Forbes’ latest ‘50 Over 50’ list pays tribute to women who are challenging age and gender norms.
On August 1, 2023, Forbes unveiled its third annual “50 Over 50” list. It highlights “dynamic female leaders and entrepreneurs who have achieved significant success later in life, often overcoming formidable odds or barriers.”
According to the press release, many of these women achieved their success not in spite of their age but rather as a direct result of it.
Produced in partnership with Mika Brzezinski and the Know Your Value platform, the list has been categorized into four sections: Impact, Investment, Innovation, and Lifestyle.
The Impact section includes changemakers who are working to make the world better than they found it. For Investment, the list commends women who are using their wealth to seed the future.
Women in technology who are breaking new grounds are given their time to shine in the Innovation category. Lastly, the Lifestyle section is filled with visionaries who are reshaping entertainment and culture.
The list includes Patti Labelle, the 79-year-old “Godmother of Soul,” in the Lifestyle category. The singer, actress, and entrepreneur is now using the earnings from her music career to launch Patti’s Good Life. The frozen comfort food line is now one of Walmart’s bestsellers.
Also in the Lifestyle section is actress Jamie Lee Curtis. She won her first Oscar at the age of 64 for her role in this year’s Best Picture, Everything Everywhere All at Once.
Peggy Whitson, the 63-year-old astronaut, was honored in the Innovation category. “I was a much better astronaut, getting in later and having more life experience,” Whitson said.
Having spent 675 days working in space, her first space flight didn’t happen until she was 42. Now working with space infrastructure company Axiom, she’s helping build the galaxy’s first commercial space station.
At 64 years old, author Catherine Coleman Flowers has won a MacArthur genius award for her work as an environmental health advocate. She says that her age was the key to being able to facilitate conversations with leaders both in public and private spheres.
“I’ve learned how to get along with people,” she shares. “You have to meet people where they are. I’ve learned that with age because when I was younger, I didn’t have the patience to sit around long enough.”
The women in the Investment list aren’t just managing money—they’re commanding it. In 2022, Mala Gaonkar founded SurgoCap Partners. The New York investment firm is focused on disruptive technologies across broad industry categories.
Earlier this year, at 53 years old, Gaonkar managed the largest hedge fund launch led by a woman ever. It was estimated to be worth $1.8 billion.
Banner image via Instagram @jamieleecurtis.