“When we internalize these negative assumptions about ourselves as aging women and start to believe them, we belittle ourselves. We diminish ourselves, we hold ourselves back, and we become invisible.” – Bonnie Marcus

There are many challenges that people over 50 face in today’s society, but women of this age can especially feel diminished and dismissed in the workplace. Today’s guest shines a light on the ageist and sexist assumptions that do exist, and what happens when we internalize these assumptions and play small in our careers and in our lives.

Bonnie Marcus empowers professional women to own their talent and ambition and step into their full potential. Through her book, The Politics of Promotion (Wiley 2015), speaking, coaching and Forbes column, Bonnie helps women navigate the complexities of the workplace today to get ahead. She has done extensive research on women and ambition and co-authored a white paper on the topic.

A former CEO, Bonnie’s business experience started at the entry level. She learned the business skills and political savvy on the job that contributed to her success. Her latest project focuses on helping women over 50 keep their jobs. This book will expose the double whammy of ageism and sexism for women in the workplace and help women reject the ageist assumptions that keep them small and take away their power. She guides them to reconnect with their badass energy and write a new empowering story for themselves.

A certified executive coach, Forbes columnist, and popular keynote speaker, Bonnie has earned the recognition of being a Global Gurus Top 30 coach in the world 4 years in a row.

Bonnie offers not only valuable insight for women as they age on how to stay marketable and employed, but this conversation is also focused on empowering yourself by highlighting what you have already achieved and contributed in your career. Ultimately it’s up to you to define who you are, write a new story for yourself and most importantly, find brave each day while believing in it.

Highlights from this Episode:

  • What ageism is to Bonnie, who it affects and in what ways [4:22]
  • Common stereotypes about older people, especially women [5:33]
  • The internal stories that older women are telling themselves [9:53]
  • Shocking research about how men are viewed differently than women as they age and why this is happening [11:58]
  • What women have to do to keep their jobs and love themselves, and what Bonnie means by “declare your ambition” [19:01]
  • How to still be vibrant at work while honoring that fact that you may be slowing down in your professional life [25:40]
  • The way that ageism puts people in boxes, and the first step to getting rid of the shame you may feel about your age [32:15]
  • Outcomes that Bonnie is seeing from the uplifting women she works with [36:31]
  • Why it all comes down to setting boundaries and stepping into your power [38:14]

For More Information:






Resources Mentioned:

Bonnie’s Forbes Column

Her Book, The Politics of Promotion (Wiley 2015)

Kathy’s Forbes Posts, The Top 6 Communication Challenges Professional Women Face, The 12 Hidden Crises Working Women Face & 7 Damaging Power Gaps That Keep Professionals From Thriving

Episode 4: Gender, Power and Relationships, and the Crushing Effects of Patriarchy, with Terry Real


“Aging is just a scary thing for most people, but especially women, so I’m glad we’re talking about it today.” [3:02]

“We put people in categories based on their age, and then we make assumptions about them.” [4:57]

“A lot of these myths, unfortunately, work against us in the workplace because when companies believe these assumptions, it influences their hiring practices, their promotion practices and we suffer because of it.” [8:13]

“For women, aging is a double whammy, and the double whammy is the combination of sexism and ageism.” [11:16]

“It’s also important to continue to network, to build a cross-generational network and to perhaps mentor younger people.” [24:04]

“As we age, we put ourselves in a really small box. We become ashamed of our age and we retreat, and it’s all about finding your brave.”  [31:21]

“It’s about holding onto the value that you have to contribute to your organization, offering to help people and putting yourself out there.” [37:31]

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Kathy’s new book The Most Powerful You: 7 Bravery-Boosting Paths to Career Bliss shares vital information on the 7 most damaging power gaps that 98% of professional women face and how to overcome them. Boost your power and confidence today!


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