Women Helping Women

Dr. Nancy Receives Missourian Award

Dr. Nancy & Family at Missourian Awards

Dr. Nancy O’Reilly received the Missourian Award for making an outstanding contribution to the state. Family members attending the awards ceremony in  Jefferson City on October 2, 2011 included her mother Phyllis Tisdale and daughters Lauren, Leigh and Ragan.

The Changing Image of the Working Woman

How Working Women View Each Other

The image of the working woman is changing, at least among women with established careers. The employment firm Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH) surveyed 143 female human resources executives and found only 31 percent of long-tenured businesswomen think the women coming into the professional business world are more career-minded than their own generation.

All of the women surveyed began their careers more than 10 yearts ago, and the majority had done so more than 20 years ago. The survey also found that 62 percent of the women surveyed think the new generation of businesswomen is less willing to work long hours and unwilling to sacrifice other aspects of their lives for work.

Today’s working veterans think the women coming out of school now will be better able to achieve a work-life balance. This is partly due to employers’ adoption of flexible employee programs and partly because women recognize they can have both life and career.

Veteran businesswomen view newcomers as more self-assured. They are more confident of their ability to perform and move up the career ladder. Also, they think the new generation is more inclined to pursue their own career development.

However, most veterans also perceive obstacles to women’s advancement in the workplace. Seventy four percent say gender is still a barrier to advancement for women. However, only 16 percent think women entering the workforce today perceive their gender as an impediment.

“That’s a tremendous disconnect,” said LHH’s Nancy Murnin, “which suggests the perception of progress is gaining much faster than progress itself.”

~Adapted from Springfield Business Journal, September 20-26, 2004

Published Article: Women's Perceptions of Aging

Published article abstract

Women’s Perceptions of Aging: Fears, Preferences and Concerns

O’Reilly, Nancy D., Thomlinson, Paul R., and Castrey, Margaret U

Presented July 28, 2004
American Psychological Association 2004 Annual Meeting
Honolulu, Hawaii


Given the paucity of existing research, the current study sought to map the terrain of women’s fears, preferences and concerns about aging. Nearly half of the sample surveyed, 1000 healthy primarily white women, said they feared getting older.

This fear was significantly associated with increased health concerns and abdominal problems; greater concern for appearance, and lack of confidence in future self-care ability. On average, participants indicated that they began to fear aging during their own previous decade of life.

Women in the 20–29 and 30–39 age cohorts had the highest rate of fear of aging, after which fear of getting older tended to decrease with subject age. Women aged 40–49 and 60–69 were most confident in their self-care ability.

Concerns about health problems and not having enough money were reported nearly three times as often as other concerns; and the patterns of concerns differed significantly by age and marital status. Implications for women’s health care, mental health, and self-care are discussed.

Are you afraid of getting older? You’re not alone!

Fully 45% of women admit to being afraid of aging, according to recent research. Societal pressures, watching our children grow, seeing our parents age, feeling our bodies change, all remind us — every day — of the passage of time.
Fear of aging is most common in women aged 20-39, yet even those in their 70s are not immune. It’s more common in women who are single or separated, but still affects more than 40% of married women. It’s important to face this fear, because it could undermine overall health and well-being.
When Licensed Psychologist Nancy O’Reilly turned 50, she found no books or resources to relieve her anxiety. So, she conducted her own research on women’s feelings and belief, gathering information from more than 1,000 women.
“Just knowing I’m not alone helps a lot,” Dr. O’Reilly says. “Too many of us feel that getting older is a character flaw to conceal instead of an accomplishment to celebrate.” Dr. O’Reilly published her research in the American Journal of Health Behavior and at the American Psychological Association Annual Meeting, 2004. The results of Dr. O’Reilly’s study feature words of fear and encouragement from real women.

Many more women fear getting older than are afraid of dying.

Our society has provided few positive role models to help ordinary women feel confident of their own value and future as they age. (Tips: Find role models. Seek older mentors. Reach out. Form a Red Hat Society. Meditate,  pray. )

Who’s afraid of getting older?

  • More than 45% of all women aged 20-78
  • Nearly 70% of separated women
  • Nearly 60% of women aged 20-29
  • Nearly 50% of women aged 50-59
  • Only 4% of all women are afraid of dying

Women keep their aging fears deeply buried.

They hide their fears even from closest family and friends. When Julia hit menopause early, she had no idea what was happening to her or how to cope. “It was not a happy, rose-filled adventure,” Julia recalls. “It was a rocky horror show in hell.” (Tips: Talk to relatives and friends. Tell daughters good things about getting older. Celebrate your greater wisdom and confidence.)

Surprise! Women’s greatest aging fear is not losing the look of youth.

Appearance ranks low on their priorities. Women have many products and services to help them look their best at any age. (Tips: Take care of your skin. Learn to use makeup. Find fashions that flatter. Use dermabrasion or plastic surgery if you wish.)

Concern about finances tops the list for women under 30.

Women usually earn less than men, and only partly because they take time off to raise families. Women need to get comfortable meeting their own needs. (Tips: Dream big. Envision the career and income you want. Focus on change. Learn a new skill. Volunteer. Pay yourself first.)

Health rises to first place by age 30 and stays there.

Women from 30 to over 70 say they are most concerned about health problems. (Tips: Exercise. Eat a healthy diet. Have regular screenings and checkups. Pay attention to your body. Love. Laugh.)

Denial is queen.

Most women could not identify any specific health concerns. They tend to put others’ needs first: “This can’t be a heart attack — I’ve got to make dinner!” (Tips: Learn your family history and talk with a doctor about your risks. Learn the warning signs for your risks. Take one small step toward prevention each day.)

