Posts Tagged “Susan Bender Phelps”

Women with Something to Say

Susan Bender Phelps sm 2009 Standing3


The Boomer Brain Drain: Golden Opportunity for Women

The generational shift of the next seven years will present an unprecedented opportunity for women to ascend to leadership. There won’t be enough men in Gen X to fill the vacuum left by retiring Boomers. For every two people who retire, there’s just one Gen Xer to take their place. I can’t stop thinking about what this means for women between now and 2020.

FACT: There are 81 million Boomers in the U.S, 51 percent are women. Yet, in the Fortune 1000 companies, there are just 42 women CEO’s.

FACT: According to Catalyst, the average board of a Fortune 500 company in is just 16 percent female.

FACT: There are only 46 million Gen Xers in the U.S., 52 percent are women.

Companies will need to harness the young leaders they have so the Boomer Brain Drain has as little impact as possible on their organizations. If they don’t, the leadership gap could cause a greater economic downturn than the current recession. That’s because people with little or no leadership experience will be catapulted to positions they’re not ready to fill. Companies could poach qualified people. But there won’t be enough qualified men to fill those positions.

This is great news for women who can prepare themselves now to step up to those soon-to-be vacant leadership positions.

To prepare yourself, think about the knowledge that will be lost when Boomers retire and how you can begin to acquire that knowledge now.

  • Take advantage of knowledge transfer opportunities in your organization and professional associations.
  • Get a mentor and be a mentor. Mentors advance more quickly and can earn up to $25,000 a year more than their colleagues who don’t. Mentees learn the ropes more quickly than experience alone can teach them.
  • Earn that degree you’ve been putting off.
  • Volunteer on a non-profit board so you can learn and practice collaborative decision-making. Choose one where you’ll work alongside high-level executives. This will increase your confidence and expand your network.

During these next few years more women than ever before will be able to rise and take their place among the leaders of U.S. corporations and non-profits. You could be one of them.

Get to know Susan: Susan Bender Phelps runs Odyssey Mentoring and Leadership. She is the author of the best-selling book,” Aspire Higher,” true career and business mentoring success stories that inspire readers to use mentoring to create breakthrough results. She can be reached at susanbp(at)




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