As I have said many times before, I love podcasts. I listen to all sorts too. Whether it’s a show dedicated to solving real crime mysteries or one intended to expand my knowledge on an exciting topic, I’m an avid listener. But my favorite shows are about creating and growing successful businesses. So, in my quest to add quality shows to my audio library, I thought I’d make a list of the most potent podcasts for you; the businesswoman over 40.
#1 About That with Marga Ortigas – This show is about professional and personal transitions at midlife and beyond. Guests discuss how they have successfully navigated life’s changes.
Favorite episode: Breaking Ground with mental health professional, Darby Latshaw
#3 AgeWYZ with Jana Panarites – This weekly broadcast deals with the emotional topic of caregiving and provides resources to those struggling to balance work life and the duties of caring for an aging family member. It’s perfect for the businesswoman over 40 who is tending to the needs of elderly parents.
Favorite episode: The Legacy with caretaker Maggie McClane
#4 The Second Act with Benita Adams – This one isn’t actually a podcast. You can listen to Benita’s radio show or watch her on TV or catch episodes on YouTube. Either way, you’ll be entertained by her stories and interviews with reinvention experts. Check out Benita’s show in this video: What Would I Tell My Younger Self?
#5 Feisty Side of Fifty with Mary Eileen Williams – Mary dedicates her show to boomers and gen Xers who embrace positive change in all aspects of life and look forward to the years ahead. It’s a real ‘life is just beginning’ type of podcast.
#6 Women in the Middle with Suzy Rosenstein – The host, Suzy, is a Master Certified Life and Weight Coach who’s areas of expertise are midlife and transitions. Her podcast encourages “frustrated women to get excited about their lives again.”
#7 Second Act Stories with Andy Levine – In each new show, (offered every other week) inspiring people recount their experiences of making a significant career change in pursuit of a rewarding professional life.
#8 Forever Fierce with Catherine Grace O’Connell – Each week Catherine is joined by a co-host to discuss a wide range of topics that midlife women find quite interesting. The show can be heard live Tuesdays at 2 PM EST on LA Talk Radio or downloaded from iTunes or Stitcher.
Favorite episode: Interview with the woman who stood up to Tony Robbins on the #metoo issue: Nanine McCool
#9 Experience 50 with Mary Rogers – Mary is on the same mission as me; helping midlife women succeed in business. So, I naturally gravitated toward her show. If that’s the type of help you need, have a listen.
#10 Advice to My Younger Me with Sara Holtz – I love the concept of this ‘pay it forward’ show. Older, wiser, more experienced guests discuss strategies to help younger women achieve career success. This podcast is all about the things you wish you had known as a professional in your 20s and 30s.
#11 Women Killing It with Sally Hubbard – Sally is an investigative journalist who has created an inspirational broadcast that celebrates and features rockstar businesswomen. They share what has worked in their careers and what pitfalls to avoid to thrive in any job.
I hope I piqued your interest with a few of these podcasts for the businesswoman over 40. Let them motivate you to reach for the stars in your quest for success. If you have any suggestions for new podcasts we should listen to, please leave a comment below. And, as I always say…
Throughout her career as an award-winning filmmaker, writer, and director, Caytha Jentis has focused her attention on stories of interest to moms and women in general. In her latest project, the popular Amazon series The Other F Word,she shines her spotlight on midlife and the joys and pains that come with it. While the ‘F’ could stand for the word forty or fifty, it might just as well stand for fun or friendship or fearlessness.
The show humorously addresses the issues near and dear to women over forty who are, as a group, woefully neglected by the entertainment industry. Caytha’s main characters attempt to navigate the ever-changing landscape of the middle years with help from well-known actors like Judy Gold, Steve Guttenberg, and others.
I spoke with Caytha Jentis about the series and the difficulties she encountered launching it. Not surprisingly, she faced an uphill battle getting this project off the ground. Yet, her grit and determination paid off; to the benefit of fans around the world.
Caytha Jentis: I was looking for the next great story to tell. My two kids were getting older, and I said, “Wow, this is a really interesting chapter in life.” Parenting older children or becoming an empty nester wasn’t anything that was being covered episodically at that point. My children were coming of age, and I felt like I was, in a way, coming of age too.
JM: What reaction did you receive from your industry when you were pitching the show?
CJ: I just want to acknowledge that selling television is hard for everyone. Even Norman Lear had a tough time selling a show that dealt with older people. I was routinely told my idea was good, but I was pitching a tough demographic. I didn’t know what that meant at first. It’s code for, “Your characters are too old.”
The other thing I ran into was a perception that my demographic watches traditional television but they’re not on YouTube, and they’re not using digital content. It’s a fallacy that we don’t watch or can’t figure out how to stream Amazon.
JM: Why do Hollywood executives avoid series aimed at women over forty?
