Women Over 50: Growing Greatness | Lemon to Lemonade: Wrap Up

A year ago, when I heard Don Lemon comment, “Women over 50 are past their prime”, I was surprised and frankly annoyed. I took it as my opportunity to share what I know to be true – that women over 50 are not past their prime but are actually in their prime. 

That’s when we started asking for nominations and introductions to women using their experience and wisdom to grow greatness. We received countless nominations. What was interesting was that over 50% of the nominations came from people who were in their 20s and early 30s. They shared stories about the women they nominated – mentors, teachers, advocates, and change-makers. The submissions were passionate and purposeful.

It made me ponder what my younger self would have thought about starting a business and entering a new industry past my 50th birthday. Would I be less aggressive and in tune with customer and technology trends? Would I be tired? Or would I be full of wisdom and experience so that I would make better decisions?  

I see now that women in their 50s and beyond are growing greatness. They are leading companies, social change, and technological advancements that will impact us today and future generations around the globe.  

There seems to be a turning tide in the media, and we are constantly learning about women over 50 making a big impact in business, their communities, and society. Women are being celebrated for their accomplishments, a change I certainly welcome.

The myth that women over 50 are not tech-savvy or relevant as leaders is simply not true, and when you meet someone like Margot Carter, you know just how false that myth is. Margot is an award-winning, celebrated leader in AI and a strategic, innovative SAAS executive leader, business builder, and lead director for global public companies. She is a thoughtful, strong leader who encourages women of all ages to grow greatness. 

Other stories we have been privileged to share over the past year will remind you that extraordinary has no expiration date. Tracy Rector is bringing change to Domestic Violence. Arianna Huffington is helping global organizations and thousands of employees thrive through Thrive Global. Diane Paddison is serving professional Christian women and connecting them globally. Brenda Stoner, an industrial engineer by training, is a celebrated entrepreneur who solves problems that need to be solved. Suzan Morno-Wade drives a human capital strategy that is facilitating the transformation of Xerox. Ginny Kissling leads Ryan, the largest Tax services firm in the world dedicated to ever-changing business taxes. Ann Marie Scichili is building brands on a global scale, connecting products to consumers. All of these women are growing greatness.

The power of women over fifty has never been stronger. Research shows that entrepreneurs in their 50s and over are twice as likely to be successful as those in their 20s. This is generally attributed to experience and resilience. What role do experience, wisdom, and resilience play in success? A lot! They are fearless in voicing their knowledge with colleagues, showing what resilience looks like to teams, and letting their experiences shape their strategy and business decisions. 

The research shows that an older age is a better predictor of entrepreneurial success. Three other traits also correlate strongly to success: strong fluid intelligence, high openness, and moderate agreeableness. 80% of the Forbes list of the World’s Most Powerful Women is over the age of 50, proving that women hit their stride and create their greatest impact in life’s second half. 

All of the women we have introduced you to are changing the world and have changed me. The collective power of these women and all women over 50 spans the globe. I hope you have been as inspired by reading their stories as I have.

So thank you to those who nominated these inspiring women, and thank you to those who shared their stories with us. We loved spreading your remarkable stories and your inspiring paths to success.