There’s something haywire about how women are expected to crunch our most celebrated achievements into a timetable that frequently lasts fewer than 20 years. Find a partner. Raise some chicks. Zoom to the top of your field. Check each box by 50.

We may mistake this Acela for our life until it whooshes past, stranding us with other gut-kicked women whose jobs have ended for reasons H.R. never admits are age-related. Going forward, many employers ignore this mature work force, most likely because they don’t want to pay the salaries experience deserves, despite the fact that women earn, on average, 80 percent of men’s wages.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly half of long-term unemployed people in the 55- to 64-year-old age bracket are women.

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