How Women Over 40 Can Serve as Positive Female Role Models

by kellylavieri on August 19, 2015

women in 40s role models img

Ours is a society in which women once “peaked”—professionally, domestically, physically—in their 20’s and 30’s. What a rough culture for women to succeed and feel valued within when the top of the mountain was reached at the beginning of life! Happily, with mature female figures doing everything from owning their own television networks and building schools in Africa (Oprah Winfrey) to starting billion dollar undergarment lines (Sarah Blakely) to running for president (Hilary Clinton), we women are rocking it! While we all can’t be the next Sheryl Sandberg, there are many important, everyday ways in which women over 40 can serve as positive role models for younger generations—whether friends, coworkers, family members, or neighbors. Here are a few that ought not be overlooked!

1. Wives and Mothers—or Not
By their 40’s, the majority of women have gotten married and started having children if family is a priority, or have made the decision not to pursue one or the other. Even if they’re still undecided, most women in their 40’s have considered the choices of marriage and/or children thoroughly enough to feel confident about whatever their current stance is on marriage and family. This confidence and experience grappling with these matters is something that younger female generations may lack, but can take comfort in when choosing female friends, mentors, and colleagues who are older than them.

2. Professional Leadership
By their 40’s, many women have become professionally established enough to be middle managers, managers, business owners, CEO’s, or consultants. Those who are not have likely worked long enough in their field—or perhaps have gained enough continuing education—to be specialized, or even experts. With more and more women choosing to pursue lifelong careers and vocations, there is a growing body of experience that professional women can invite younger women into. If you are a professional over 40, consider opening yourself to younger professional women as a mentor, or offering your services as a consultant.

3. Choosing to Pursue Career and Family
Women who have chosen to pursue career and family are path-makers for future generations who will do the same. Our current work-family setup isn’t ideal for families, but women who work and care for their families are forging a path for women to come. It’s not often that a woman today can truly “balance” work and family life, but hopefully the efforts being made today to achieve that balance will make it more possible for future generations of working mothers.

4.  Beauty
By 40+, you’ve been on the planet long enough to feel confident and beautiful in your own skin, right? If not, what’s stopping you? Teenage and 20-something girls often push themselves to fit a certain image of beauty because of their own insecurities, but the ones who don’t are the ones with confident, positive female role models who embrace their bodies, their age, ethnicity, and ability and flaunt these things. Life is too short to spend trying to look like someone else—embrace YOUR beauty!

5. Health
The 40’s are a decade when many women’s bodies begin to change, starting with pre-menopause, and this can kick-start a healthy living initiative. Whatever the reason you’ve chosen to prioritize your health—including diet, regular exercise, following recommendations for routine screenings—your healthy choices inspire and remind younger women to prioritize their health as well.

Who were your female role models when you were in your teens and 20’s? Your 30’s? What women do you look up to now?


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