Jobs: Women become invisible when they hit 50

THEY ARE being dubbed ‘invisible women’ – a generation of fed-up 50-something women who are being ignored in the workplace once they reach their milestone birthday.

New research has found that inequality is rife for fifty-plus women in all professions as four in five women over 50 claim to have been overlooked in job interviews and for promotions because of their age.

The Invisible Women Study by 50-plus online retailer found 77 per cent of mature women believe they have been passed over by employers because of their age, and more than half (52 per cent) stated they were unlikely to progress any further in their career. Only a third (35 per cent) felt they currently had a successful job.

Respondents were asked to rank the worst-offending workplaces and fashion and beauty topped the bill, followed by the automotive; TV and media; and tourism and leisure industries.

Almost a third (31 per cent) claim to have been treated with impatience and a lack of understanding by colleagues and society in general, and a further 15 per cent had experienced disdain and a complete lack of respect because of their age and the preconceptions that go with it.

In stark contrast to employers’ poor treatment of 50-plus females, the survey revealed that younger generations respect and look up to their seniors with four in five (76 per cent) agreeing that older women have more confidence and the same number thought they are more independent than younger women.

However, the younger generation overwhelmingly agreed with the statements that mature women were less likely to progress in their career (53 per cent) and very likely to be overlooked in job interviews (76 per cent).

Lynda Bellingham, the face of, said: “This research tells us what we’ve all known for some time – that reaching 50 means that society starts treating you differently. But times are changing – and women are standing up to be counted. With a third of the population now aged over 50 we are a voice that society cannot afford to ignore.”