Page 1
Beauty Style Fitness Wellness Living #RealTalk #EmbraceYourAge
Stay up to date

Get on the List

Unlock our weekly newsletter packed with tips on living authentically, healthfully, and stylishly at every age.Get on the List: The best beauty, fashion, wellness and fitness tips straight to your inbox

Women Who Inspire: Fairygodboss Co-founder Romy Newman

“I didn’t move into sales until I was 35,” says Fairygodboss co-founder Romy Newman. “I wish I had done it much earlier, because I think that everything about life is sales.”

Newman and her business partner, Georgene Huang, recently put their considerable sales skills to work to raise $3 million to grow their website, which in just three years has become the largest online career community for women. Even with 1 million monthly unique visitors to the site and more than 60 corporate partners, raising that money was no easy feat. “It’s hard to ignore the statistics about the differences between the kind of money that female founders raise versus male founders,” Newman says. “Only 2 percent of venture capital goes to female-founded companies, so we were really thrilled.”

Sales, she says, taught her not to take things personally and that you have to hear a lot of nos to get to yes — and that’s great advice for job seekers of any age or gender, but it’s especially important for women over 40.

Newman, who is a graduate of Yale and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, grew up in New York City. The daughter of a successful commercial insurance broker, she dreamed of becoming a Broadway star. But business runs in her blood, and it turned out that she’s better suited for Wall Street than The Great White Way. 

“Watching my mother build her career had a big impact on me,” she says. “In the ’80s she was like Annie Hall in a tie — that was her leaving for work every morning. And she brought her work home. When she had to put together a proposal for a client, she engaged our entire family. We all sat at the table and worked on it together, and we all waited eagerly to learn if she won the business. We would host meetings of the Financial Women’s Association in our living room; she would have me take notes. She really involved me in the business world from an early age.”


If you are interested in starting your own business, you should do a lot of background research and get a really thorough understanding of your audience.


Newman spent seven years on the business side of The Wall Street Journal before founding Fairygodboss. Now the 42-year-old spends her days talking with prospective clients about her website or working with her team to help them drive business. “One of the things about being an entrepreneur is that there is no typical work day,” she says, adding that “being a co-founder is not for the faint of heart. It’s tricky because the lines between work and your personal life blur until they are essentially nonexistent. If you are interested in starting your own business, you should do a lot of background research and get a really thorough understanding of your audience and/or customers before launching. And you should have unwavering belief in your idea, because it will be challenged constantly — by others, by you, and by business challenges you face.”

The entrepreneurial route is often the chosen path for women in their 40s and 50s. Older women may change careers to become real estate brokers or financial advisors in order to have more flexibility in their lives; they may launch a fashion company or fitness business in order to overcome the frustrations of ageism in the workplace. Making your way up a corporate ladder is hard at any age, Newman says, but “it’s harder for women over 40 to find that seat at the table, especially if they haven’t already established themselves at that table.”

For women who would rather be employees than self-employed, however, Fairygodboss is an important research tool. Through an anonymous forum, women from around the United States reveal how satisfied they are at their companies, how women are treated, what the real opportunities for advancement are, what work hours are really like, and more. It’s also a place for women to give and receive advice about re-entering the workforce after a long absence, workplace harassment, salary discrepancies, and more. The goal, Newman says, is for Fairygodboss to become a supportive community for all career-minded women and a platform that every woman uses as part of her job search.


The best advice Romy Newman has to offer women who are looking for a new position can be summed up in a single word: network.


And what if you’re launching a job search? The best advice Newman has to offer women who are looking for a new position can be summed up in a single word: network.

“Regardless of your age, your opportunities will come from the network you have created,” she says. “If you have built a network, there should be an opportunity within it.” But, she adds, it might not be available immediately. That’s where patience, diligence, and endless optimism come in. 

“It’s very easy to start a job search and feel very discouraged if you don’t get a job right away. The reality is that it’s hard to get a job for everyone. It’s a numbers game, and you shouldn’t take it personally. The more discouraged you get, the harder it’s going to be to get a job, because you are going to read as discouraged. So what you really want to do is expect that you are going to have to reach out to 100 people and ask them for help. Get that to 20 meetings, and out of those 20 meetings maybe you get one job offer. That’s how everything works.”

Women who’ve not looked for a job in a long while might not understand that, she says. “Don’t expect that you can talk to one or five people and find a job. If you reframe your expectations, you are much less likely to get discouraged. It’s not unreasonable to think that it’s going to take a year to find a job at a senior level. You might even have to build a relationship and wait for a position to open. If you are a smart job seeker, you will develop those opportunities over time.”

The Fine Line has partnered with Fairygodboss to offer women over 40 career advice in a new monthly column called Office Hours. It launches tomorrow.


Romy Recommends

Fairygodboss co-founder Romy Newman shares four things that keep her inspired and grounded.

Essentialism

This book is based on a study that shows that the more we try to do, the less well we do everything. When you want to make good decisions or produce good work, you should attempt to do less.”

Brené Brown

“I find her very inspirational.”

Yoga

“I came to yoga later in life, and I am now a devoted yogi. Having learned at a very early age to be really judgmental, it’s been huge for me to learn not to judge myself, to learn that you come to your practice and sometimes you do it really well and sometimes you do it terribly, but you don’t react to either. It’s just that you came to yoga and this was your practice today.”

This American Life

“It’s become how I find space. I walk around New York a lot, and I’ve been listening to old episodes. It really helps me step away from my busy day and think.”