CJ: I had this profound realization that, in this industry, you are either prey or you’re put out to pasture. There is a little space for women like Sarah Jessica Parker or Reese Witherspoon who have broken through.
I don’t think it’s all entertainment’s fault, per se, but it’s just this larger thing. Advertisers don’t want their sexy Lexus next to a commercial about Depends. Besides, advertisers don’t think they need to court us. They think we will just buy regardless.
“In this industry, you are either prey or you’re put out to pasture.”
JM: Has it been difficult to find sponsors for your show?
CJ: No, but some brands stay away from my type of material. My characters sometimes swear and talk about sex toys. I want to tell my stories fearlessly. Many companies don’t respond to that.
JM: What kind of reception have you received from your audience?
CJ: I’ve been overwhelmed by it. The success has been huge. We have been able to reach nearly a million people. And you have to go directly to Amazon to watch the show, so it’s amazing to me. With a minimal marketing budget, we have been able to grab so many people.
I feel like our success is a success for all women in this pivoting and reinvention phase. If I can persevere with this impossible dream, then maybe I can inspire others.
JM: What type of show is The Other F Word and what topics do you cover?
CJ: I wouldn’t call it a comedy. It’s humorous, but it’s totally driven by drama. There are so many relevant themes going on. The four main characters deal with death and parenting and separation and health. It’s about change and transition.
JM: How has creating this show affected you?
CJ: I used to write to run away from my life. Then I began to look into my own world and experiences for material.
I have been so profoundly changed by the people I have met. It’s been a great place to be positive and open a dialogue. And many of the themes we cover are universal. All generations can connect with our stories.
JM: What advice would you give people who want to reinvent their career?
CJ: Do your homework. You need to have passion and fearlessness. Don’t be afraid to cry and get up and go for it again. It’s now or never.
Imagine, if you will, you have about ten years remaining on this Earth. It could actually be a few months more or less. The point is, you know with absolute certainty you have approximately a decade to look forward to before you pass on.
This leaves too much time and not enough money to indulgently submit your two-week notice or cash out and sell your business. Although, the thought of retiring and traveling the world crosses your mind more than once. Alas, there are bills to pay and family members to feed.
The situation is distressing. You always assumed you would have ample opportunity to begin a midlife reinvention when it felt right. But you don’t have the luxury of time anymore. The inevitable truth sinks in and tears fall as you grieve. Eventually, you accept your destiny and your focus narrows on quality rather than quantity. Serious decisions about how to spend the balance of your life need to be made.
find a more satisfying job in your current field?
go back to school for a new career in a different industry?
switch to a part-time position and spend more time with family?
sign up for more volunteer or charity work?
start the business you have always dreamed about?
revamp your existing business to better reflect your interests and values?
stop working with difficult clients or stop taking on impossible assignments?
Clarity comes quickly to those on a deadline. You discover making these life-altering choices is both terrifying and liberating. The constraints that held you in unsatisfying situations seem to loosen and fall away. You are suddenly less willing to tolerate toxic people and negative environments. “Life is too short,” you tell yourself.
Alright, time to come back to reality. The truth is, you probably have more than ten years to live. You likely have plenty of time to plan and implement a midlife reinvention, should you want to. However, think deeply about how you will spend your remaining days no matter what your age. Not to be morose, but they ARE numbered. Nobody knows when they have reached the half way point.
Acknowledging this, what profound changes do you want to make in your professional life? Are you ready to make a plan and take the first step? Tell me about your career goals in the comment section below. Putting your ambitions in writing might help get the ball rolling. Remember, you are the author of your own story.
I thoroughly enjoy midlife. I didn’t think I would at first. Father Time dragged me kicking and screaming into my forties, but I’ve embraced this experience now. Everything my mother and grandmothers told me about this chapter in life’s story is true. They assured me I wouldn’t worry as much about my physical appearance and would put greater value on the time I spend with family and friends. That is all true.
To be honest, though, there are certain problems and stressors that come with being a woman over forty. You begin to experience the loss of important people in your life more frequently, you worry about your health and mobility on a regular basis, and you wonder why your value as a career woman seems to diminish as you age. I used to question if I could find a community of ladies who could help me celebrate and commiserate throughout this interesting journey.
It turns out, there are dozens of female writers who expertly share their lives and advice every week. Some make me laugh while others simply inspire. Take a look at these 25+ gen xer, midlifer, and boomer blogs. Invite them into your life. You’ll be glad you did.
I hope you discovered several kindred spirits on my list of 25+ gen xer, midlifer, and boomer blogs. They will bring you a true sense of joy and community. If you found value in this post, please share it with the women you know and love. Life is better when we lift each other up.
When I was a little girl, I knew men made more money than women and almost always held higher positions too. It was a fact of life. In my neighborhood, fathers were the main breadwinners while mothers either stayed home or filled the financial gaps with part-time or temporary jobs. Full-time female workers were few and far between. Even rarer was the woman who managed to land a management position. I can count on one hand the females I knew with any legitimate professional power and influence. I can’t even imagine how small those numbers were for minority women at that time.
