An informal study by supplement company A. Vogel reported that most women “begin to feel invisible by the time they are 51.” The Busch and Vogel findings touched on a growing frustration among mature women.
State residents 45 and older are climbing in number. The average life expectancy for CT females is just under 83 (78 for males) – the fifth-highest life expectancy in the country (CDC 2018 National Vital Statistics Report.) But are they seen or heard by their communities?
Many women anecdotally pinpoint this time in their lives when they are nudged to the sidelines – – subtly or not so subtly. Many are resisting the push, and they reward those who still “see” them.
Can You See Me?
Take the success of TikTok phenom Will White (@whiteyy18 on the app), a 21-year-old Canadian model and landscaper, who has drawn the attention of women over 40 in droves. His video clips, featuring 1980s soundtracks (Stevie Nicks, Kim Carnes, Barry Manilow and others) have gone viral; he speaks to throngs of mature women thrilled that this young man highlights their music. He’s become a national sensation.
Music and culture are only part of the story. While not unique in Connecticut, women also say they feel the sting in the workplace.
According to a 2014 Urban Institute survey, 55 percent of workers in their 50s reported being “forced or at least partly forced to retire,” up from 33 percent just 16 years earlier.
Those national numbers don’t sit well with Nora Duncan, State Director at AARP-CT.https://local.aarp.org/hartford-ct/. Many older CT workers haven’t had a job interview in more than five years, she said. She believes state women across multicultural groups – including Latinos and Blacks – feel the pressure more acutely than men. “Women, in particular, see age discrimination as very prevalent,” she said.