Most older women have experienced ageism in one way or another. Some of us have struggled to find a job due to outdated aging stereotypes. Others have seen their careers grind to a halt in their 50s or 60s. Every single one of us is pressured by society to look younger, although we usually ignore this.

Ageism is a Problem for All of Us

Well, according to older celebrity women, like Meryl Streep and Madonna, ageism is alive and well in the entertainment industry too. As our favorite Hollywood actors and actresses get a little older, they are helping to shine light on an issue that all of us face, whether we are famous or not.

For the most part, celebrities have limited themselves to making comments about ageism. This is all well and good, but, what we really need is action. This is why I was so happy to hear about Meryl Streep’s Writer’s Lab.

The Writer’s Lab is a program, organized by Meryl Streep, to support women screenwriters over 40. The goal of the program is to connect older female screenwriters with recognized film industry experts. The hope is that, by helping these women to develop their ideas, they will advance their careers as screenwriters.

It’s not clear who all of the mentors will be, but, here is a tentative list:

  • Caroline Kaplan (Personal Velocity)
  • Kirsten Smith (Legally Blond)
  • Jessica Bendinger (Bring It On)
  • Mary Jane Skalski (The Station Agent)
  • Gina Prince-Bythewood (Secret Life of Bees)

The program will take place at the Wiawaka Center for Women on Lake George, in New York, from September 18th through the 20th, 2015.

What I love most about this program is that it doesn’t just denounce ageism – it does something about it. By helping older women screenwriters to get their start, the program draws attention to an important issue that impacts most of us at some point in our lives. I for one am grateful to celebrities like Meryl Streep, who are willing to stand up for what they believe in.

Let’s start a conversation! What do you think of Meryl Streep’s Writer’s Lab program? Do you agree that more needs to be done to draw attention to the negative impacts of ageism in every aspect of society? Why or why not? Please join the conversation.

Let's Have a Conversation!