By Megan Giles: Retirement Transition Consultant
Think that only younger women need to #pressforprogress in achieving gender parity, or that you’re too old to champion this movement ? Think again! There has never been such a positive global movement of advocacy, activism and support for women as in 2018 and those approaching, or in, retirement have an equally vital role to play.
It is so important to #pressforprogress at every age.
It certainly need not stop when you step out of the workforce. When women step out of the workforce, do their skills and expertise suddenly disappear? Does their energy dissipate? Do their ideas and journey suddenly count for nothing? Absolutely not!
By being bold and harnessing the opportunities that life sends your way in retirement, you can make an exciting and significant difference to the people and community around you.
As such I am thrilled that the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is #pressforprogress, and I urge each and every one of us to respond to the call to ‘motivate and unite friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive’.
Want to know what you can do to #pressforprogress in 2018? Here are a couple of suggestions.
What can YOU do?
Women entering retirement tend to be healthy, active and have a whole ‘lotta’ living to do, and the perception that women should fade gracefully into the background as they age is no longer valid. Rather, this time of life presents a fantastic opportunity to create or expand ones legacy and say ‘I was here, I mattered, and I made a difference’.
But this requires some focused action on your part. It might be uncomfortable but it’s time to #FireUpThePressMachine (toot your own horn if you will) and proudly share your unique knowledge, experience and expertise so that others can benefit.
Each and every day we have the opportunity to share and help others. By stepping up, standing out and sharing what you have to offer you can have a truly meaningful impact on the people around you in retirement!
What can you do as a partner?
#HotOffThePress - you have a role to play in helping to #pressforprogress too!
Whether it’s real or not, the fear exists for many women that once they reach retirement they will slip into obscurity. Introducing oneself simply as a retiree can feel a little inadequate, it doesn't command the same respect as Executive, lawyer or teacher. As a partner you have a wonderful opportunity to help the amazing woman in your life recognise her strengths, reinforce her relevance, build her confidence and encourage her to live boldly in retirement. Imagine what she can achieve and how she can inspire others when she knows you ‘have her back’!
What can you do as a friend?
As women we tend to worry about what our friends will think and what we feel we ‘should’ be doing in retirement. But the beauty of retirement is that there is no rulebook. So rather than gossip about friends who dare to live life a little differently in retirement, consider how you can support them. #PressTheButton and give your friend the permission to shine in retirement. With the backing of the sisterhood, just watch her go (and grow)!
What can you do as a manager?
Not be too #PressedForTime to value your mature workers
Older workers, and women in particular, can be the victims of outdated stereotypes such as “they can’t keep up with technology” or “they’re more interested in being a grandmother than work”. These assumptions are no longer valid and the data proves it. In fact the majority enjoy the challenge of work, learning new things and get a kick out of doing a great job. As a manager I encourage you to look past these outdated attitudes and value the unique contribution of the mature workers in your team. Diversity (including age) is an invaluable to an organisation as it encourages innovation and a positive workplace culture, thus helping organisations to be at the forefront of their industry.
Remember, your actions don’t need to be on the world stage. The collective power of many small actions can truly have an impressive impact.
Woman or man, young or old, commit to just one action you can take to #pressforprogress this International Women’s Day!
Have a wonderful time celebrating,
To better understand how prepared you are for retirement, why not download the Retirement Planning Questionnaire?
It's more than just a quiz, it's an action-focused tool that will help you take action today (not wait until the day you retire!) to create a retirement that you will love to live!