About YWCA’s Fifty+ Program

Since its inception in 2000, the Fifty+ Employment Support Program has been serving hundreds of women in each year. Fifty+ provides a targeted mix of services and strategies to improve clients’ job readiness.

Our unique model provides best in class results for the women we serve.

Clients find a job on average in 28.5 weeks or less, as compared to the national average of 57 weeks for this demographic. The average wage secured by clients is over $20/hr, more than double Marin’s minimum wage. In addition, almost half of clients see a wage gain in their first job after completing their Fifty+ training, while nationally two-thirds of older workers lose wages as they re-enter the workforce (Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University).

Our Impact




Source: John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, Rutgers University


Source: U.S. Department of Labor


Source: AARP


Our Team


Gretchen Dean - Administrative Assistant

Gretchen joined our staff in October 2010 and is based at the YWCA Marin Center in San Rafael where she handles all administrative functions including office management and client intake. She has a Masters degree in psychology and enjoys working with and helping people. As a former 50 Plus participant, her direct experience with the job search process makes her an invaluable member of the Marin team. Her business background includes banking, financial services, publishing, and construction.

Nancy Richardson - Employment Specialist

Nancy joined the YWCA in June 2009. Her main focus is ensuring job placement success for our Fifty+ clients. She guides clients through their job search providing career coaching and other job readiness services and activities that lead to job placement. Nancy continues to provide support to clients after finding employment as well.

Nancy brings 20 years of corporate recruiting and human resources experience within various industries including financial services, high-tech and healthcare. Nancy’s experience from an employer hiring perspective is helpful as she assists job seekers to prepare for successfully find employment. Nancy’s passion is helping women find employment and realize their potential.

Nancy Westreich - Employment Trainer

Nancy joined YWCA in 2017. Her main focus is teaching career development courses designed specifically for YWCA’s FiftyPlus Employment Support Program. She facilitates job readiness and employment training courses to increase participants’ skills and abilities for finding employment and success in the workforce. 

Nancy brings over 15 years of experience in career counseling, coaching, teaching, recruiting and program management in a variety of settings in the business and academic world. She has a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology from Dominican University and a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley as well being a Certified Life Coach. Nancy’s passion is to coach, support and empower women to reach their career goals.

Bette Gundershiem - Business & Community Outreach Coordinator


Bette has had a long career in advertising as an Account Executive and Media Buyer and has a strong relationship with non-profits including working closely with local school districts and foundations.

Bette’s primary responsibilities are to drive new clients into the Fifty+ program and develop partnerships with local employers to hire our clients.  She is committed to raising awareness of the value of the Fifty+ program throughout Marin County.  Bette will work hand in hand with the Client Employment Specialist matching clients with job lead requirements.



Our Advocacy Work

Here at Fifty+, we believe that all women should have access to economic stability through employment opportunities, and have a chance to earn a good wage for the work that they do. We work hard to empower the women we serve to find and keep great jobs here in the Bay Area.

However, we know that not all working women can get by on the wages they are paid, as Marin has one of the highest cost of living rates in the country. As of 2015, a FiftyPlus client had to work 70 hours a week at minimum wage in order to make ends meet.

We thought this was unacceptable. That’s why we advocated for an increase to the minimum wage and helped win the $15 minimum wage for all California workers press release/video. We were honored to be part of this historic campaign to ensure that people who work can afford to buy the basics and sustain their local communities.

And we’re not finished yet. For our communities and economy to thrive, we need jobs that support women and families with reliable work schedules and paid leave. When women can plan their schedules and household budgets, when they have paid sick days and leave to care for a loved one, our workplaces and our communities are stronger.

To learn more about our advocacy efforts or to join us in working to raise the minimum wage, visit www.ywcasf-marin.org/advocacy or email us at advocacy@ywcasf-marin.org.

Our Partners

Our program collaborates with many of the wonderful nonprofits throughout Marin that make our community so vibrant.

About YWCA San Francisco & Marin

The YWCA of San Francisco & Marin is part of a worldwide movement dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

Established in 1878, our association is one of the oldest and most respected women’s organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our program priorities focus on providing (1) safe, clean, and healthy affordable housing for seniors and disabled persons, (2) economic empowerment for women and girls, and (3) community understanding about racial justice and women’s issues.

To learn more, visit us at www.ywcasf-marin.org.