As many watched in disbelief, Lisa LaFlamme, the now former Chief News Anchor and Senior Editor for CTV National News, took to Twitter to share that she had been "blindsided" and unceremoniously fired from her long time position without warning.
A 58 year old woman, who allowed herself to age gracefully across our screens for many years, who had been awarded the Canadian Screen Award for Best National News Anchor, who was revered in her industry was simply no longer needed by CTV.
If this feels all too familiar, it's because you and I have been experiencing the very same thing.
Did Someone Say "Ageism"?
Many of those who have loved and appreciated Lisa's work over the years took to social media to share their anger, including business mogul Arlene Dickinson.
In stark contrast to Lisa's Twitter signoff from her cottage, her predecessor Lloyd Robertson was granted an on-air sign off to say goodbye to his beloved viewers. It is also worth noting that he was 77 when he chose to resign.
How Do We Battle Ageism?
You may be thinking that if something so awful could happen to the beloved Lisa LaFlamme, what hope do we have as women. While it may be easy for us to fall into that mindset, it is so incredibly important that we do not.
When you're feeling frustrated and perhaps a little hopeless, here are some actionable steps that we can all take.
Ignore Other's Perceptions Of You
I talked about this a little bit in my other blog post, "To Be Neither Seen Nor Heard: How Society Views Women Over 50", and that is learning to disregard other's opinions of us.
Whether we feel looked over by a restaurant server or our car mechanic, we must find a way to move past the shock and disbelief. We must find a place in ourselves that is unshakably confident and root down in it. We know our worth. We know who we are. We know how much we've given and continue to give to the world. We do not need (or perhaps even want) their approval.
By learning to ignore the opinions of others, it frees up space in our mind. Sometimes, that space can be filled with questioning self doubt. We start thinking that if that stranger ignored me, maybe I should be put out to pasture! But, when we let those thoughts roll right off our backs, we have so much more capacity for self love and exploration. It allows us to step outside our bodies and our age to think about what we truly want out of life. What we really desire. And that is powerful.
Make Every Moment Count
We truly don't know how much time we have left on Earth. And while that initially sounds a little depressing, it is meant to be liberating. We have a finite number of days left. And, I don't know about you, but I intend to make the very most of each and every one.
I don't want to reach my last days and have things that I wish I had tried, or things I had been too scared to do. I want to experience all that life has to offer.
I want to travel, see the world. Try new foods. Learn new languages. Experience different cuisines. Find new hobbies. Build our business. Tap into exciting versions of myself. I want to do it ALL. I deserve to do it all.
We Need to Talk About It
As much as my heart aches for Lisa and the unforgiveable way she was treated, her experience has gained international attention and sparked crucial conversations. People Magazine, among other publications, has picked up the story and people are (finally) having meaningful discussions about both ageism and sexism.
While our blog is not quite on par with People Magazine (yet!), this is where important dialogue begins. We receive so many comments and emails when we posts articles like this from ladies like you, telling us their experience, or that they feel seen. And nothing makes me more emotional than knowing my words resonated with someone so strongly.
This is where change begins. Right here. With you, me and the rest of our Carolily family. If we keeping talking about how the world is treating women over 50, staking our claim in the world, and refusing to budge, I just know that things will change. It won't be immediate and it's going to be a frustrating battle, but I know that if we stick together we can bring change to the world.
Brighter Futures Ahead
As the most powerful, exquisite creatures on earth, women will bring forth the change we seek. It will be slow and it will be infuriating at times, but it will happen.
Women in powerful positions continue to be tossed aside, but there are worldwide conversations now taking place about it. As we continue to make small changes in our day to day lives, we will keep the momentum going.
It starts with ignoring the perceptions of other, embracing each and every moment we have, and continuing to have difficult conversations about the struggles women over 50 face. One day, we won't need to talk about it anymore and we'll be treated as the invaluable members of society we are.
Until then, know that you have me and the entirety of our Carolily family behind you. Reach out anytime you need support. Join the conversations we are having on Instagram. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Talk to your friends and loved ones about what is happening in the world. We are so much stronger together. And together, we'll make ageism a thing of the past.