The 3rd Annual 40 Women To Watch Over 40 List Announced

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2015 List Gives Visibility to a Surprising Source of Innovation – Women Over 40

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The "40 Women to Watch Over 40" list celebrates women who are upending the perception that 40 is past your prime.

Innovation gets better with age. Now there is a list that serves to recognize women who bring this truth to life. This year’s honorees bring to life the mission of 40 Women To Watch Over 40. Now in it’s 3rd year, the list celebrates the achievements of women over 40 who are pushing the boundaries of what is possible.

Christina Vuleta, brand innovator and founder of a cross-generational mentoring network and Whitney Johnson, former Wall Street equity analyst and author of Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work, founded the list to challenge age stereotypes and raise awareness that “over forty” is in fact when many women come into their most productive era.

When it comes to disruption, the typical image is an under 30-year-old startup entrepreneur. Yet research finds that Nobel Prize winners’ age around a significant breakthrough is about 38 (and not recognized until they're 60) and another posits that a lifetime of learning leads to greater breakthroughs between ages 55-65. Data from the Kauffmann Foundation bears this out as findings indicate people over 55 are almost twice as likely to found successful companies than those between 20 and 34.

Vuleta and Johnson want to change that perception. The list aims to inspire 40+ disruptors to continue to reinvent while showing women in their 20s and 30s new possibilities.

The winners, ranging in age from 40 to 70s, were selected based on a rigorous application and judging process that evaluated three criteria:

  •     Impact: Are they creating growth or making an impact in their field of work, community and beyond?
  •     Role Model: Is this person a positive role model, through mentoring, leading by example, innovating around work/ life issues or promoting women for leadership, whether in business, boardrooms or through building diverse communities?
  •     Reinvention / Momentum: Are they engaged in personal disruption, taking on new challenges and harnessing the power of their experiences?

The honorees come from a variety of industries including the arts, healthcare, sports, science, media, business and tech. Some are recognizable names and some less known, but all have more in front of them than behind them.

Their impact ranges from Laura Gentile – founder and vice president of espnW, who is creating support for female sports through innovative coverage and mentorship – to Lisa Congdon, who changed careers in her 30s to become a successful artist and has since built a platform to help others build their careers as artists.

The full list of winners is listed below.

The rigorous vetting process includes the participation of a judging panel that spans generations, gender and industry including: Saul Kaplan, Founder of the Business Innovation Factory, Andrea Sullivan, CMO of Interbrand, Tim Brunk, Co-Founder and CEO of USERcycle and Tammy TIbbetts, Founder of She's The First.

The host committee is also diverse with both 20-somethings and 40-somethings. Molly Ford, head of brand marketing at Venmo and founder of SmartPrettyAwkward.com and Stephanie Florence, Sr, Account Executive, Edelman PR and editor 40:20 Vision bring a millennial perspective. Completing the team is 40-something Canadian strategy and management consultant Catherine Saul.

For more information on 40 Women To Watch Over 40, please contact Christina Vuleta or Whitney Johnson at The40over40 (at) gmail (dot) com or follow us on Twitter @Fortyover40.

2015 Honorees: 40 Women to Watch Over 40

1.    Allison O'Kelly, CEO MomCorps
2.    Ari Horie, CEO, Founder, Women’s Startup Lab
3.    Becky Robinson, Founder, Weaving Influence
4.    Betsy Beers, Producer, Shondaland
5.    Caitlin McCarthy, Screenwriter, DES Activist, Inner City Public HS Teacher
6.    Charlene Li, Founder, CEO, Altimeter Group
7.    Cheryl Bachelder, CEO, Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen
8.    Christine Garde, Founder & CEO, CouldYou?
9.    Christine Osekoski, EVP Marketing, Katz Media Group
10.    Diana Verde Nieto, Founder, Positive Luxury
11.    Diane Hessan, CEO, Startup Institute
12.    Diane Tuft, Photographer, Global Warming Activist
13.    Didem Gurcuoglu Tekay, Managing Partner, Management Centre Turkey (MCT)
14.    Jane Condon, Comedian
15.    Jeannette Hill, Founder, Spot On Sciences
16.    Jennifer Jako, Principal, fix studio, Creative Director, AIDS activist
17.    Joan Fallon, Founder and CEO, Curemark
18.    Laura Gentile, ESPN / Vice President / espnW / Women in Sports
19.    Linda Rottenberg, Co-Founder and CEO, Endeavor Global
20.    Lisa Congdon, Fine Artist, Illustrator and Author
21.    Lisa Joy Rosner, CMO, Neustar Inc
22.    Lisa Sepulveda, President, Global Client Management, Edelman
23.    Margaret "Digit" Murphy, Co-founder, Play It Forward Sport Foundation
24.    Margit Detweiler, CEO Gyrate Media; Founder and Editor-in-Chief, TueNight.com
25.    Melissa Goidel, Chief Revenue Officer, Refinery29
26.    Nan Forte, Chief Product & Content Officer, LivingHealthy
27.    Nely Galan, Founder, The Adelante Movement and Founder, Galan Entertainment
28.    Nilofer Merchant, The Jane Bond of Innovation
29.    Paula Froelich, Yahoo Travel Editor-in-Chief/Digital Media
30.    Ruthe A. Farmer, Chief Strategy & Growth Officer, Director, K-12 Alliance, National Center for Women & IT (NCWIT)
31.    Sarah Gormley, CMO, Girl Scouts of USA
32.    Sheila Roche, Creative & Communications Officer, (RED)
33.    Sheryl WuDunn, Partner, Senior Managing Director, Mid-Market Securities, LLC
34.    Susan Cain, Co-founder and Chief Revolutionary, Quiet Revolution; Author, QUIET, The Power of Introverts
35.    Susan Danziger, Founder and CEO, Ziggeo
36.    Suzanne McKechnie Klahr, Founder and CEO, BUILD
37.    Taryn Rose, Founder, DRESR
38.    Tereza Nemessanyi, Entrepreneur-In-Residence, Microsoft
39.    Tina Fordham, Managing Director, Chief Global Political Analyst, Citigroup
40.    Tori Lyon, Executive Director, Jericho Project

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