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As is true in the United States and in much of the world, Canada’s population and work force are getting older. According to the 2021 census, more than a fifth (22 per cent) were aged between 55 and 64 – an all-time high.
If at one time those older workers were looking forward to gold watches, pensions and rounds of golf, those days are gone. Whether it is to keep themselves active or to make up for the inflation-eroded value of their portfolios, many are not looking to retire early, or perhaps at all.
But this is presumably good in a world where employers frequently bemoan the lack of labour. Going forward, the work force will only get older and there are legitimate reasons to keep employees earning – for their financial well-being, but also because many industries will continue to need their contributions.
But in realistic terms, people look for different kinds of jobs as they age, with those that are less physically taxing and more flexible presumably the most in demand. Are jobs age-friendly enough to keep older workers interested?
Read more from Linda Nazareth here.
Tip on how to negotiate for the best salary and other perks
Young Canadians are facing rising rents and mortgage costs on top of higher grocery and gas bills – and for those on the job hunt, negotiating a higher salary is likely to be front of mind.
That’s why Devon Turcotte, a career adviser for generation 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 be saving or investing, before they even start their job search.
When it comes to the job search itself, she tells clients that it’s not unusual for employers to be approved for a budget up to 20 or 30 per cent more than the stated salary range in a job posting.
While many candidates skip the negotiation process out of discomfort, making an effort to negotiate is always good practice whether it helps candidates receive higher earnings or just build more confidence in starting these conversations.
Read the full story for more negotiation strategies.
Lose the fear of standing out: Deviating from the norm can be an advantage for women, expert says
In her rise to the top at Xerox, Ursula Burns often found herself an outsider – Black and female. “My natural comfort is being the only or [one of] the few in a room,” the retired chief executive officer told CNBC earlier this year. “I became very good at playing in that space … If I raised my hand in any meeting, almost surely, I was called on. You’re so different that, at least in open spaces, they can’t ignore you.”
Darden Business School professor Laura Morgan Roberts cites Ms. Burns as a prime example of positive deviance. She deviated from the norm and that worked to her advantage.
Normally, of course, deviance is viewed negatively. But behavioural scientists are starting to pay attention to this intriguing reversal of perspective. “Positive deviance, in its essence, is about how we, as individuals and organizations, can go ahead and deviate from the norm, but do so in ways that are honourable or generative or both – that have positive impact and open the door to others to do the same,” Dr. Roberts said in a university white paper.
Read the full story here.
In case you missed it:
What if moms decided to ‘quiet quit’?
On October 24, 1975, the women of Iceland went on strike for a day because they felt undervalued, overworked and, frankly, they’d had enough. Ninety per cent of Icelandic women refused to look after the kids, cook and work for an entire day and it brought the country to its proverbial knees.
The strike, known historically as Iceland’s “Women’s Day Off,” was deemed a success as the country took notice of the importance of women’s societal contributions. By the summer of 1980, the Icelandic people had elected their first woman president, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, who went on to hold the position for 16 years.
We haven’t seen anything quite this extreme in decades, but some wonder if it’s time.
Read the full article here.
Marie-Claude Michaud and Roméo Dallaire on leading with vulnerability to revolutionize the workplace
In 2015, Marie-Claude Michaud did something revolutionary in her workplace: She demonstrated that vulnerability is a strength.
As a civilian working with the Department of National Defence for over 20 years, Ms. Michaud had previously conformed to the leadership style that was expected in a patriarchal, hierarchical and predominantly male military environment.
“I had to adopt a man’s behaviour to be accepted,” says Ms. Michaud, former executive director of the Valcartier Military Family Resource Centre, an organization that offers services to military families around the world.
After assignments in Afghanistan left her exhausted, Ms. Michaud took an eight-month sick leave and spent that time reimagining what it means to lead. She came up with a people-first approach to leadership that prioritizes mental health and well-being in the workplace.
Read more about Marie-Claud Michaud and Roméo Dallaire’s philosophy of benevolent leadership here.
Ask Women and Work
I am one of only a few women in my work environment. During meetings, I find that a couple of my male colleagues are constantly undercutting my comments. They restate what I’m saying, like, “I think what she means is…” It’s very frustrating because we are at the same level, work-wise. I have just as much, if not more, expertise than they do. My team leader is also a man and doesn’t seem to notice it’s happening. How can I deal with this?
We asked Darine BenAmara, founder of The Smart Woman in Toronto, to field this one:
What is described here sounds very much like mansplaining, which is when a man interrupts a woman to explain something in a condescending way, assuming he is more knowledgeable than her.
I want to reassure you that you are not alone. Numerous studies have shown that in mixed meetings, men speak more than women, leaving them very little room to express themselves. This can ultimately affect women’s self-confidence and self-worth. It’s important for me to let you know that there is nothing wrong with you. Being the only woman on a team full of men can sometimes mean having to fight harder to have your voice heard and ideas honoured.
However, there are practical ways you can handle these kinds of situations.
First, get straight to the point when speaking in meetings. Oftentimes, women use too many words in an attempt to either soften what they’re saying or showcase their knowledge, which can open the door for others to interrupt. The solution is to structure the speech with one tagline (the goal), present the idea with three main points (maximum) and end with an invitation to comment or to ask questions. By doing so, you keep control over what you want to say.
Second, contrast with the mansplainer. For example: When the other person tries to bury the conversation using patronizing verbiage, you can interrupt politely and acknowledge his expertise by saying something like: ‘I know this is a subject that you know a lot about, and I really appreciate your willingness to share it with me. But let’s talk about what we both want, which is [the outcome you want to achieve].’ By doing so, you tactfully take back your power and speak up effectively.
When it comes to your team leader not noticing what is 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 are talking to you is mansplaining. The best way to approach the issue is to have an open conversation with him and tell him how you feel about it. That way, everyone is more comfortable and feels included.
Submit your own questions to Ask Women and Work by e-mailing us at GWC@globeandmail.com.