We are heading into March, the month that hosts International Women’s Day on the eighth of the month since the year 1908 and officially recognized by the UN in 1975. So, it seems like the ideal time of the year to celebrate a select group of ladies. They are not like other women in that they herald from the generation marketers refer to as baby-boomers––people born between 1946 and 1964. And boy are these gals influential.
What makes these baby-boomer women so unique is that they were born in a time when the majority of women stayed at home and looked after the kids. Most of these now important women will have had a mom as their role model whose primary role was to look after their husbands and remain content caring for house and hearth. Not really the inspiration to become movers and shakers in a masculine dominated world.
However, if you take a look at the ladies in this article, you will immediately notice that they are people who inspired change in their communities, the world and in most cases history as a whole. The following 12 women gained influence and incredible success in a variety of different fields from politics to movies and industry.
Angela Merkel––At age 64 an uber-influential baby-boomer lady
According to Forbes magazine, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel is the most influential woman in the world. She has more or less held this position for twelve years running. This is unprecedented in the history of the US magazine, which has been honoring the 100 most powerful women in the world since 2004.
Angela Merkel obtained this crown in 2006 for the first time. It was when she ousted former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice from the top spot. Since then, she has prevailed against the competition every year––with one exception. In 2010, Forbes named the then first lady Michelle Obama as the most powerful and influential lady on the planet. Second and third place went to Mondelez CEO Irene Rosenfeld and entertainment queen Oprah Winfrey. Surprisingly, Merkel was only fourth place at the time.
The German Chancellor remains the de facto “leader of Europe”. Angela Merkel will always be known for her iron determination in how she stood up to US President Donald Trump and allowed for more than a million Syrian refugees to settle in her country despite huge domestic opposition. The big question for Germany and Europe as a whole is who will come after her when she lays down the mantle of leader of Europe’s most powerful nation
Theresa May in second place––She is not the Iron Lady Margret Thatcher, but she still packs quite a punch
It was Theresa May’s lifelong dream to become the British Prime Minister since she was a girl. The pastor’s daughter from the country was always ambitious but never charismatic. The now 62-year-old politician worked her way up the hard way.
And finally, in July 2016, she reached her lifelong ambition after the vote on Brexit when she inherited the title of Prime minister after David Cameron’s resignation. Since then, she has become a master at keeping herself in office despite the most adverse conditions.
Theresa May definitely earns her second place as an influential female baby-boomer. For one, we read about her every day, especially in relation to all of the issues surrounding Brexit. Moreover, she is the head of one of the nine nuclear powers in the world. In addition, she will remain famous for long after she leaves office because of her pivotal role concerning the UK’s place in Europe.
Jamie Lee Curtis––Daughter of the late Tony Curtis, the movie icon who died aged 85 in 2010
Jamie Lee Curtis recently celebrated her 60th birthday on November 22, 2018. The daughter of Tony Curtis, passed away on September 29, 2010 in Henderson, Nevada, already became famous at the age of 20 with her role in the movie “Halloween”. In 1988, she starred in “A Fish Called Wanda,” and a year later, she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Moreover, she is right up there with the likes of the aforementioned Maria Shriver as an Instagram and Facebook influencer. Whoever said that women over sixty could not influence younger generations?
Melinda Gates––Almost Generation X but still a baby-boomer, if only just
Melinda Gates was born August 15, 1964, in Dallas, Texas, as Melinda Ann French. She is an American businesswoman and philanthropist and the wife of Bill Gates, whom she met at Microsoft, where she worked as a project manager.
She graduated in 1986 with a bachelor's degree in computer science and economics from Duke University and obtained her MBA in 1987. On January 1, 1994, she married Microsoft founder Bill Gates. The two of them have three children together.
Melinda Gates is probably best known for founding the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation along with her husband in 1999. The world-famous charity had received over $30 billion of the Gate’s fortune in donations and also convinced the likes of Warren Buffet to become one of the largest supporters.
Oprah Winfrey, 61––Undoubtedly America’s talk show queen number one
Oprah Winfrey is one of the most successful and influential women on the planet. Her life can be described, without exaggeration, as a mixture of Cinderella and the American dream. Today, the “Talk Show Queen” has amassed a fortune of several billion dollars. Her show “The Oprah Winfrey Show” is by far the most successful talk show on American television and has 21 million viewers per week in 105 countries. What a career!
