SAGE Celebrates National Employ Older Workers Week
Today's blog post was written by SAGEWorks Program Manager, Michele D'Amato. To learn more about SAGEWorks and sign-up for information, click here.
This week the U. S. Department of Labor recognizes the contributions of workers 55 years and older through National Employ Older Workers Week. SAGEWorks, a national employment support program for LGBT people 40 and over, has been providing such recognition for years in New York City and in five affiliates across the country.
The new economy has brought new challenges for older workers. The length of time to find a job for people 55-64 years old is 46 weeks, compared to 20 weeks for 16-24 year olds. There is also a lower re-employment rate for the mature worker (47%) compared to younger workers (62%). This can be attributed partly to the unfounded belief that older workers do not embrace technology, are overqualified and demand higher salaries. LGBT people have fought discrimination all their lives. We cannot allow ageism to hold us back from succeeding in the workplace.
Last year we found out through a telephone survey conducted by Adecco, a large human resources consulting firm, that hiring managers are three times more likely to hire a mature worker. This is what the report identified as common characteristics of older workers: reliable, professional, superior writing skills, good listeners, positive work ethic, problem solvers, strong leaders and great time managers. These are the great qualities we focus on in SAGEWorks, along with providing hands-on workshops, technology training and job-hunting skills that take place in an LGBT age-friendly environment.
Most of all, we let the participants know they are not alone and that there is a place where LGBT people 40 and over can find a peer network that can help them navigate today’s tough employment market. We will be celebrating older workers long past this week and invite anyone who is struggling to find employment to join our program.