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40 Over 40 Awards: Women Claiming & Creating Their Spaces

SheThePeople's 40 Over 40 puts the spotlight firmly on those women who have taken the leap of faith, once they’ve crossed forty, to chase their dreams, to go for the jugular, to become super achievers.

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STP Team
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SheThePeople Exclusive, 40 Over 40 Awards acknowledges women who have touched numerous lives with their impactful work, challenging existing dynamics and ushering in a positive change in their fields of choice. Their work- past and present- needs to be celebrated as they not only brought their unique gaze to their field but also encouraged other women to follow their dreams by helping them overcome inhibitions of age, gender and other social stigmas.

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SheThePeople 40 Over 40 puts the spotlight firmly on those women who have taken the leap of faith, once they’ve crossed forty, to chase their dreams, to go for the jugular, to become super achievers.

Why 40 Over 40?

In a world where achievement is measured against the ticking clock, the flawed narrative of youth has often been glorified, often sidelining the remarkable feats of women individuals who do not fit into this restrictive category. To combat this bias, SheThePeople strives to recognise and amplify the excellence of women who defy ageist norms.

Speaking at the event, Shaili Chopra, founder of SheThePeople and Gytree expressed, "People often cannot imagine that there can even be a 40 over 40. Back in 2019, we became the first platform in the world to launch this and I'm very happy that this is spreading into a movement. We are particularly delighted that we can see so many women take on the digital realm, which most people believed that it is meant for the 18-23 age group."

Neeru Saini, one of the awardees remarked, "This is certainly a very good initiative. All over India, good work should be recognised." Narrating her story, she described, "My life's turning point was when my husband died of blood cancer. I was 32 and started the next innings of my life from there. I do work at the grassroots level. Many levels are very submissive but doing great work."

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New Beginnings

Subjashree Basu expressed that life does not stop after a certain age, contrary to what we are conditioned to believe. "When I was growing up and was in class 6,  I used to look at class 12 students as adults. Then when I was in my 20s, I looked at people in their 30s as if their lives were over," she confessed.

However, not everyone in society understands that, making it hard for women to follow their path. "The glass ceiling still exists, companies are all superficial," she stated. Basu added, "Support at home always helps. The kind of people you surround yourself with is most important. A good circle of friends, male and female is very important."

Self-Acceptance Beyond Age

Speaking to SheThePeople about chasing dreams after the age of 40, Shweta Bhatia expressed, "We need to redefine what 'unstoppable' is. It doesn’t come at the cost of losing yourself." She also threw light on the physical challenges that women go through after 40-- hormonal changes, perimenopause, underrepresentation of women in healthcare.

Actor and producer Mini Mathur also spoke about unabashedly embracing oneself in all their perfections and flaws. "I think we need to collectively not be embarrassed about taking up space in a room. Use the word-- I'm perimenopausal. I'm menopausal. If someone's uncomfortable about that, that's your problem. Not mine."

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The lively atmosphere at SheThePeople's 40 Over 40 Awards was not just an acknowledgement of grand achievers but also a celebration of women redefining society's restrictive trajectory. It served as a much-needed testament to the resilience, determination, and unwavering spirit of women who dare to defy societal expectations.

As an entity that has grown to become India’s biggest platform for women, we recognise and acknowledge all women, everywhere - those in the limelight, and those who remain away from it. With this 40 Over 40 event, our selection of 40 Women spans several criteria featuring age, professional categories, association across and within our network communities, and an editorial standard requirement. We applaud all women over 40 who are making strides like no other and as a platform committed to recognising changemakers, we aim to organise and launch several events all year through to continue bringing forward more women to the spotlight.

The official venue partner SheThePeople 40 Over 40 event was Social, Mumbai. An urban hangout and collaborative eatery-bar plus workspace, Social has grown to become a dominator when it comes to community building, artistic expression and a unique space for entrepreneurs to ideate, create and innovate. 

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