Kim Cattrall

Kim Cattrall

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

The Invisible Women Study, for new 50-plus online retailer isme.com, has found that despite being the original Generation X, today’s female baby boomers are becoming less visible in society, with 61 per cent blaming this squarely on the fact they have hit the big ‘five-o’.

The research finds that a shocking four in five women over 50 face workplace discrimination but – in stark contrast – they have never felt happier in the bedroom with 67 per cent of those surveyed agreeing that females in their 50s and beyond are more sexually confident than younger women. 

The 50+ woman and society
Originally at the forefront of social change, the sexual revolution, the democratisation of the pill and marching on student demos in the sixties, upon reaching a ‘certain age’, today’s baby boomers are being passed over by everyone from employers to fashion designers.

Nearly half (46 per cent) of all survey respondents – both old and young – thought women over 50 were ignored in society, media and popular culture.  With a further 28 per cent stating that these women were not as visible as men of the same age.

And despite a wave of glamorous golden gals, such as Helen Mirren, Michelle Pfeiffer and Kim Cattrall, flying the flag for the over-50s woman, 73 per cent went as far as to say that even fashion has let them down. 

The portrayal of their peers was deemed to be unrealistic and the use of younger models held directly responsible for the 50-plus woman’s underrepresentation within society.  Which comes as a surprise, given that 69 per cent of those surveyed believe that mature women have a better sense of style than their younger counterparts.  

Fed-up fifty somethings are also often overlooked in their personal lives, with 82 per cent claiming to be invisible to men, and an astonishing 75 per cent feeling like they have lost their identity by being labelled as ‘mum’ rather than treated as an individual.

The 50+ woman and the workplace
The research has also found that it’s not just today’s mature female TV presenters who are facing age discrimination; it seems 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.

A whopping 77 per cent of mature women believe that they have been passed over by employers because of their age, and more than half (52 per cent) state it is unlikely that they will progress any further in their career.  Only a meagre 35 per cent felt they currently had a successful job.

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

Almost a third (31 per cent) claim to have been treated with impatience and a lack of understanding by both 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.

And, these women are not alone in their view of this discrimination.  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 76 per cent agreeing that older women have more confidence and are more independent (75 per cent) than younger women. 

However, the younger generation overwhelmingly agree 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).

The 50+ woman and sex
They were at the forefront of the sexual revolution, enjoyed the introduction of the pill and free love in the sixties, and decades later they’re still at it, according to the findings which reveal women over fifty have better sex than younger generations.

The study uncovers that 67 per cent of women think that females in their 50s and beyond are more sexually confident than younger women, while nearly half (47 per cent) believed that women from the original Generation X are more likely to experiment in the bedroom and try new things.

And it seems the secret to sexual success is personality, as 76 per cent of respondents agree that female baby boomers are more confident than their younger counterparts, and a further 88 per cent declare that they have more fun than women in their 20s, 30s and 40s.  

However, in spite of looking fabulous and feeling sexier than ever, when it comes to being a cougar and bagging a toy boy, opinions about age gaps in relationships are still totally one-sided. Nearly 94 per cent agree that it is socially acceptable for a man to date a woman ten years his junior, but only 55 per cent think that it is permissible for an older woman to have a toy boy.

Lynda Bellingham (62) is the newly appointed face of over-50s online retailer isme and comments: “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.

“Reaching 50 is the start of a new, often liberating, chapter in our lives - many of us feel more body confident than ever before, we take pride in our appearance and have a great sense of style and are feeling more empowered that ever.  Age is a state of mind and it is high time that outdated opinions in the business world and society in general catch up.”

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

The Invisible Women Study, for new 50-plus online retailer isme.com, has found that despite being the original Generation X, today’s female baby boomers are becoming less visible in society, with 61 per cent blaming this squarely on the fact they have hit the big ‘five-o’.

The research finds that a shocking four in five women over 50 face workplace discrimination but – in stark contrast – they have never felt happier in the bedroom with 67 per cent of those surveyed agreeing that females in their 50s and beyond are more sexually confident than younger women. 

The 50+ woman and society
Originally at the forefront of social change, the sexual revolution, the democratisation of the pill and marching on student demos in the sixties, upon reaching a ‘certain age’, today’s baby boomers are being passed over by everyone from employers to fashion designers.

Nearly half (46 per cent) of all survey respondents – both old and young – thought women over 50 were ignored in society, media and popular culture.  With a further 28 per cent stating that these women were not as visible as men of the same age.

And despite a wave of glamorous golden gals, such as Helen Mirren, Michelle Pfeiffer and Kim Cattrall, flying the flag for the over-50s woman, 73 per cent went as far as to say that even fashion has let them down. 

The portrayal of their peers was deemed to be unrealistic and the use of younger models held directly responsible for the 50-plus woman’s underrepresentation within society.  Which comes as a surprise, given that 69 per cent of those surveyed believe that mature women have a better sense of style than their younger counterparts.  

Fed-up fifty somethings are also often overlooked in their personal lives, with 82 per cent claiming to be invisible to men, and an astonishing 75 per cent feeling like they have lost their identity by being labelled as ‘mum’ rather than treated as an individual.

The 50+ woman and the workplace
The research has also found that it’s not just today’s mature female TV presenters who are facing age discrimination; it seems 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.

A whopping 77 per cent of mature women believe that they have been passed over by employers because of their age, and more than half (52 per cent) state it is unlikely that they will progress any further in their career.  Only a meagre 35 per cent felt they currently had a successful job.

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

Almost a third (31 per cent) claim to have been treated with impatience and a lack of understanding by both 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.

And, these women are not alone in their view of this discrimination.  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 76 per cent agreeing that older women have more confidence and are more independent (75 per cent) than younger women.