Voices

‘40 is only the beginning’

The 2022 winners of the 40 Over Forty awards underlines the importance of age inclusivity in the creative industries.

Nicola Kemp

Editorial Director

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The global age diversity platform 40 Over Forty have revealed the winners of the 2022 list, which include leaders from companies including MullenLowe Group UK, VMLY&R and boutique PR firm Persuasion. 

The list of trailblazers, all of which have made a significant contribution to the industry, is an important proofpoint and suckerpunch, challenging the industry’s ongoing ageism issue. The list, which is now in its third year, has been an important progression from a media ecosystem which traditionally conflates youth with innovation. 

Men and women from Independent agencies to Networks and brands across UK and US have made the 2022 list which features CEOs and Global CTOs, Creatives and SVPs. The full list can be seen below. 

This year the group is levelling up its commitment to age positivity with the launch of a new accolade for companies to demonstrate their age diversity practices in 2023. The team suggests, for example, companies could share how they have adopted the Advertising Association & 40 Over Forty ‘Shared Experiences’ policy. 

This new category will be called ‘Most Committed to Age Inclusion’. The new mark of age inclusivity will be open to companies to apply for it in early 2023 to encourage action and accountability in the media, marketing, and advertising industry. 

Ally Owen, Age Inclusion Ambassador and Founder of Brixton Finishing School, explained:  "Ageism is an extremely popular and ironic ‘ism’ - if you are fortunate to be blessed with the opportunity to grow older you will have the ultimate karma - the age bias you possess will be mirrored onto you. You will realise the wealth of lived experience and skills you've gathered have the potential to deliver a multitude of values to business but will most likely be ignored or devalued.”

She continued: “Let's unite to change this narrative - 40 Over Forty celebrates the achievements yet to come! Believe me - 40 is only the beginning. I set up BFS & The ADcademy at 45 and feel at 50 I'm only just getting started. Everyone should have the opportunity to thrive and be valued at work. This is especially true for communities where traditional structures devalued them in the workplace.” 

Anna Dalziel, Founder, 40 Over Forty added; “Brands, businesses and agencies are calling out ageism across the UK with real action being taken to readdress the skewed, outdated stereotypes that have existed for too long. We all grow older, if we’re lucky, and as we age, we gather experience, skills and knowledge that should be valued and shared. That’s why it’s amazing to see the range of diverse people in this year’s 40 Over Forty selection who deserve to be celebrated and we are evolving the platform in 2023 to continue our diversity and inclusive work.”

40 Over Forty launched back in January 2020 to celebrate people over 40 who were being overlooked by traditional awards and ‘top lists’ due to their age. A compelling reminder that creativity has no use by date.