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Charleygirl Sun 02-Nov-14 11:42:40

Older women have so much more to give. They will not be on maternity leave every couple of years or taking Monday off because their large alcoholic intake over the weekend had severe side effects.

I may be shot in flames but on the whole they have a better work ethic.

Also they are unlikely to be congregating in the wash facilites discussing the latest fashion or heart throb.

I totally agree, phoenix has the type of humour which could sell copies.

janerowena Sun 02-Nov-14 11:00:38

I gave up ten years ago. An older friend told me, over forty and it's over. Maybe it's forty-five now for women, but it's still there.

Dara Sat 01-Nov-14 19:29:47

Made redundant and cannot find another job, for the life of me.

MariClaire Thu 17-Jul-14 18:31:13

Great idea, gillybob. phoenix from what I've seen, you are the perfect one to write this, using your experience, understanding, and writing skill from the unique plight of women our age/work experience. Maybe include stories of other women like you.

gillybob Thu 17-Jul-14 14:45:48

Why don't you do it phoenix ? write the book that is. Write a book about working/ trying to work in the real world. I could give you lots of material. smile

gillybob Thu 17-Jul-14 14:44:18

I can't see this new legislation benefitting anyone really and not least the "older women". However speaking as an employer and a mother/grandmother/carer I can see two sides to this argument.

Firstly I am lucky to be in the position to be-able to chop and change my working hours/days to some extent as long as I put the hours in and get the job done. This enables me to work around looking after my grandchildren two days a week and also see to my grandma everyday (sometimes having to literally drop everything at a moments notice).

Secondly as an employer/small business owner we are already bogged down with maternity leave, paternity leave, carers leave etc. and given that we only employ 7 people in total it would be impossible for us to accomodate everyone who decided they wanted to work flexi hours. Also the type of business we run (engineering) does not and cannot lend itself to working odd hours as our customers tend to want our services from 08.30 - 17.00 Monday to Friday.

Anne58 Thu 17-Jul-14 13:46:31

I could write a book about this! Just over 2 years since I was made redundant, still haven't managed to find anything that lasts.

LucyGransnet (GNHQ) Thu 17-Jul-14 13:42:28

Flexible working and older women

The government recently introduced the right to flexible working for all employees. But, Helen Walmsley-Johnson asks, how will this affect women over 50? And will it benefit them at all?

Helen Walmsley-Johnson

Flexi working and older women

Posted on: Thu 17-Jul-14 13:42:28


Lead photo

Will flexible working benefit women over 50?

The recently introduced right to request flexible working is, by and large, a step in the right direction, if you have a job in the first place; but the group of people who would most benefit are in imminent danger of slipping through the cracks. I’m talking about women aged between 50 and retirement age.

This demographic group has been the subject of no less than five separate reports in the last six months, including The Commission on Older Women Interim Report, Unison's The Sandwich Generation, Age Immaterial from the TUC and finally, the recent DCMS Maximising women's contribution to future economic growth report. The DCMS report, which barely qualifies because the section on older women ("3rd phase") is microscopic, is interesting in that it recommends that the government should "appoint a business champion for older workers to promote the business benefits of recruiting and retaining older workers". Dr Ros Altmann has this week been appointed to grasp this particular nettle. Reading the comments after her piece in The Times today confirms what I've long believed the majority of us feel - a dose of world weary scepticism from a long-neglected group of people who doubt that this appointment will turn out to be anything but another coalition tick-box exercise.

Literature handed out at a debate on older women in employment comes with a picture of an older man seated behind a laptop. There is no real sensible joined-up thought going into any of this.

Be that as it may, most if not all the published reports currently lying on Dr Altmann's desk are based on flawed data. As ever, there has been a great deal of quoting of statistics: women who entered the workforce in the 70s and 80s are also the ones with the largest gender pay gap (18%); women over 50 represent the largest proportion of part-time workers (49.3%) and are the largest group on zero hours contracts; women over 50 have borne the brunt of public sector cutbacks with 49.2% taking or being made redundant, and so on. At the same time, do we believe that this group has a falling unemployment rate (4m women over 50 in employment) or a rising rate which has reached record levels and places the UK 5th on the EU's table of shame? Key to this, in my view, is data on how many women over 50 are a single income household - either because they choose to live alone or because they're supporting a partner - yet no one seems to have asked this. Doesn't this render the figures we do have largely worthless? Women who are part of a double income household and who are out of work are less likely to sign on for benefits or become any part of the data gathering system. Women of 50 and over are less likely to sign on for any benefits, full stop. It's the shame of it, of not being able to support yourself. If these figures were known the full scale of unemployment in this age group would quickly become apparent.

Then there is age discrimination, which lingers on despite being legislated out a good while ago. The story is a familiar one - see a job for which you think you'd be a good fit, apply, hear nothing. Or, go to an agency, sign up, fill in the forms, hear nothing. Sign up to a vacancies website, send off your CV with a covering note, hear nothing - and repeat… 50 times, 100 times, even (sadly not unique) 1000 times. You may get an interview but that seems to be only if you somehow slip through the net. Consider this, the "monitoring" forms that you're asked to fill in when you apply for something are, by law, supposed to be kept separate and anonymous. Was yours? Most often they go through with your application form so everything is known about you from the get-go, including your age, and you are screened out. Ageism exists in ads that specify "recent graduate", "up and coming" or "past model experience" and it exists when you're told you are "over-qualified".

As a group we were brought up not to make a fuss but we must. The organisations that claim to work for us and urge us to "move with the times" are themselves stuck in the Dark Ages with a poor online presence, dull unimaginative thinking and no sense of the scale or urgency of the problem. Literature handed out at a debate on older women in employment comes with a picture of an older man seated behind a laptop. There is no sensible joined-up thought going into any of it. It is a system in chaos and the result will be millions of women who in later years become dependent on either their children or the state and sadly probably both.

By Helen Walmsley-Johnson

Twitter: @TheVintageYear