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Unstoppable: 5 Inspiring Women Over 50 To Watch In 2024 | CrunchyTales

Leadership Knows No Age: 5 Inspiring Women Over 40 to Watch in 2024

6 min read

There is no age limit to achieving significant accomplishments and displaying remarkable behaviour. Women over forty have often been subjected to unfair stereotypes regarding their role in society and their ability to be innovative or productive compared to men. However, numerous stories of female role models of a certain age have shattered these clichés, inspiring and imparting valuable lessons to people of all ages

Pursuing one’s passion and striving for extraordinary achievements knows no bounds. The accomplishments of these inspiring women in their later years serve as a powerful reminder that greatness has no expiration date.

Lifting our voices with Gretchen Carlson

Gretchen Carlson is a critically acclaimed journalist, New York Times bestselling author, speaker, and internationally recognized trailblazer for women’s rights in the workplace. In 2016, she boldly went public with harassment claims against then Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, paving the way for the #MeToo movement. 

Early in her career as a television reporter, Gretchen says, “I entered newsrooms in Richmond, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, and New York City and was often labelled ‘a bimbo’ or too ‘Minnesota nice’. Luckily, I was no stranger to being underestimated. I showed up every day prepared to prove them wrong.” Did she ever!

But it was the public response to her lawsuit against Roger Ailes that led to Gretchen’s mission to find a way to allow women’s voices to be heard and eliminate toxic work environments. Since many corporations insist employees sign non-disclosure agreements, confidentiality provisions, and forced arbitration documents when hired, women are forced to be silent or face legal consequences.

Gretchen’s latest initiative, Lift Our Voices, is focused on the need to stop the mandate of these documents that prevent women from speaking out about their negative work experiences.

Breaking gender stereotypes with Jodi Bondi Norgaard

In 2007, Jodi was shopping for a doll with her then 9-year-old daughter and there on the shelf was a doll with belly-baring clothing, high heels, and make-up, named ‘Lovely Lola’. Horrified by what she saw as an inappropriate toy for young girls, she took action!

Jodi Bondi Norgaard is now a leading advocate for change and breaking gender stereotypes. She is the founder of Dream Big Toy Company and the creator of the award-winning Go! Go! Sports Girls line of dolls, books, and apps for girls encouraging healthy and active play over fashion and body image. She’s an activist in the movement pushing media and retail to do a better job portraying girls beyond stereotypes.

Jodi recently shared with me her goals for 2024. “I am focusing on the launch of my book, ‘More Than A Doll: How Creating a New Brand of Sports Dolls Turned into a Fight to End Gender Stereotypes’, to be released in January 2025. In the book, I connect the dots from sexualized dolls to the subtle damage inflicted on girls’ confidence, to implicit biases we hold about gender, to decisions we make as adults that prevent true gender equity.”

A popular public speaker, Jodi is collaborating with Laurel Wider and The White House Gender Policy Council to host a round table of toy industry leaders at The White House to discuss implementation of the report, ‘Equal Play? Analyzing Gender Stereotypes, Diversity, and Inclusion in Advertising and Marketing for the Most Popular Toys of 2022′ by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. She is also working on a new children’s book series with Laurel titled, ‘Benny and Bea’about misinformation, assumptions, and learning from mistakes.

Changing the narrative about older women with Dr Lucy Ryan

Why are women over 50 leaving the workplace and what can we do about it? 

Lucy Ryan started her PhD studies at age 50. Her focus was understanding the issues involved in why women are exiting the corporate workplace and she wrote a book to increase awareness about this trend for organizations and professional women.  

In 2024, Lucy is celebrating her 60th birthday and the 2023 launch of her book, ‘Revolting Women – why midlife women walk out and what to do about it’. 

Having studied the experience of midlife businesswomen, I wanted to provoke discussion about the myths and assumptions that surround them and start conversations about the energy, creativity and brilliance of the older woman“, she says. “I wanted older women to be seen and valued, and for organisations to recognise the considerable drain of talent and wisdom when they leave a business.” 

