Ditch the Sell-By Date!

Well, the launch has happened and it was amazing to celebrate the publishing of the book, but we also had an opportunity to hear what people had to say to us and for them to ask questions, and there are some things that really stuck in our mind. First was a heartfelt message from a couple of younger women who made it very clear that even in their 30s they felt that time was running out jobwise, and that they were very aware they had a sell-by date.

Here’s what they said: “we just wanted to say, from the bottom of our hearts, you guys are an inspiration. Even when you’re still in your 30s… which we are… but you seem still young and full of life and positive… for us, we start to get this creeping sense that one day time is running out… there’s gonna be some kind of a sell-by date.  And then you hit 40 and that’s it. And then I look at you, and I can honestly say it just feels like, ‘no, actually life begins at 40!'”

So we’re meeting a lot of women of a certain age in the industry but we’re also being approached by a lot of younger women as this book is coming out and we realise it’s a balancing act because actually, the issue is twofold: on the one hand, we’re inviting women to realise that they’re wearing this invisibility cloak, and it has certain emotions with it, and we’re inviting you to take it off like we are constantly trying to take it off; and we’re looking at how we and you can reinvent ourselves so we and you stay more current and topical and present to the changing world that we live in.

Also, we’re realising more and more that our visibility is important for younger women to give them hope for the future. We really see that younger women need role models, and that they need support to know that they have a career ahead of them for as long as they want it, so we are talking to them as well, to encourage them, support them, so that they too can continue working, that there is no ‘sell-by’ date looming.

And on a personal note, what also came up for us at the launch, almost in spite of ourselves, was the realisation that we both have daughters, and to think that they don’t have a future as older women was quite horrifying and shocking to us, and we want to give them every hope that they can be fantastic, creative, fabulous, sexy, and intelligent till the day they choose not to.

And so… we’re delighted to announce… “drum roll”… that we are launching an award – the WOACA AWARD – to acknowledge and celebrate the brilliant women who are standing their ground, reinventing themselves, and staying visible after a certain age. You are an inspiration not just to us but importantly, to all those younger women coming up behind!

So… from virtual champagne to deep and meaningful talk, the launch has left us with lots to think about! When we started this book and found it growing into a campaign, we never realised (and are still just realising) that it is so important to feel valued, respected for skills and talent, for feeling good about how you look, what you wear, what you create, what inspires you, and that each day is part of a journey of a great life to be had, whatever your age.

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