Know Your Value and Forbes are honoring women who have achieved significant success after the age of 50 — and in some cases, well over 50. It’s a long runway!
The honorees on the new list hail from 29 different countries and territories and work across two dozen industries.
Notable list makers include:
Olajumoke Adenowo, 55, Nigeria
At the age of 24, Adenowo founded her boutique architecture and interior design firm AD Consulting. She as been described as Africa’s “starchitect,” breaking through a very male-dominated industry.
Forbes notes that AD Consulting has been involved in designing and constructing more than 114 projects. Her latest project is the development of a $880 million housing complex in South Africa. “While I continue to practice architecture, I have started focusing on raising transformational leaders because that’s what is going to make Africa livable for the next generation,” said Adenowo.
Stella McCartney, 52, UK
McCartney founded her eponymous luxury fashion house in 2001 and has since become one of the world’s most in-demand designers: She was appointed Team Great Britain’s Creative Director for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, designed Meghan Markle’s wedding reception dress in 2018 and that same year partnered with the United Nations on a sustainable fashion charter. In 2019, McCartney struck an investment deal with LVMH to expand her brand, while retaining a majority ownership stake. In 2023, King Charles awarded McCartney a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).
Graça Machel, 78, South Africa
Machel is a renowned politician and humanitarian who has dedicated her career to advocating for the rights of women and children. In 1975, she became Mozambique’s first female cabinet member as their first education minister. As the widow of Nelson Mandela, the former president of South Africa, and former president of Mozambique Samora Machel, she is the only woman in modern history to have been first lady of two countries. With Mandela, she cofounded The Elders, an independent group of leaders working for peace and human rights, in 2007; through The Elders, Machel started Girls Not Brides in 2011 to combat child marriage. She founded the eponymous Graça Machel Trust in 2010 to advocate for women’s economic and financial empowerment.
Narges Mohammadi, 51, Iran
In 2023, Mohammadi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize “for her fight against the oppression of women in Iran and her fight to promote human rights and freedom for all.” She is the 19th woman to win the prize and the fifth person to win it while in detention. Arrested 13 times over the past 22 years—and sentenced to a total of 31 years in prison and 154 lashes—Mohammadi has spent much of the past two decades in and out of jail over her campaigning for human rights in Iran. She was also one of the most prominent voices in the “Woman, Life, Freedom” uprising sparked by the 2022 death of Mahsa Amini.
Click here to see the entire “50 Over 50: Europe, Middle East and Africa” list. And go here to get more information about Forbes and Know Your Value’s “30-50 Summit.”