Date of Conferral

2015

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Management

Advisor

Judith Forbes

Abstract

Both the short-term and long-term unemployment rates for older workers in the United States have increased significantly since the 2007 recession. Researchers who examine the impact of involuntary job loss have predominantly focused on the experiences of men. Limited prior research exists on the job loss experiences of women over 50 years of age compared to men. The goal of this study was to address this gap in knowledge by examining the lived experiences of women over 50 who had experienced involuntary job loss, the barriers faced to reemployment, and the ways women overcame the barriers to reemployment. A phenomenological design was employed to gather data from a convenience sample of 10 women in a northeastern metropolitan city. Guided by the frameworks of Bandura and Leana and Feldman, this transcendental approach aimed to capture the lived experiences of the women who incurred involuntary job loss. Data transcribed from audio-taped interviews were manually coded and aligned with the appropriate research question. The findings highlighted the emotions, finances, family and social life of women following job loss. The findings suggest women faced age discrimination, organizational practices, technological challenges, and stereotypical beliefs in their attempts toward reemployment. The results of the study can be used to inform organizational leaders of the need for greater emphasis on programs offering solutions to older female workers seeking reemployment. The study promotes potential positive social change by informing organizational leaders of the experiences of women over 50 who had experienced involuntary job loss.