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The pandemic made working next to impossible. It really hit home when my 8 year old asked my husband if he could "babysit" her. We have 4 kids, and most of the remote learning fell to me. I had to deal with 3 different schedules. As a realtor, my business really suffered and my husband had to work extra hours to try to make up the difference.
– Gina, Kansas City
After two degrees and twenty-five years of managing people and three human children, I put my name into a hat for an assistant store manager position. It soon became obvious that a guy twenty years my junior was the go-to candidate. Neither his lack of basic retail knowledge or business acumen bothered me, nor the fact that he donned a GED. It’s not that his only working experience was a manager of a pizza shop that bothered me. It was, and is the fact that I never had a chance. Somewhere on this work journey, I became invisible. I found myself in this job because I opted out for twelve years to raise my sons. In my opinion, it isn’t a glass ceiling as much as a trap door.
– Natalie, Phoenix
After 11 years as a stay at home mom, I experienced an unfortunate divorce and had to go back to work. Despite having a masters degree and having worked at a world renowned hospital, I was told I was either “over qualified” (they feared I’d be bored and quit), or I was equally qualified as other candidates, but considered a “risky hire” since I had a lapse in employment while raising my boys. I was finally hired at 39 making the same salary as 22 year old. It was heartbreaking.
– Janeen, Phoenix
When my children were young, I was working for a national law firm that passed me up for a promotion to give it to a younger single woman, without children. It was clear she got the job because she could "go party" with upper management with little to no notice. I had been doing the job, without the title, for 8 months. They brought this young woman in, asked me to train her and then let me go 6 months later.
– Dana, Detroit
I ran my own consulting business from home while my children were young. Unexpected industry changes resulted in many lost clients and income, and since my children were now teenagers, I decided to go back into the corporate workforce. After 4 years of actively looking for a job without any offers, I finally landed a courtesy interview (for no particular position) at a friend's company. The recruiter, who was likely half my age, barely looked at me, and told me that I was "over-qualified". When I told her that I was willing to start at the bottom rung, she told me that she'd already Googled me, and while I should be very proud of my long list of accomplishments, I had simply accomplished too much to be a "desirable candidate."
– Arlene, Los Angeles