Women often equate being thin with staying young.

Women who worry about getting older are more likely to diet than to exercise, even though exercise would help more. (Tips: Stop obsessing about your weight. Exercise with a friend. Buy clothes that fit you NOW, not when you lose 10 pounds. Change negative self-talk.)
This information drawn from

  • Dr. Nancy’s book: Timeless Women Speak: Feeling Youthful At Any Age

Change the World

As a 13-year-old black belt martial artist, Dallas Jessup made a movie to help prevent young girls from being abducted and sexually assaulted.

Just Yell FireDownloaded over 1 Million times in 2 years.  Click here to watch JUST YELL FIRE! Help change the world and share this link.

Navigate Change

Lisa Mininni Me Myself and Why

Lisa Mininni

What do you want from life? Do you feel powerless to create the life you want? Are you stuck in a relationship, a job or a situation you feel like you didn’t choose?
In her new bestseller, Me, Myself, and Why? The Secrets to Navigating Change, Lisa Mininni presents a framework for people to get unstuck from old attitudes to move themselves forward.
Lisa Mininni should know. She has documented success at navigating change within corporations on the fast track of mergers, acquisitions and reorganization. Her own business, Excellerate Associates, helps others help themselves create the health, prosperity and professional success they desire.
Dr. Nancy’s conversation with Lisa reveals clues about why many of us stay in uncomfortable situations and tips about how to recognize these and let go. These tips about how to use change as a catalyst for transformation might give you the insight and encouragement you need to transform your own life.


Dr. Nancy Appointed to Board


Licensed psychologist, Dr. Nancy O’Reilly, was confirmed January 2010 in her appointment by Governor Jay Nixon to serve on the Missouri State Committee of Psychologists until August 2011. The board oversees the practice of psychology in the state. Pictured with Dr. O’Reilly are Drs. Mark & Jami Skrade and Missouri Senator Norma Champion (left to right).

Book Review from Boomer Women Speak

We are delighted to receive this great notice from one of the reviewers at The National Association of Boomer Women. Thank you Melinda for reading Timeless Women Speak in the method suggested by Dr. Nancy in the book.  The way you discuss how this  increased your understanding of the intent of the authors is insightful and important for other women readers. We appreciate your thorough, thoughtful review.
Read Melinda’s complete review below, or go to The NABBW website and check out other great information they have to share.
Timeless Women Speak: Feeling Youthful at Any Age
Author: Nancy D. O’ Reilly, PsyD and Margaret U. Castrey
Reviewed By: Melinda Cianos
In Feeling Youthful at Any Age the reader can expect to come face-to-face with the fear of aging. Revelations are not sugar-coated, they are realistic and no-nonsense, but they are also optimistic. Licensed psychologist Nancy O’Reilly and journalist Margaret Castrey endeavor to increase our understanding, awareness, and eventual acceptance of the aging process. They suggest going directly to the section dedicated to your particular age and then reading on to the age you will be entering before reading beginning to end. I did as I was told, began at the “forties” section, and found myself smack-dab in the middle of the book (how appropriate). Here I found the stories of several women who are facing changing bodies, hormone levels, and desires for their future. Their fears and impressions are candidly shared; Castrey and O’Reilly do a nice job allowing the voices of the forty-something women interviewed to resonate with the strength they’ve received from dispelling those fears.
Only when I read the book start to finish did I gain the clarity that I am sure was the authors’ intent: age after age, decade after decade, women’s concerns remain the same. We get the message that we are not alone in our struggle to learn how to truly love ourselves. Concerns are handled differently from woman to woman; comfort comes through the sharing of the failures and the successes so as women living in a less-than-gentle society we provide ourselves with the benefit of a collective courage. It was somewhat arresting to read about women in their twenties who are already harboring concerns about aging, already preparing to do battle with the threat of invisibility, yet I found the frankness with which the women relayed their perspective, whether it was entirely healthy or not, refreshing.

Women Who Help Other Women Are So Amazing

FLiP Female Leaders in PhlianthropyToday I had the privilege to meet with 12 spunky, successful women who are taking their professional experience, their money and  time out of their busy schedules to help women  transition from poverty.  These are just a few of the woman who are helping other women to become self-sustaining women caring for themselves.
They are often alone in the care of their children. By simply donating gently used business clothes to give to women who need work clothes seems a simple way to help other woman.
The mentoring and the exchange that takes place between a woman who has made it and a woman who really wants a better life can be so very powerful.  There can be no better feeling watching another woman find her joy, and surprise that there are so many women who care about her well-being.

Just One Woman Helping Another – That’s All It Is

The Suit Yourself Program is not about money it is about the respect and kindness one woman gives  to another woman.  She gains  self-confidence and pride in herself.  You cannot measure any of this in dollars, gold, or any material stuff.  This is about one woman helping another woman along.  Can their be any better reward?  I think not!

A Simple Way to Help Another Woman

Do not let the day go by without helping one of your sisters along, it can be as simple as a kind word or a  pat on the back.  Make today a better place for woman by giving her a hand up……not hand out….You both will gain so much.  I am proud to say I am one of these woman and the  Women’s Initiative of the United Way can help women who have fallen on hard times pick themselves up and make better lives for themselves and their children.  We all must help to bring another woman along if we want this to be a better world for her and especially her daughter and her grand daughter.

Have a great life…Dr. Nancy
Scroll to top

© Women Connect4Good, Inc. All Rights Reserved.