Photo: Courtesy of Fairygodboss

You Might Also Like

6 Questions With... Skin Care Pioneer Jane Iredale
Beauty

6 Questions With... Skin Care Pioneer Jane Iredale

Jane Iredale began Jane Iredale Mineral Cosmetics in New York in 1994. As a...

read
Office Hours: How Do I Work With a Boss Half My Age?
Living

Office Hours: How Do I Work With a Boss Half My Age?

Welcome to Office Hours, where each month, a Fairygodboss expert answers a question...

read
Women Who Inspire: Chef Babette Davis
Living

Women Who Inspire: Chef Babette Davis

It’s often said that behind every great man is a great woman,...

read
‘Garden & Gun’ Showcases Strong Women Across Generations
Living

‘Garden & Gun’ Showcases Strong Women Across Generations

Unless you’re a subscriber of the publication Garden & Gun, you may...

read
Women Who Inspire: BRU Bone Broth Founder Soo-Ah Landa
Living

Women Who Inspire: BRU Bone Broth Founder Soo-Ah Landa

Some might say bone broth is having a moment, but don’t tell...

read
‘Gilmore Girls’ and Me
#RealTalk

‘Gilmore Girls’ and Me

The seven-season series Gilmore Girls and its four afterglow episodes, A Year in the Life,...

read
How to Get Started With Exercise at 75
Fitness

How to Get Started With Exercise at 75

When you hit your mid-70s, you may feel like your daily routine...

read
5 Hormone-Balancing Foods
Wellness

5 Hormone-Balancing Foods

Are your hormones out of whack? Often the best place to start...

read
The Science-Based Solution for Aging Hair
Beauty

The Science-Based Solution for Aging Hair

There’s no question that our hair changes as we get older. It...

read
37 Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance
Wellness

37 Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance

Hormones play an enormous role in how we look, think, and feel....

read
7 Reasons to Embrace Cardio
Fitness

7 Reasons to Embrace Cardio

Cardio is any form of exercise that raises your pulse and conditions...

read
Problem/Solution: Aging Teeth and Receding Gums
Beauty

Problem/Solution: Aging Teeth and Receding Gums

If your teeth are more dingy yellow than pearly white or you’ve...

read
Is Self-Love Overrated?
#RealTalk

Is Self-Love Overrated?

I’ve twice been told I have extraordinary arms. The first was in...

read
Eat This Now: Vegan Cornbread Dressing
Wellness

Eat This Now: Vegan Cornbread Dressing

We not only try to eat healthy, we try to be kind...

read
Fall’s Coziest Workout Gear
Fitness

Fall’s Coziest Workout Gear

Keep calm and exercise on in fall’s coziest workout gear. Whether a...

read
Beauty Buzzwords: Squalane
Beauty

Beauty Buzzwords: Squalane

Though oils are not new to the beauty counter, there is still...

read
What to Do When Your Vagina Dries Up
Wellness

What to Do When Your Vagina Dries Up

Aging skin needs nourishing. That’s not news. But when it comes to...

read
7 Water-Gel Moisturizers for Troubled Skin
Beauty

7 Water-Gel Moisturizers for Troubled Skin

Combination skin that doesn’t take kindly to rich, thick creams doesn’t change...

read
6 Natural Remedies for Sinus Pain
Wellness

6 Natural Remedies for Sinus Pain

We’re all familiar with the typical triage of cold and flu symptoms:...

read
Organic: Yay or Nay?
Wellness

Organic: Yay or Nay?

From food to beauty products, labels can be so confusing. Aren’t the...

read
Need to Know: Thyroid Health
Wellness

Need to Know: Thyroid Health

One of my patients recently summed up her experience succinctly: “I’m just...

read
WTF Is a #CuratedLife?
#RealTalk

WTF Is a #CuratedLife?

I have been working to figure out social media. God, is it...

read
Castor Oil: Your New Favorite Beauty Trick
Beauty

Castor Oil: Your New Favorite Beauty Trick

Move over, coconut oil, there’s a new sheriff in town. An elixir for...

read
You’re Not Too Old For ... Strength Training With Dumbbells
Fitness

You’re Not Too Old For ... Strength Training With Dumbbells

In our ongoing video series with trainer Julie Diamond, we focus on...

read
Tasty Fiber-Full Foods for Weight Loss
Wellness

Tasty Fiber-Full Foods for Weight Loss

Clinical evidence shows that fiber-full foods keep you feeling fuller longer with...

read
Get Glowing With 8 Highlighters We Love
Beauty

Get Glowing With 8 Highlighters We Love

The solution to chronic fatigue requires a holistic deep dive into your...

read
Eat This Now: Overnight Pumpkin Oatmeal
Wellness

Eat This Now: Overnight Pumpkin Oatmeal

We at The Fine Line eat lots of oatmeal. Especially in the...

read
6 Good Reasons to Eat More Fiber
Wellness

6 Good Reasons to Eat More Fiber

Fiber is the indigestible part of a carbohydrate that packs a powerful...

read
Learn to Embrace Active Recovery Days
Fitness

Learn to Embrace Active Recovery Days

In today’s “go big or go home” mentality, it is easy to...

read
Give Yourself a Gray Hair Makeover
Beauty

Give Yourself a Gray Hair Makeover

As your hair’s pigment seemingly evaporates into thin air, you might notice...

read
Load More
share
To Top