience helps to deal with pressure and stress.
Fresh ideas do not only reside in younger employees. They come from older employees but they need to be asked for ideas since they may be less vocal in sharing them.
Flexible work options provide important solutions to attract older women workers. Companies should address their policies. Companies need to reassure themselves that “equitable” treatment of employees does not mean treating them exactly the same. Different employees want equity, but not exactly the same work situation. For example, many employees do not want part time work, even if it is offered.
The perception that older workers are more “expensive” must be overcome. One fact to help, is that health and benefits average out to be the same, and the only group with higher benefit costs are those with families.
Some older workers do need training in computer areas. There are resources and organizations that can provide this at no or little cost to an employer.
CATEGORY 1:Review and modify company job posting,
interviewing, and hiring practices to assess how they
support/prevent hiring older women.
internally and externally to educate and raise awareness
among staff and other companies about issues and
opportunities pertaining to hiring older women workers.
tools, guidelines and informational material from
appropriate resources on how to avoid barriers and
stereotypes in interviewing, hiring and training older
policies and practices such as flex-work options,
scheduling flexibility, part-time schedules, seasonal hiring cycles, etc., to ensure they benefit from and allow for older women worker needs.