Arthur C. Brooks, the departing CEO of the American Enterprise Institute, wrote a long researched essay in The Atlantic this month. It says that your career peaks at 50, and woe to those who don’t accept their decline gracefully.

While I was reading it, drawn by the fear-inspiring headline “Your Professional Decline Is Coming Sooner Than You Think,” I felt how little the bleak worldview and the sense of loss reflect the reality of women I know as they near and pass 50.

The women I know aren’t declining. They’re getting stronger and more engaged in careers, often second careers they love. They are starting businesses. Some are taking greater risks, often to make a greater impact. Some wealthy women at this age are stepping out from the shadow of their families to become leaders of new movements.

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