Are jobs age-friendly enough to keep older workers interested? Plus, how to handle ‘mansplaining’ in meetings

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Like the United States and much of the world, Canada’s population and workforce are aging. According to the 2021 census, more than a fifth (22 percent) were between the ages of 55 and 64 — an all-time high.

If the older workers once rejoiced in gold watches, pensions and rounds of golf, those days are over. Whether it’s staying active or balancing the inflation-damaged value of their portfolio, many don’t want to retire early, or maybe not at all.

But that’s probably a good thing in a world where employers often bemoan labor shortages. Going forward, the workforce is only getting older, and there are legitimate reasons employees continue to earn – for their financial well-being, but also because many industries will continue to need their contributions.

But realistically, as people age, they look for other types of jobs, with those that are less physically demanding and more flexible probably being the most sought-after. Are jobs age-friendly enough to attract older workers?

Read more from Linda Nazareth here.

Tips on how to negotiate the best salary and other perks

Young Canadians face rising rent and mortgage costs in addition to higher grocery and gas bills – and for those looking for a job, negotiating a higher salary will likely be a priority.

That’s why Devon Turcotte, a careers advisor for Gen Z and Millennial job seekers at Careerified, always advises candidates to figure out what their weekly or monthly budget is, including what they want to save or invest, before even starting the job hunt .

As for the job search itself, she tells clients that it’s not uncommon for employers to be given a budget 20 or 30 percent over the advertised salary range in a job posting.

While many candidates skip the negotiation process out of discomfort, it’s always a good practice to make an effort to negotiate, whether it helps candidates generate more revenue or just builds more confidence in starting those conversations.

Read the full story for more negotiation strategies.

Losing the fear of standing out: Deviating from the norm can be an advantage for women, says expert

In her rise to the helm of Xerox, Ursula Burns often found herself an outsider – black and female. “My natural comfort is to be the only or [one of] the few in a room,” the retired chief executive officer told CNBC earlier this year. “I got very good at playing in this room… If I raised my hand in a meeting, I was almost certainly called out. You’re so different that they can’t ignore you, at least outdoors.”

Laura Morgan Roberts, a professor at Darden Business School, cites Ms Burns as a prime example of positive deviance. She deviated from the norm and it served her well.

Normally, of course, deviation is viewed negatively. But behavioral scientists are beginning to pay attention to this intriguing shift in perspective. “Positive deviation is essentially about how we as individuals and organizations can deviate from the norm, but in a way that is honorable or generative or both – that has a positive impact and opens the door for others to do the same,” said dr Roberts in a university white paper.

Read the whole story here.

In case you missed it:

What if moms decided to “quiet quietly”?

On October 24, 1975, Icelandic women went on strike for a day because they felt undervalued, overworked and frankly fed up. Ninety percent of Icelandic women refused to babysit, cook and work for a full day, and it literally brought the country to its knees.

The strike, historically known as Iceland’s ‘Women’s Day off’, was deemed a success as the country recognized the importance of women’s contributions to society. In the summer of 1980 the Icelandic people elected their first woman President, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, who held the post for 16 years.

We haven’t seen anything this extreme in decades, but some are wondering if it’s about time.

Read the full article here.

Marie-Claude Michaud and Roméo Dallaire on leadership with vulnerability to revolutionize the workplace

In 2015, Marie-Claude Michaud did something revolutionary at work: she showed that vulnerability is a strength.

A civilian who worked for the Department of Defense for over 20 years, Ms. Michaud had previously adapted the leadership style expected in a patriarchal, hierarchical and predominantly male military environment.

“I had to adopt the behavior of a man to be accepted,” says Ms. Michaud, former executive director of the Valcartier Military Family Resource Center, an organization that provides services to military families around the world.

After being exhausted from deployments in Afghanistan, Ms. Michaud took sick leave for eight months and spent that time reimagining what it means to lead. She developed a people-centric approach to leadership that prioritizes mental health and well-being in the workplace.

Read more about the philosophy of the benevolent leadership of Marie-Claud Michaud and Roméo Dallaire here.

Ask women and work


I am one of the few women in my work environment. In meetings, I find that some of my male colleagues consistently undercut my comments. They repeat what I say, like, “I think what she means is…” It’s very frustrating because we’re on the same level work-wise. I have as much if not more expertise than them. My team leader is also a male and doesn’t seem to notice. How can I deal with this?

We asked Darine BenAmara, founder of The wise woman in Toronto to set up this one:

What is being described here sounds a lot like mansplaining, ie when a man interrupts a woman to explain something condescendingly, assuming he is more knowledgeable than she is.

I want to assure you that you are not alone. Numerous studies have shown that men speak more than women in mixed meetings, leaving them very little room to express themselves. This can ultimately affect women’s confidence and self-worth. It’s important to me to let you know that you’re okay. Being the only woman on a team full of men can sometimes mean you have to fight harder to be heard and ideas appreciated.

However, there are practical ways you can deal with such situations.

First, get straight to the point when speaking in meetings. Oftentimes, women use too many words, either to soften what they are saying or to show their knowledge, which can open the door for others to interrupt them. The solution is to structure the speech with a slogan (the goal), present the idea with three main points (maximum), and with an invitation to comment or ask questions. This way you stay in control of what you want to say.

Second, contrast with the mansplainer. For example, if the other person tries to bury the conversation with patronizing babble, you can politely interrupt them and acknowledge their expertise by saying something like, “I know you have a good knowledge of this topic, and I appreciate yours willingness very part it with me. But let’s talk about what we both want, viz [the outcome you want to achieve].’ In this way, you tactfully take back your power and speak your mind effectively.

When it comes to your team leader not realizing what’s happening to you in meetings, it’s important to note that mansplaining can be conscious or unconscious. He may not be aware that the way they talk to you is mansplaining. The best way to address the issue is to have an open conversation with him and tell him how you feel about it. This way everyone feels more comfortable and included.

Submit your own questions to Ask Women and Work by emailing us at [email protected].

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