The Lemon to Lemonade campaign began with a comment made by CNN anchor Don Lemon. Lemon shared his opinion about a woman being past their prime once they hit 50 years old. The Lemon to Lemonade campaign is all about honoring and lifting up women who are over 50 and showing that extraordinary has no expiration date.
At Gardenuity, we reject the idea that women over 50 are past their prime. There are countless extraordinary female leaders who are well over 50, so we are turning Lemon’s comments into lemonade: lifting up women who are leading the charge for change. Gardenuity is lifting up women over 50 to prove to the world that they are not and will not ever be “past their prime.”
The woman we are honoring today is Margot Carter. Margot Carter is a Corporate Attorney turned AI co-founder. She is a strategic, innovative SAAS executive leader, business builder, and lead director for global public companies. She has over 25 years of experience in capital markets, financings, and IPOs and has negotiated, acquired, and sold hundreds of businesses. Margot was named one of the “Top 50 Innovators and Disruptors” by D Magazine and has continued to innovate with her business Cien, which she co-founded with Rob Kall and Ben Strum to clean up messy data and increase revenue faster and at a fraction of the cost.
We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to speak with and learn from Margot, and we hope you enjoy reading about her as much as we have loved getting to know her.
Tell us about your career path.
Margot’s career began as a lawyer. She went to Fordham Law School in New York City and worked for a large corporate firm, Morgan Lewis, where she specialized in taking companies public. While working there, one of her clients was a technology company, and they asked her to come work in-house there to be their Global Chief Legal Officer, so she jumped at the opportunity!
From there, her interest in technology blossomed, so she saw herself as a business leader and more than just a lawyer. She wanted to stay on the cutting edge of technology, so she co-founded an AI business called Cien, where she is today.
Can you tell us about why you decided to start Cien and where the idea initially came from?
Carter had done so much in her career and had tons of success, but she wanted to continue to push herself, so she believed that the next step to do that meant starting a company. The idea for Cien came seven years ago from the idea that almost everyone is data-rich but information-poor. Cien takes messy data and cleans it up using algorithms or artificial intelligence.
How do you balance your career with your mental health?
Carter believes that it is important to take time for yourself to exercise, maintain a balanced and healthy diet, as well as ensure that you are receiving adequate sleep. Life is about balance and ensuring your work is balanced with your life, so taking the time to see family and friends is crucial.
Who is a woman that you look up to?
A woman that Margot looks up to is her grandma. Her grandma’s mother died during childbirth, so she was raised by her grandmother until she was too sick to take care of her. After that, Margot’s grandmother came to the United States at the young age of six, completely alone on a ship, with a stranger keeping an eye on her. Once arriving in America, Carter’s grandmother went to school for two years before moving on to work in difficult conditions in a factory as a minor. Many of her relatives died in the Holocaust, yet despite her struggles and challenges, she continued to push herself to new heights. She persevered through many difficulties and challenges to become a strong and successful businesswoman.
What would you say to women who believe they are past their prime?
Margot would assure women that it is never too late to learn something new. Furthermore, she believes success is defined as happiness and peace. It is never too late to push yourself out of your comfort zone and to continue to learn and invest in yourself, but ultimately you are at your prime if you are happy.
If you could say something to Don Lemon, what would it be?
Carter would say, “Actions speak louder than words.”
Margot- we are happy to growing and celebrating you.