For many women, the window of career opportunity seems to shrink smaller and smaller with age - but why is this? Armed with years of experience, sharpened competitive skills and a network of connections, women ahead of their 50s are far more prepared to launch a business later in life.
In a culture obsessed with youth, more and more older women are proving that aging is a privilege with their entrepreneurial achievements. After launching Marmion in her 50s, our founder Janet McGlaughlin believes that “if you love doing something, don’t be afraid to be brave.”
The Power of Experience
A recent study finds that entrepreneurs who launch start-ups in their 50s, succeed at roughly the same rate as people starting up in their 20s. The same study proves that a “female entrepreneurs’ chance of success is higher at later life stages”, debunking the suggestion that younger business owners are more successful.
So why aren’t more women launching businesses in their 50s? In her 30s, Janet felt that society and workplace culture meant that women struggled to get to the top. The rarity of female business owners deterred women from pressing on and pursuing their passions. Whilst things are changing, there is still a hangover in society from these bygone days – particularly for women of Janet’s generation.
Getting older means gaining confidence and learning from the life lessons that a long career gives you. Janet set up Marmion following 32 years employed after spotting an opportunity to create a recruitment company with a difference. Her passion, expertise and experience meant that she was perfect for the role – thinking of her age as an asset, not a drawback.
Consider the lessons you have learnt from the start of your career, how has your work developed over the years? And how will you use this experience to be a better entrepreneur? If you’re over 50 and wanting to pursue something, go for it!
Leading by Example
It’s fantastic to hear and witness the success of women, particularly women ahead of their 50s. With incredible women such as Vera Wang, Toni Morrison and Viola Davis becoming their most successful selves later in life, women across the world should be encouraged by their growing age, not discouraged.
In an interview with Refinery29, Andrea Leadsom MP (58), previous Leader of the House of Commons and the third woman to have ever held this position stated that, “I feel that age is just no barrier at all… I think 55 is an extraordinary time. You have the kind of confidence whereby you feel you don’t need to prove anything.”
British author Susanna Clarke (62) won the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2021 for her second novel and much-longed-for sequel Piranesi. With her first novel in 17 years, Clarke stated in an interview “I’d really ceased to think of myself as a writer…it all seemed so long ago and far away.” In a way, Piranesi represents the sequel of Clarke’s career – why not spend your 50s developing your own sequel?
Author and entrepreneur, Kerry Hannon (62) expresses how “conversations with blooming boomer women entrepreneurs inspire me…it’s the aura of possibility and the creative thinking that surrounds them.” Hannon’s Forbes article echoes the message of her novel Never Too Old to Get Rich: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting a Business Mid-Life (2019), which acts to empower both women and men to reap success in later life.
There’s no sell by date on passion – whether you’re a woman or a man ahead of 50, this may be your time to truly make an impact!
Is Age Actually Your Greatest Asset?
As our founder Janet approaches her 60th birthday in 2022, it has become a great passion of ours to empower both men and women to be brave and thrive outside their comfort zone.
A couple of years before this milestone Janet considered taking a step back from Marmion and handing over the reins to the younger generation – mainly because that’s what people of her age tend to do! Upon reflection, she realised that her passion and energy for the business and its purpose was just as strong as it has ever been. Why stop doing what she loves?
Janet hopes to set the bar for people in their 50s, 60s and beyond to realise they don’t have to follow convention and step down; this may be your time to shine and pave the way for people in their 20s and 30s. If you want to pursue something, go for it! And if you love what you’re doing already - keep going. In the words of Janet herself, “it’s all about attitude, aptitude, application and appreciation of yourself and others.”
As the team at Marmion move into another promising year, our founder Janet considers “if I can do it, why not you?” – contact us for recruitment advice.