Paths and Opportunities for Women in 2021

To reach the age of 50 is a huge milestone to celebrate! For some people, it’s also the birthday they start to dread. Not because of aging or children leaving the nest, but the chance of finding an executive level job after being downsized after age 50 is greatly reduced. According to an article in Harvard Business Review, older women truly are being phased out of the workplace. Many women, even in their early 50s, are being demoted, losing their jobs and are not able to find another one. Although they have long histories of successful careers and are strong and confident, their responsibilities are being assigned to younger workers, their compensation is lowered because of reasons that aren’t explained and promotion opportunities disappear that were once there.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the U.S. economy lost 140,000 net jobs in December 2020, with 156,000 women leaving the workforce (men gained 16,000 jobs during the same time period). Women lost more than 5.4 million net jobs since the pandemic began in early 2020 and account for 55.0% of overall net job loss, with nearly 2.1 million fewer women in the labor force in December 2020 than there were in February 2020 before the pandemic started. These facts and statistics don’t surprise me at all. I hear stories that back the statistics up every week when talking with my clients. Many women are struggling to stay employed until retirement.

One of my current clients is a very smart lady who is in her early 50s. She found me on LinkedIn and through an article I wrote for an earlier issue of this publication. She worked as a media executive for years and was downsized. After looking for another corporate position, she decided to start her own business from the ground up. That business did not work out and she lost money. Her husband passed away, she has one daughter in college, and her other daughter is leaving for college soon. There are still many expenses and retiring early is not an option or a wish.

She knew it was time to figure out a plan for the next phase of her life without reentering the corporate world. When she talked with her children about her options, one daughter expressed interest in business ownership down the road, maybe taking over a business from her mother. My client wants to start as the owner-operator of her business, then transition into a semi-absentee/part-time role by hiring a general manager to report to her. When we talked in-depth about her goals, they included being financially independent, having the freedom to build a business on her terms, and not having a boss to add extra stress in her life. I explained the great news is there is another option that meets her goals: franchise ownership!

It is time to kick start the next phase of her life and not only prove to herself that she can succeed but show her daughters that after a couple of major life events, the best is yet to come! Purchasing a franchise has so many benefits including proven business models, support from the franchisor, extensive training and technology to support the business, researched territories to avoid too many competitors, financing options and the opportunity to grow from one location to many or to own multiple brands.

There are several types of franchise ownership:

1. Owner-operator where you handle all roles, “cook and bottle washer”.

2. Semi-absentee, where you work a limited number of hours in the business, an average of 10-15 hours per week, and manage it from your phone and computer, and

3. An executive model, where you are primarily an investor and can truly manage the business from a computer and a phone. My client desires to move from the first model to the second model over time, which is very doable with many brands. The opportunities truly are endless.

I’m showing franchising options to her this week and can’t wait to see where she lands! I do know she will be successful. Her focus, energy and excitement alone will carry her far!

About the Author

Eddie Rodriguez is a serial entrepreneur who has built multiple successful businesses and has been a franchise consultant for 12 years. Contact Eddie at 305-460-9925 or at

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