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  • Writer's pictureKristen Herring-Asleson

The Ageism Battle

Being a woman in the workforce can be a challenge, but add aging to gender, it can get all the more tough.

According to Barb Brooks, business brand and visibility coach, and Guadalupe Hirt, life coach, “Ageism is the new sexism.” Together they feel that although ageism is real, it does not need to stop those of us who are entering our 40s and 50s.

Barb and Lupe are the founders of Second Act Women, a place for women in their 40s and 50s to gather, grow, access programs and tools, and provide support for one another. Their community is inclusive to many, whether you are a woman in business for yourself, have a career or are simply trying to figure out this stage of life.

Why did these two amazing women start Second Act Women? Sadly, it was because they could not get hired, and rather than receiving job offers were receiving letters of rejection stating they were too experienced, too qualified, or not a culture fit. Even worse, some companies altogether ghosted them.

As a woman business owner in her early 50s, I feel all these pains as well. Lately, so many questions float through my mind including, “What if my business no longer provides for me, and I need to get a job? Will I be able to?” As we get older, we tend to worry about issues like this. Jobs aren’t permanent, and careers do end.

Just recently, Second Act Women competed with 14,000 other businesses to become part of a Community Accelerator on Facebook. This accelerator program is to “help leaders harness the power of their community to turn impactful ideas into action.” Making it through the rigors of the competition was grueling, but they made it to the top 31 that were invited to join this program to build a strong second act community.

The honors do not stop there for Lupe and Barb. In addition to the program mentioned above, SAW was recognized in 2021 as an influencer that is advocating for age positivity by Next Avenue, part of the PBS system. Although only in the early stages of the company, they have been featured in Forbes, Kunc and The Denver Post. Ageism may have set them back, but it also lit them on fire.

Brooks states, “Women support women, especially in a generation left to fend for themselves, creates a powerful force of unstoppable females. I’m one of them.” Some may feel age is a disadvantage, but these women are saying, “Prove it. We are only getting started!”

Their offerings of SAW are many, but to share a few, they include:

  • Events and programs led by experts in professional and personal development workshops, conferences and events.

  • Tools and resources such as workbooks, on-demand videos, worksheets and templates for use in your personal or work life.

  • Connections and support by way of private insider events, masterclasses and a Facebook group page.

To sum it up, Second Act Women has many, many offerings which were created by professionals for women who are also facing ageism and sexism. Joining their Insiders Club provides coaching in work, life and finances.

Who couldn’t use help in all those arenas? Even better, this supportive group of women is comprised of business owners, career gals, authors, independent consultants and more – all over the age of 40. All knowing how the other feels or what they may be experiencing during this challenging next phase of life.

I am fortunate to personally know these ladies and can attest to the actions of this dynamic duo fighting ageism tooth and nail to their core.

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