Second Act Women | Barbara Brooks and Guadalupe Hirt


A Great Pivot

Ep. 246 - If you’re a woman over 40/50/60 thinking of reentering the workforce or starting a business, then this episode is for you. Barbara Brooks and Guadalupe Hirt talk to us about gendered ageism in corporate America and how you can break the barrier and find success in your career and in life.

Barbara Brooks is the CEO and founder of SecondActWomen with an award-winning marketing career in shopping centers/mixed-use developments and media sales. Guadalupe Hirt is the co-founder of SecondActWomen, a pro-aging female advocate, speaker, author, and entrepreneur. SecondActWomen was founded in 2018 to combat gendered ageism as more women are being aged out of the corporate community and overlooked in entrepreneurial circles. In this episode, they share their experiences reentering the workforce as women over 40/50 and how it led to the birth of the Second Act Women.  Listen in to learn how to own your age as a 50+ woman, educate yourself, and appreciate the value you bring to the workforce. You will also learn the importance of daily self-care and reminding yourself of your worth and value at any age.

Key Takeaways:

  • How to own your age and educate yourself to be ready for the workforce as a woman 50+
  • The importance of having a friendship with your business partner to be successful
  • Appreciate the value of the woman you are as you age, and don’t underestimate yourself
  • Start taking care of yourself daily and do what you want on your terms
  • Take an assessment of your soft and hard skills and consistently remind yourself of your worth

"Appreciate the value of the woman you see in the mirror, don’t underestimate her; just because you’re 40, 50, 60+ doesn’t mean you’re any less valuable.”

In this episode you will learn:

Guadalupe and Barbara share the personal experiences that led to starting Second Act Women [1:17]

Why companies are lagging in incorporating older people into the workforce [5:06]

Why women over 40/50 are undermined in the workforce even though they bring value [7:10]

How to own your age in the workforce plus how we can end the stigma around aging [9:13]

The individual responsibility you have as a woman over 50 to take back your power [11:39]

The impacts of the realities that women face in the workplace as minorities [15:47]

Why corporate America is to blame for preferring to hire younger people over older people [19:38]

Other areas besides the workplace where gendered ageism exists [21:57]

How women over 60 are reprioritizing their needs and choosing to do whatever serves them [23:19]

How owning aging and staying positive is transforming and prolonging lives [25:30]

They share how they met, connected, and later started their business SecondActWomen [27:51]

They explain how they handle their business partnership to stay on the same page [30:13]

How they help women 50+ develop and stay confident of their age and the value they bring [33:06]

How they’re teaching women 50+ to become efficient business owners [37:19]

Learn to appreciate your value, take care of yourself, and do what you want on your terms [40:44]


Barbara Brooks is the founder and CEO of SecondActWomen, an Age Tech company for middlescent business owners and career women.

Together, with business partner Guadalupe Hirt, the membership company delivers high-level development programs, tools and support spurring the small businesses, careers, and big ideas of women 40 & 50+ to advance women in their second acts.

Founded in 2018 in Denver,  Colorado,  SecondActWomen is the largest social enterprise championing the micro-businesses, and encore careers and lives of women 40 & 50+ in the US. Focused on building up middlescent women in an era of gendered ageist bias, the company rallies women over 40 to design the businesses, careers, and lives they desire through a virtual and IRL peer-to-peer framework centered on learning, connecting, and self-actualization. 

Prior to SecondActWomen, Barbara was award-winning marketing and public relations specialist in the shopping center industry for Fashion Show Mall in Las Vegas, Park Meadows Retail Resort in Denver, Sundance Square downtown entertainment district in Fort Worth, and others; and for a bit, she had a successful career in broadcast sales and business development for IHeart Radio, CBS Radio, and Gannett.

Guadalupe Hirt is the co-founder and CCO of SecondActWomen, a pro-age membership community for women 40 & 50+ to gather and grow. Doubling as a landing and launching pad, women gain access to education, events, and tools centered on career, life, and money.

Through their work, SecondActWomen is on a mission to shift ageists perspectives, inspire bold thinking, and create age-inclusive spaces that foster rather than restrict the potential of women over 40. 

A 24-year public relations professional turned four-time entrepreneur and social justice advocate, Guadalupe most recently worked as an associate producer on a short-subject documentary that explored the intersection of culture, identity, and belonging from the lens of first-generation American-born Latinos.

During this time, she also co-authored a cultural workbook that helps middle school and high school teachers bring this important conversation into the classroom. 


Barbara and her business partner Guadalupe Hirt have been featured in Forbes, the Denver Post, MarketWatch, and Next Avenue and presented at Denver Startup Week, General Assembly, SXSW 20, and Microsoft. 



Socials -  Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn: @secondactwomen


Barbara Personal LinkedIn


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Monique Montanino

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