Older and in Charge!

“Women, we’re nurturers, that’s what’s expected of us. We have our children, we have our husbands if we’re lucky enough, and our partners. But we have to find personal fulfillment. We have to follow our dreams. We have to say, “I can do that, and I should be allowed to do that.”


Glen Close famously said that in her Golden Globes acceptance speech last Sunday. She is just one of a growing group of successful women over 60 coming into their own power in this present moment. Think Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters, Susan Zirinsky who was just named the head of CBS News.  This is a demographic of women who are sidelined and silenced no more.  But why now? A recent NY Times article points out a few unique reasons that 60+ women are taking center stage:


  • The overall aging population is staying healthier and working longer than ever.


  • The #metoo movement forced a reckoning with power dynamics and unfair gender structures that have historically kept women from reaching the top.


  • Women who started working in the 70s and 80s are now at the height of their power and success… as their male counterparts are dealing with the fall out of their poor behavior.


The rise of women as a political, cultural and professional force can’t be ignored. Let’s hope it spreads and companies fill their leadership roles with older, experienced women. The pipeline of female talent to senior level roles is depleted because, according to Pew Research,  39% of mothers say they have to take time off to care for family and 42% reduce their hours. This is a fact that is talked about a lot about in articles, conferences and summits but there are very simple answers:


  • Hire and promote more women
  • Create family-friendly policies including fluid parental leave,  flexible hours and remote options.


The more the workplace changes to accommodate the needs of women early in their careers the more women will remain engaged, rise up the ranks and take home the ultimate prize– power!