Hi All, so I need your honest feedback on the topic of females aging in the workplace.
I've been a finalist for at least 10 leadership roles over the past 4 years not landed one. I've had one of the best career coaches in the NW for 3+ years and I'm very trained at this point in all ways. I have a purpose and energy and excitement and long for growth. Im super healthy, look younger than my true years but I'm repeatedy pass up for younger men with less experience.
Some history; I've not had a straight path in one job BUT I HAVE worked in one industry across ALL of my experiences - fashion/apparel. I spent most of my career as a professional global photographer & journalist in storytelling and helped launch a lifestyle publication then in fashion which led to my becoming an Art Director helping launch a lifestyle brand and concept boutiques. I quit my AD role specifically due to sexual harassment but never made this public (its a personal choice). After years of interviewing and not landing several Art & Creative Director roles (one was even specificaly for a female focused brand which was given to a man, as they all were) - I was made an offer to become a Global Design Manager managing Licensee design marketing teams around the world at a sportswear brand. The team director was pretty good, but the team was toxic (in particular two people were emotionally abusive). I learned they had been reported many times prior to me being there yet Zero action had been taken. It's not how I would run things! About 6 mo later I reported both peoole+ examples to the director and 1 year later, with no shift, I requested to move to another team as a Content Producer. I was overqualified for that position but wanted to stay at the company and remain financially stable for my family.
Then, along with thousands, I was laid off during Covid BUT hired back 3 mo later this time for a Global Communications Manager contract position - which due to the times I accepted and I rather liked it and I saw this as a way to get closer to a pivot in my joirney trying to get into a leadership role where I have ownership again and can make a greater impact in the livea through Human-Centered Creative Management and Ops.
From the start of that job it was terribly mishandled and they let go of all the original hires but for me. The director lacked vision for the positions (the team) nor did they know how to implement my planning due to lack of resources and just corporate red tape in general which they had planned for. I made a beautiful editorially focused people first comms plan to set the company up for long term success based on their employees needs (and the research I was a part of collecting about employees, creative workflows, brand architecture and more. Just as I began rolling out the plan, they ended the project and let me go too.
Now I am here. I've been interviewing already and one was a leadership role again as Dir of Creative Ops. After several interviews & fulfilling a request to share a presentation about my take on Human-Centered Creative Ops, they set me up to do a 9 person panel interview with people whom I found out IN the meeting would be some of those whom the role manages (I had to pry the recruiter & creative director for ANY real info to help in success). They told me they thought Im better suited to a comms role like the one I was just in.... nothing more.
Its a BCorp and that's where I'd like to be, so I kept an open mind and went with the flow. Practice makes perfect. So after the hiring manager said they want me for the comms role, they didn't follow through on next steps - a red flag. I got an email a week+ later telling me they had other candidates with more comms experience they're moving forward with.
IDK why I'm writing here, but I'm convinced ageism plays a part in hiring (or not hiring) candidates. I've seen a lot of you here are youNYer than me. I'm now 50. Owning it.
What is your thinking on working with people who are older? Do you have bias based on stereotypes? Would you be willinf to talk more openly about your take on situations like mine? Women who hit a glass ceiling due to past systemic sexism and now are facing systemic ageism and defecting stereotypes of expectations of leadership behavior that I personally have led in the past. Where so middle aged women fit into your workplace.