Her fortune, which she has amassed with her various TV appearances, acting, and corporate activities, is estimated at $3 billion. Even with a proud 61 years of age, the presenter is still an eye-catcher on the red carpet––a deserved fourth place in our rankings.
Marillyn Hewson––A Baby-boomer woman heads the world’s largest aerospace, defense, security and advanced technologies company in the world.
At 65, Marillyn Hewson certainly influences the world in a big way. She joined Lockheed Martin in 1983 and remained with the company, climbing the ranks until attaining the top position as CEO in January 2013. Not only do we consider this lady influential, but also Forbes ranks her in the top ten of their list. And if that is not enough, Harvard Business Review ranked her as one of the world’s Best-Performing CEOs in 2017.
Anna Wintour––The most powerful woman in fashion
She is considered the most influential woman in the fashion industry and is therefore probably the most powerful. Her pageboy coiffure is her trademark, as is her cool, unapproachable charisma. Anna Wintour has been the editor-in-chief of US Vogue based in New York for 27 years.
Her editorial career began in 1970 at Harper’s Bazaar in London. Her influence goes back to when she, as an editor, recreated works of art from greats such as Monet using female models. It was an unbelievable break in style for the time and allowed for Wintour to put her mark on the industry for the first time; a mark that would remain to this day.
Although recently many rumors have been circulating that she might be heading into retirement, the publisher happily announced that she would remain with Vogue indefinitely. Furthermore, the Queen raised the Briton as a peer of the realm in 2017.
In addition to her work as Editor-in-Chief of Vogue, Anna Wintour is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, supporting the Costume Institute and founding the “CFDA / Vogue Fund” to promote young talents in the fashion industry.
Madonna––She influenced generations of people from baby-boomers to Millenials
Madonna is most probably the most prominent representative of the over-60s age group in the music world. Born in 1958 in Bay City, Michigan in the United States, she celebrated her 60th birthday on August 16, 2018.
The 60-year-old is an American singer and actress (including “Evita” 1996), with international hits like “Like a Virgin” in 1984, “La Isla Bonita” (1987), “Like a Prayer” (1989) and “Hung Up” (2005). She is one of the most commercially successful artists of the 20th century.
Miuccia Prada, Owner of Prada––She can influence a generation with a stroke of her quill
As the lead designer for the fashion company founded by her grandfather, Prada, 64, has built one of the world’s signature brands, and one that is synonymous with chic luxury. Forbes Magazine estimates her personal fortune at $12.4 billion, making her one of the richest women on the planet.
Maria Shriver––American journalist, former First Lady of California and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ex-wife
“We are a generation of dreamers and doers. We are constantly breaking new ground and forging our own paths. Right now we are redefining middle age and old age. We are showing our children that you can keep reinventing yourself forever,” she said of her generation.
Maria Owings Shriver Schwarzenegger born November 6, 1955, in Chicago, Illinois is an American journalist and bestselling author.
She worked as a reporter and news anchor for the NBC for many years and has written several books. She is the daughter of Eunice Kennedy and Sargent Shriver (former United States Ambassador to France from 1968 to 1970), Democrats vice-presidential candidate in 1972, and a niece of murdered US President John F. Kennedy and his brothers Robert F. Kennedy and Senator Edward Kennedy.
In late April 2013, she announced that she would resume her former job as a television correspondent and return to NBC as a special correspondent.
Sharon Stone––The femme fatale from the movie “Basic Instinct”
Sharon Stone has been in the 60-year-old club since March 10, 2018. She became world famous in 1992 with one scene in the movie “Basic Instinct” when she turned her head as a suspect under interrogation revealing to Detective Nick Curran (Michael Douglas, 73) that she was not wearing any panties. For her role in the movie, she was nominated for an Oscar. And still, she ranks as one of the most influential women and not only among the baby-boomers.
Last but not least––Carrie Fisher––the lady who became an icon as Princess Leia in Star Wars
All love the iconic actress as Princess Leia in the Star Wars movie franchise that catapulted her into the limelight. “Carrie was one-of-a-kind, brilliant, original,” Harrison Ford, who played Han Solo alongside Fisher, said in a statement after her demise. “Funny and emotionally fearless. She lived her life, bravely. My thoughts are with her daughter Billie, her mother Debbie, her brother Todd and her many friends. We will all miss her.”
Sadly, Carrie Fisher died on December 27, 2016, at the age of 60. She had a cardiac arrest four days earlier towards the end of a flight from London to Los Angeles.