As I am thinking through the solutions needed to help older engineers reconfigure their careers, I am also thinking about a related issue: older women trying to get back into the workforce.
I know too many talented women who are now in their forties and fifties, and some even in their sixties, looking to start working again. Their travails are gut wrenching. The ten-, twenty-year gaps in their resumes stare back at them like menacing, identity-destroying demons.
Once again, there is a tremendous opportunity for these women to add value to the economy with their own unique skills. They do need training. They do need help thinking through the kinds of jobs and skills that are in demand. They do need help connecting the dots.
But the dots are there, waiting to be connected.
For example, one thing that we often see small businesses struggle with, is hiring sales reps. I have heard so many startup CEOs lament the difficulty in finding people who are willing to sell either with a low base compensation, or with a commission-only compensation.
This is a clear gap in the market.
And with proper training and guidance in specific niches, older women with sales skills can easily carve a place for themselves.
I'd like to see a hundred entrepreneurs step up who will create companies that pull together women with sales experience who have been off the saddle for a while, and want to get back on.
I want these entrepreneurs to pick specific niches: Sotware-as-a-Service sales focused on SMEs, Healthcare IT Sales focused on physician's offices, Marketing technology Sales focused on Retail, restaurants, and Hospitality businesses, etc.
Specialization is the operating word here. These women will need to have specialized training, specialized target segments, and be paired with companies with products in those niches.
You need to validate this, but I believe, many of these women would pay $5-10k to regain another 10-20 years of professional lives, as well as a path to getting back to making $100k, $200k, $500k a year.
Let us say, there would be 100 such companies focusing on different niches, handling the retraining of 100 women each, a total of 10,000 women.
That would mean, also, 100 entrepreneurs building $500k - $1M+ revenue businesses.
No, not venture fundable businesses.
But livelihood-building businesses.
Nothing wrong with that!
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