In the book, Lucy addresses how “professional women over 50 are faced with a triple-whammy of discrimination: they are not male, young, or linear in their career paths. As a result, they are leaving corporate life and taking their careers into their own hands. And with it, they take their abundant wisdom, energy and ambition.”

SEE ALSO:  How To Break Free From A Midlife Narcissist Partner

Her goal for 2024, is “all about creative collaborations! Working with people who are passionate about this area, changing the narrative about older women and inspiring organisations to change – oh yes, and enjoying my 60th year!

Finding financial security with Elizabeth White

Elizabeth White is an ageing solution advocate for older adults facing uncertain work and financial insecurity. At 62, a Harvard MBA, former retail entrepreneur and C-Suite executive, Elizabeth found herself in a challenging financial situation. It prompted her to begin writing and sharing her personal story.

Soon she was flooded with responses from older men and women sharing their similar experiences. Elizabeth became the voice of her boomer friends, all of whom were high earners with advanced degrees who found themselves forced to take part-time, low-wage jobs to pay the bills. She realized that the lack of financial resources for this age group needed to be addressed.

The public response to her stories led Elizabeth to write a book, 55, Underemployed, and Faking Normal’ about the millions of older Americans who, despite a successful career history, are now facing, perhaps for the first time, the prospect of downward mobility in old age. 

As Elizabeth continues to search for solutions for older adults lacking financial security, her current project is co-housing. Why housing? “Because as we age, it is typically our biggest expense and the cornerstone of our health and well-being.”

NUUAge Coliving  is “rooted in the idea that pooling our resources and ageing together can help us lower our housing costs, combat isolation and loneliness, and build community.”

Elizabeth recently shared on Instagram that her new initiative, “NUUAge Coliving, is now in an exciting phase: raising capital, refining our model, and scouting locations. But this journey isn’t just mine – it’s ours. I’m here to learn from you, share our progress, and walk this path together.

Learning game-changing skills and strategies with Erin Lydon

Who knew that playing poker teaches you the critical skills to help you win in life and the workplaceErin Lydon is president of Poker Power, an organization with a mission to teach 1+ million women the game of poker to help them compete and succeed in business, finance and life.

Erin began her career on Wall Street when pay was secret and pregnancy was hidden. Currently, in addition to her role as president, Erin is a TEDx speaker, thought leader and advocate for gender equity who inspires others to take action and create change in their communities and organizations. 

Power Poker’s goals for 2024 are scaling its campus programs by launching virtual and IRL Poker Power clubs that bring game-changing skills and strategies to the next generation of leaders. 

One of the biggest benefits of the repetitive play of poker is increased confidence”, she told me. I’m 54. There are not a lot of times in my life anymore when I feel like a rock star. I do when I play poker, and I especially do when I shove those chips and I win back the pot. I want every woman to experience that. I think it’s a game-changer.

The takeaway message

What are you passionate about? Are you ready to advocate for change? It may feel out of your comfort zone, but influencing change doesn’t need to start a global movement. It can begin with simply having conversations, volunteering for organizations that share your values, or writing a blog. One small baby step is all it takes to get started and maybe set a good example for the younger generations.

Own the power of your age. Own your talent. Own your ability to influence change. Acknowledge you have what it takes to achieve whatever you set your mind to. That’s badass!

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About The Author

Bonnie Marcus | Gendered Ageism Expert

Bonnie Marcus | Gendered Ageism Expert

Award-winning entrepreneur, podcaster and executive coach, Bonnie Marcus, M.Ed., started her corporate career at an entry-level position and worked her way up to the top of a national company. Now, her passion is to help other women embrace their talent and ambition and step into their full potential, whatever their age.  Convinced that women over 50 are “Not Done, Yet!, she has recently come up with her new book shining a light on gendered ageism in the workplace and gives women the tools and the voice to defy ageist assumptions to stay marketable and keep their jobs. Bonnie has been honoured by Global Gurus as one of the world’s top 30 leadership professionals in 2015-2021.

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