As I grew, I noticed a distinct change in the societal norm. If you’re older than thirty-five, you probably experienced the same dramatic shift. Moms either needed to or wanted to work. And with that, ladies began to find role models. Whether it was Geraldine Ferraro, the first female vice presidential candidate representing a major American political party or famous business icons like Oprah Winfrey and Martha Stewart, girls finally had multiple women to emulate. In turn, we began to proclaim, “if she can do it, I can do it.” Anything was possible.
It may seem obvious to you then that boosting employee morale is as easy as placing more women and minorities into influential positions. Well, you’re not alone. 2020 Women on Boards is a national campaign to increase the percentage of females on U.S. boards to 20% or more by the year 2020. Malli Gero, co-founder and president says, “research shows that gender diversity is good business and results in higher sales, greater corporate morale, and better return on investment for stakeholders.” Those are three seemingly compelling reasons for companies to hurry up and get with the program.
Is the Glass Half Full or Half Empty?
Sadly, diversity in the boardroom and upper management remains at what you might call a deplorable level. Globally, women hold between fifteen and eighteen percent of the available director positions, depending on which study or survey you read. This is partly because turnover on boards is low. The good news is that the numbers have been growing steadily, if not quickly, over the last decade.
Recent pressures from activists and investors have prompted boards to increase their number of minorities and females. The alternative is to face backlash and criticism from the media and other powerful groups if these changes are not made. Perhaps you’ve heard of organizations like the Forte Foundation, the Thirty Percent Coalition, and the Professional Diversity Network that are not only shining a much-needed light on this topic but providing resources to underrepresented professionals in an attempt to speed up the process of parity.
A Reason to Smile
Minorities and women are taking notice of the recent changes in corporate demographics. Research shows that role models have a positive effect on stigmatized and under-represented populations. Having someone to look up to in a company setting increases motivations, the number of goals set, and interest in advancement by those in lower positions. You might not be surprised by any of this, but it’s nice to have evidence for the obvious, right?
Additionally, businesses with relatively high percentages of female managers and board members tend to take on issues important to stigmatized groups. Corporate programs that spotlight and address equal pay, flexible work schedules, mentorship, and charitable contributions are increasingly popular. As a result, the future is looking a little brighter for us and will probably continue to do so.
Career expectations for women have certainly changed and grown over the past thirty years. Gone are the days when we put absolute limits on our professional potential. Big business is likely to continue boosting employee morale with improved representation of marginalized groups in positions of power. Do you think we are headed in the right direction? What other actions should corporate America take to ensure equality? Let me know by leaving a comment below.
Cindy Gallop is an outspoken champion of women in the workforce. When she speaks, people in the corporate world sit up, take notice, and often cringe. She doesn’t care. As the chair of the U.S. branch of Bartle Bogle Hegarty, a global advertising agency, she was known to make waves in the male-dominated industry.
She has since utilized her considerable influence and experience to found the startups IfWeRanTheWorld and MakeLoveNotPorn. She also wrote a book on the latter, Make Love Not Porn: Technology’s Hardcore Impact On Human Behavior. Her 2009 TED talk on the topic has received almost two million views on YouTube. Here are 11 breathtaking Cindy Gallop quotes about equality that helped catapult her to celebrity status and become the business crush of thousands.
“I deplore the shying away that can go on, within women, from the term ‘feminist.’ I am, absolutely, all about being a feminist.”
“I like to describe myself as a proudly visible member of the most invisible segment of our society – older women.”
“Women who play it the way the men do, play by the men’s rules, are seen as domineering, aggressive bitches.”
“I am all for the Lean In movement. But the Lean In movement is all about how women can win while working within the existing corporate structure and the existing system and the existing world of business. I don’t want you to do that. I want you to redesign it.”
“You’ll never own the future if you care what other people think.”
“I realized I was an attractive older woman who never wanted to settle down.”
“If I ran the world, I would find a way to bring the wealth of human good intentions and corporate good intentions together – to activate them collectively into shared action against shared objectives that produces shared hard, tangible results.”
“My personal cause and platform, if you like, is women’s rights and women’s issues.”
“Women challenge the status quo because we are never it.”
“Do you have a different point of view from the men? Say so! Do you see an all male environment in your agency? Call it out and do something about it!”
“I idolize every woman who has ever fought to make equality happen for all of us.”
So, what do you think of these provocative Cindy Gallop quotes? Does she go over the top or is she right on the money? I wrote an extensive post on the struggles of career women, including a bit of advice fromher.Check it out here. Whether you like her or not, Cindy is here to stay. Is she your business crush or do you have someone else in mind? Leave a comment below and let’s keep this conversation going.