My Gray Hair Matters: Don’t Count Me Out

 

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Gray Hair Matters

Recently, I talked to a friend about my ongoing job search. I’m job hunting at the age of 55 and it’s been an interesting experience.  My friend suggested that I dye my beautiful gray hair to decrease the chances of discrimination based on appearance. Then, this got me to thinking that my gray hair matters! Don’t count me out of the game.

Firstly,  let me say that I am a proud woman of color and Baby Boomer. Boomer Love! Secondly, I am proud to have an AARP card. Most of all, I am proud of every gray strand of hair on my head, because I earned them. Also, I am a part of a very viable market, women over 50. Marketers and employers should not count out this important market. 

Women over 50 spend on travel, big purchases and more.

A recent USA Today article, The Economy is Still All About Who Else- Boomers stated that 41.6 percent of all consumer spending is by Americans 55 years and older. That is major buying power. Guess who makes the majority of the spending decisions in a household? Of course, it is women. We rule! Yet, marketers and employers do not recognize the powerful market of women over 50. Therefore, I am tired of being overlooked and left out of the equation.  Here are some reasons why this woman with gray hair matters.

Powerful Market

According to Bloomberg News, women make up 85% of all consumer purchases. So, imagine if over 41% of consumer spending is by Americans 55 years and older, women my age are a big part of that 85%! Women over 50 have tremendous buying power. We worked hard, saved money and love to shop. We are spending big on travel, entertainment, health products, and more. Women make big decisions when purchasing autos, houses and other big buys. In other words, we have money to spend!

Next, marketers must recognize that we are loyal customers. Gray haired women buy what they like. Once they find a product, company or service they love, women will continue to buy, buy and buy! We believe in brand loyalty. However, gray haired women like myself believe in great customer service for our loyalty. Therefore, treat us right and we will keep coming back.

Loyal Employees

Lastly, gray haired ladies like myself make loyal employees, too. However, older women workers are being pushed out of the workforce. The Harvard Business Review published an article and surveyed hundreds of women in their 50’s and 60’s. These women were pushed out, demoted or fired because of their age. Also, the women discussed the inability to find another job. It’s unfortunate because older women workers are well educated, critical thinkers, and problem-solvers. 

Women over 50 have money to spend.

Also, in the article titled Older Women Are Being Pushed Out of the Workforce, researchers listed something interesting. One possibility of older women being discriminated against is based on physical appearance. From my own experience of job hunting while over 50, I know how it feels to be overlooked. Company recruiters and HR managers, this woman’s gray hair matters! Don’t count me out.

Recognize the Power

Here is an example of business owners not recognizing the power of older workers. One day while waiting on a take-out food order, I struck up a conversation with a young entrepreneur. He was full of ideas and confidence. Then he said it. “ I would never hire an older worker because they’re stuck in their ways. Older workers don’t want to learn anything new.”  His perceptions were all wrong. Furthermore, the young entrepreneur fails to realize what knowledge, experience and wisdom older workers can bring to his business.

Gray hair matters! Gray haired women, you are a powerful market. It’s time marketers and employers recognize us for what we have to offer. Ladies, we’re over 50 and fabulous! We offer great shopping and spending power. Then, after spending our money, we offer brand loyalty. If you hire us, we offer experience, knowledge and hard work. We are worth every strand of gray hair. Stop counting us out of the game!  #GrayHairMatters

Resources

The Economy is Still All About – Who Else? – Boomers

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/07/17/economy-still-all-who-else-boomers/476908001/

Five Workplaces That Embrace Older Workers

https://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2016/11/18/5-workplaces-that-embrace-older-workers/#5fbe06905914

The Cost of Ignoring Older Worker

https://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2017/04/05/the-cost-of-ignoring-older-workers/#6656515a14e5

Should You Worry About Graying Workforce

http://www.cnbc.com/2015/04/27/should-you-worry-about-the-graying-workforce.html

5 Ways to Improve Customer Service for Seniors

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/244043

Top 10 Things Everyone Should Know About Women Consumers

https://www.forbes.com/sites/bridgetbrennan/2015/01/21/top-10-things-everyone-should-know-about-women-consumers/#1e10c6746a8b

Older Women are being Forced Out of the Workplace

https://hbr.org/2016/03/older-women-are-being-forced-out-of-the-workforce

She-conomy – Marketing To Women Quick Facts

http://she-conomy.com/report/marketing-to-women-quick-facts

Women Make Up 85% of All Consumer Purchases

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/b/9e28517f-8de1-4e59-bcda-ce536aa50bd6

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3 Replies to “My Gray Hair Matters: Don’t Count Me Out”

  1. This is a great post full of wisdom! It’s not a topic I had really thought about before but this has really opened my eyes. I’m on the opposite end of the spectrum, just getting ready to join the workplace and I often argue that there aren’t enough young people- interesting to look at this from a different perspective. and yes, your grey is beautiful!

    1. Thank you for the compliment. I wish you much success as you join the workforce. As you join the workplace, you can go with a new perspective and be observant of practices such as this one.

  2. This is awesome! I’ve not hit 50, but even in my early 40s, I felt the scarlet letter (‘O’ fo old) burning on my forehead. I had the nerve to let my hair shine on LinkedIn and in interviews!

    That simply pushed me to entrepreneurial status!

    Thank you for writing! Well worth the read. FYI…I’m posting to LinkedIn!

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