Boomer Brain Drain = Historic Opportunities for Women

gender-hr-technology-women-hr-managersI believe the generational shift of the next five years – caused by the Boomer Brain Drain – will be a historic opportunity for women to rise to leadership. There simply are not enough men in Gen X to fill the vacuum left by retiring boomers. With every passing day, there will be fewer people in the workforce with the knowledge and experience to lead effectively. And for every two people who retire, there is just one Gen Xer to take their place. I ‘m so excited about what this means for women between now and 2021?

  • FACT: There are 74.6 million Baby Boomers in the U.S. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 53 percent of them are women.
  • FACT: In the Fortune 1000 companies, there are just 51 women CEO’s, about 5 percent.
  • FACT: According to Catalyst, the average board of a Fortune 500 company in the United States is just 19.2 percent female.
  • FACT: overall women still earn only 79 percent of what men earn.
  • FACT: There are only about 46 million Gen Xers in the U.S., 52 percent are women.
  • FACT: There are 86 million Millenials in the U.S., 50 percent are women.
  • FACT: If you’re prepared, you’ll be ready to step up.

If they don’t, the leadership gap could cause a greater economic downturn than the last recession. People with little or no leadership experience will be catapulted to positions they’re not ready to fill. Poaching will be one strategy used to fill the gap and cause more chaos.

Great News for Women

There won’t be enough qualified men to fill those positions. This is great news for women. Don’t miss out. Prepare yourself now to step up to those soon-to-be vacant leadership positions.

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  • Think about the knowledge that will be lost when Boomers retire and how you can learn it now.
  • Stay current with new technology and best practices.
  • 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. And Mentees learn the ropes more quickly than experience alone can teach them.
  • Hire an Executive Coach to help you prepare.
  • Earn that degree you have been putting off.
  • Volunteer on a non-profit board of directors so you can learn and practice collaborative decision-making. Choose a board where you will be able to work alongside high-level executives from other companies. This will increase your confidence and expand your network.[/message][su_spacer]

These next few years really will be the best time ever for women to rise and take their place among the leaders of U.S. corporations and non-profits.

Susan Bender Phelpshttp://odysseymentoring.com/
SUSAN Bender Phelps is a corporate trainer, speaker and author. As founder and lead trainer of Odyssey Mentoring & Leadership, she helps clients create a culture of learning and support that allows their people to deliver breakthrough results time after time. Susan has 30+ years of experience working with leaders at all levels of organizations in many industries, including federal, state and local government, colleges, universities, for-profit and not-for-profit. Industries include healthcare, parks and recreation, advertising, accounting, scientists, physicists, architects, consulting engineers, construction, unions and clergy. Susan speaks nationally on mentorship, leadership and communication. She is the author of Aspire Higher, a collection of true success stories of career and business mentoring. She has a bachelor’s degree in Communication and a master’s in Management & Organizational Leadership. She is a certified SCUBA diver and loves to travel the world.


  1. The opportunities also exist for the younger boomers, especially those who embrace life because they know 50 is the new 30. Thank you for writing this article.