This International Women’s Day we’re celebrating women over 50 who are pushing boundaries, fighting for women’s rights, breaking through glass ceilings in business and inspiring us that women over 50 still have a lot to give!
Activist and social justice organiser, 72.
Described as ‘the most influential person you’ve never heard of’, Heather Booth started community organising at the height of the Civil Rights movement. She has been involved in some of the most pivotal movements in America that have changed the history of the country, including women’s reproductive rights and she isn’t slowing down!
“At this age, I am grateful to have a little more confidence than I did earlier. We are in perilous and inspiring times. The stakes are so high, but often out of the greatest crisis comes the greatest progress. But only if we organise.”
Kimberlé Crenshaw, 50
Civil Rights Activist and Intersectionality Pioneer
Kimberlé first coined the term intersectionality, which recognises that people can be disadvantaged by multiple sources of oppression such as race, class, gender identity or sexual orientation. She is an American lawyer, civil rights advocate and leading scholar and is working to demolish racial hierarchies altogether.
Carolyn McCall, 58
First female CEO of ITV
In 2020, only 6 of the CEO’s in the FTSE top 100 companies in Britain are women. Women like Carolyn McCall are forging the space for women at the top. After seven years as the CEO of Easyjet (at which she earned a DBE for services for aviation), she became the first female CEO at ITV. She is now one of the most powerful figures in broadcasting, deciding the face and future of the UK’s most watched commercial TV channel.
Melinda Gates, 55
More than just the wife of Bill, Melinda Gates is the most powerful woman in philanthropy as co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Dates Foundation. It’s the worlds largest private charitable foundation, and helps enhance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty across the world. Melinda has devoted much of her work to women’s and girls rights, with a mission to close the funding gap for female founders through her investment company Pivotal Ventures.
Sue Black, 58
British Computer Scientist
Awarded an OBE in 2016, Sue Black is one of the top women in technology. She didn’t have an easy journey to the top, becoming a single mother at 25 living in a women’s refuge, she took a maths access course at night which lead to going to university. She sees it as her duty to support other women in the industry and understands how careers in technology need to be made more accessible in what is often thought of as a male-dominated industry.