Mitt Romney was surrounded by grandkids during his presidential run and no one ever ventured the question, let alone the thought, that he might not be a good grandfather or was not involved enough in their lives. But 66, for a woman in the political arena (and other arenas as well), is a different story. Unlike a man, a woman's "shelf-life" seems to be limited when she is described, even in her 60s, as a grandmother.
It wasn't so long ago that employers could usher you out the door because you had celebrated a birthday that made you "too old to work" in the eyes of some of them. With the passage of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) in 1967, Congress decreed that couldn't happen before age 65, and in 1986, mandatory retirement was eliminated for most occupations.
He backed up a couple of steps, held the door open for me, and, with a smile, said, "You first, old man." When I tell my friends about this, they say, "That was really an unkind thing for him to say." But I tell my family and friends how much I appreciated his comment, because it reflected the truth.
It is one thing when advancing age provides a perk or two, even if the reasons for them are not always fully appreciated. However, it is quite another when age prevents qualified candidates from getting through the door and having an opportunity to market themselves in person to prospective employers.
Job seekers tend to resuscitate the resume they used to find their previous position by simply adding another block to detail their most recent position. What many don't realize is that they need to pay special attention to remove information that may date them and inadvertently lead to age discrimination.