Older Women in the Workforce—Fact Sheet
compiled by Betty Cohen
March 2009—As employers adjust to the increasing numbers of older workers in the workforce, they are working to make the workplace more inclusive, with equal treatment and opportunities for all aged workers. An important step in this process is the examination of all factors that are affecting older workers as they seek a place in the changing workplace. Recent studies have shown that older women workers face a particular disadvantage; older women workers face higher percentages of underemployment and “tend to live in households with lower family incomes than their male counterparts.”
Fact Sheet 22, Factors Affecting Older Women in the Work Force, lays out these discrepancies in pay and employment broken down by age, gender, race, living conditions, and marital status. The fact sheet highlights that older women workers are affected by a number of conditions that ultimately place large numbers of them at high risk for underemployment and poverty. For example, “For workers aged 60-64, 16.9% of women report underemployment, compared to 12.1% of men.”
For those employers trying to make their businesses more open to workers of all ages, and diverse in other ways, this information shows that there are large groups still excluded and devalued in the workplace.