Get Involved! Exploring the impact of ageing in the workplace

Nervous business womanDoes age block or enable success in the business world?

I talked recently with a woman about her latest promotion. Work is a dream come true just now – she is rising through the ranks in her finance company according to plan. But already, at 39, she is concerned about the impact her age will have on the next promotion. In contrast, I coach a CEO in her late 50’s who is lining up her next role, knowing she has so much more to offer as she increases in years and wisdom.

So what role does age play in the business world?

At the Second Act Blog, ( we set out to explore this interesting second stage of life – the kids leave home, career opens up, freedom beckons and we can live the life we want without so much consideration of others. That’s the theory anyway. I fully expected that we would find women in their 50’s grappling with the transition – loaded down with obligations; attached to serving the family; and women who are afraid of what the next stage will bring. What I didn’t expect was such a strong response from younger women, already worrying about growing old.

Clearly there is a culture of youth that keeps plastic surgeons well fed, with too few positive role models of dynamic, energetic and honestly older women. But it is more than that. I’m hearing a concern – will I be accepted and valued as experienced and knowledgeable as I grow older or will I be passed over for someone younger? And how do I relate to the men as I age – will they still see me or do I need to become ‘one of the boys’ now that gravity is making it’s presence felt?

This is a fascinating development and we want to explore the reality so we can support women to leap wholeheartedly into their Second Act – whenever that kicks in.

Will you help?

We have put together a first short survey and would like to hear your view. We would also appreciate you sending it on to other women over 40, so we can get as wide a response as possible.

The idea is to build a community of women, willing to help us explore and contribute to the outcomes.

We will write about the findings as they come in on

Once we have a clear picture, we’ll write a book about women, for women; putting together real stories and ideas for how to manage those turning points into the Second Act. So please join us and contribute – Like us on Facebook, follow on Twitter and keep your eye on the blog, adding in your thoughts whenever you want to.

We look forward meeting you on line and hearing from you via the survey