One huge motivation for starting NextTribe in early 2017 was the lack of recognition for the achievements and talents of older women. It feels like a lot has changed in the past 4 1/2 years, and nothing says that louder than last week’s announcement of the Forbes 50 Over 50 List, which spotlights women in this age group who are shaking up the world for the better.
The 50 women were picked from 10,000 nominations and come from a diverse parts of American society, from Wall Street and Washington D.C. to entertainment, education, and sports. Not surprisingly, the list is topped by history-making Kamala Harris.
“For these dynamic women, growing older is about getting wiser—and bolder,” Forbes wrote in announcing the list. We certainly approve of the notion of “bolder!” The magazine praised these “entrepreneurs, leaders and creators who are part of an exhilarating movement redefining life’s second half and proving that success has no age limit.”
The Stars, Surprises, and Snubs
The first thing we thought when we read the list was, Where’s Oprah? Seriously, isn’t she on every list? Maybe the judges–Andrea Jung, former CEO of Avon; designer Diane Von Furstenburg; and Janice Bryant Howroyd, CEO of Act One–thought she’d won enough. (The list was created in partnership with Mika Brzezinski and her website Know Your Value.) But the list includes other heavy hitters that you’d expect to see on a power assessment like this. There are politicians Nancy Pelosi, Madeline Albright, and the newly relevant Liz Cheney. We’re happy though that the judges recognized the contributions of politicians on a smaller scale, such as Betty Parker, mayor of Elizabeth City, NC. Hardly a household name, but still a woman of amazing fortitude.
In the entertainment field are TV producer Sondra Rhimes, chef Ina Garten; actress Catherine O’Hara, and even Judge Judy. Many on the list are big shots in finance and the corporate world, including Jane Fraser, the first female CEO on Wall Street, Mary Barra, CEO of Ford, Carol Tome, CEO of United Parcel Service, and Rosalind Brewer, CEO of Walgreens.
The most exciting category, for us at least, is entrepreneurs. We love seeing so many founders of companies that are making a difference in how we live and take care of ourselves, including Julie Wainwright, founder of The RealReal, Amy Errett, founder of Madison Reed, Ellen Latham, founder of Orangetheory Fitness, and Melisse Shaban, founder of Virtue Labs. We love social entrepreneurs too, like Dr. Laura Stachel Cofounder of We Care Solar.
After a grueling year, we appreciate the occasion to celebrate anything, but especially grateful for the chance to celebrate us. As the Forbes staff said, “It is a moment when a global pandemic has pushed a disproportionate number of women out of the workforce—and, among this demographic, forced hundreds of thousands into too-early retirements—it is our hope that the stories of the women on this list resonate, inform and inspire.”