Forty Over 40: Celebrating Fearless Women Innovators and Disruptors


Forty Over 40 2015 honorees

Forty Over 40 has released its list of 2015 honorees, marking its third year of celebrating women over 40 who are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. Founded by Christina Vuleta and Whitney Johnson, Forty Over 40 demonstrates that innovation gets better with age and that it’s after the age of 40 when most women embark on their most creative and productive era of life, proving that success takes time and that there are more ways to measure success than balance sheets—all-around balance.

The Forty over 40 list boasts an impressive lineup of women “who are reinventing, and disrupting and making an impact” all in their own rights. The list includes heads of major corporations, such as Cheryl Bachelder, the CEO of Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen, who views leadership as a humbling “extreme sport,” startup founders such as Allison O’Kelly, who started MomCorps with some fellow working mothers as a recruiting organization promoting flexible work opportunities, photojournalists (Diane Tuft, a climate change activist, hangs out of helicopters to capture images that “provoke discussions on how to preserve the beauty of our planet”) and comedians (Jane Condon, a journalist turned comic whose goal is to “make people laugh… [and] also to make them think.”)

Forty Over 40 logo

Forty over 40 honorees undergo a rigorous evaluation process by panelists from the tech, entrepreneurial, media and corporate worlds. This year’s judges include Tammy Tibbets, Founder of She’s The First; Saul Kaplan, Founder of the Business Innovation Factory; Tim Brunk, Co-Founder and CEO of USERcycle; and Interbrand chief marketing officer Andrea Sullivan, who said about her role, “It’s such an honor to be a part of this process—it was less about ‘judging’ and more about recognizing and celebrating impact on so many different levels.”

To innovate successfully, one must know how an established method works, that’s the only way to create smart, impactful and perhaps most importantly, sustainable change. Today’s culture, obsessed with instant gratification and stuck in youth-mode could learn a thing or two from these women. They’ve proven that with age comes wisdom and that patience pays off.

Research shows that the average Nobel Prize winner’s age around significant breakthroughs is 38 (and they’re usually not recognized until they’re 60), while data from the Kauffmann Foundation shows that people over 55 are almost twice as likely to found successful companies than those between 20 and 34.

Lisa Joy Rosner, the CMO of Neustar, a billion dollar public company in Silicon Valley, proves that in both your personal and professional life, there are some things you just can’t rush. Rosner’s LinkedIn profile reads: “Gave birth 4 times and launched 2 companies over a 4 year period.”

Click here for this year’s Forty over 40 list and check out our interviews with honorees Diane Hessan, Startup Institute CEO and Communispace founder, and Girl Scouts USA chief marketing officer Sarah Gormley — and stay tuned for more one-on-one interviews with some of this year’s honorees.


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