MIT Experts Explain Why the Future Belongs to Older Women
Studies show that the average human lifespan is slowly increasing with time and people are living longer, healthier lives than they used to, but the narrative on retirement is still the same as it was generations ago. People are now living up to 80’s and in some cases even 100’s but, with the retirement age still fixed at 60, Americans can expect to spend more than one-third of their lives not working.
Experts are now saying that the army of older female workers is growing and by 2060, there will be more than 100 million Americans of the age 65 or above, and more experienced women are proving to be a valuable asset to the economy.
The Backbone of the Economy
Experience is invaluable when it comes to running a business or succeeding in personal life. Older women tend to do a better job at making health care choices for the family, managing household budget and providing better care for elders and the younger. When it comes to living for longer, women have an advantage over men which means that older women have more time to start a business and prosper financially even after the age of retirement – in other words, the future of business and economy are females.
But is the world aware of it? Women often complain about workplace discrimination as they get older and the younger workforce with more up-to-date knowledge takes over, making the more experienced staff feel invisible and out of place. But one MIT professor, Joseph F. Coughlin, explains in his book, The Longevity Economy, that older female workforce is the backbone of the ‘longevity economy’
Women are Better Prepared for the Future Than Men
Coughlin argues than when it comes to gaining experience in different aspects of life, men are at disadvantage. The society views them as the breadwinners of the family, which puts more pressure on them to excel in their careers. In their pursuit of money and power, men often miss out on gain experiences in other domains of life.
Women, on the other hand, are experts in multitasking. They have to learn to juggle work and family simultaneously and are better at handling stress and maintaining a work-life balance. In other words, women are more prepared to face the future than their male counterparts.
Coughlin says in his book that the world is underestimating the resourcefulness of older women with innovative ideas. The most common misconception about the older workforce is that they are outdated, unenthusiastic or exhausted but research shows the opposite. Women above the age of 50 are still full of vivacity, ready to be start new businesses and use decades of experience to find success in their careers. The society tends to put a lot of emphasis of the years before 60, but with the average lifespan of women increasing rapidly, they still have many years of prosperity ahead of them after retirement.
Why Older Women Make Better Leaders
Coughlin explains that women play several roles in their lifetime and are any household’s backbone. They are educated, adept in conducting research, solving problems and communicating effectively with the millennials. A woman is the chief caregiver and head of the family. Her experience with running a household can directly translate to her skills in starting or managing a business. She is better at making smart decisions, handing out responsibilities and managing other – all these qualities prepare her to become an exceptional team leader.
She is also the budgeting officer of the household who is in charge of the finances and knows which bills need to be paid and what needs to be bought and which healthcare plans need to be purchased for the family. Tackling these daily challenges has prepared women to be leader and entrepreneurs of the future.
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