As a new study shows that women over 40 feel invisible, Ita Buttrose has taken on a role to help change that

The Australian icon is aiding the movement in positive ageing.
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During the 81 years of her life thus far, Ita Buttrose has accomplished so very, very much. A quick Google search shows that she holds – or has held – roles as an Australian TV network chairperson, television and radio personality, author, magazine editor, publishing executive and newspaper journalist.

And she’s not stopping there.

During the time of her life that many of her peers would be spending in retirement, the trailblazer for women in media is taking on yet another role.

Speaking to The Australian Women’s Weekly about her newly crowned role as Priceline’s Positive Ageing Chief, Ita said that she is “delighted” to be helping Priceline serve older shoppers with the treatment they deserve.

The newly created role sees Ita educate the Priceline sales staff on how to serve and converse with older customers, something that on all accounts, Ita has the skills to do.

She’s held management roles since the age of 23, mentored many young women over the years and has provided further credentials for the role to The Weekly, saying, “I think it helps that I am an older customer myself and an experienced shopper.”

Ita’s recently taken on a new role as Priceline’s Positive Ageing Chief.

(Credit: (Image: Priceline))

The role is linked in with Priceline’s “I’m me” campaign, which was inspired by a study undertaken by the pharmacy chain, that delved into Australian women’s attitudes to ageing.

The survey uncovered that 44% of Australian women aged 40+ feel invisible in society, with that percentage only increasing with the age of the respondents.

Ita herself hasn’t experienced this sense of invisibility – she explains that this is probably because of her high profile – but many of her female friends have, and she believes that’s down to conditioning.

“Women are conditioned to believe that youth and beauty are valued over maturity and wisdom. Some find the physical changes that come with getting older and menopause hard to accept and they feel (wrongly) that they are no longer sexually desirable.

“Women need to break this conditioning and value their individuality and their older beauty including their wrinkles.

“Wrinkles are reminders of special memories. Women should wear them with pride.”

Last year, aged 80, Ita graced the cover of the June issue of The Australian Women’s Weekly.

We can only hope that the many of her wrinkles created by “special memories” came during her time working at The Australian Women’s Weekly.

Ita has had a long history with the popular women’s magazine, dating back to 1957, when she was a copy girl for the publication at just 15-years-old.

Speaking to Ita about The Weekly’s 90th birthday later this year, we asked the former Australian of The Year winner what her happiest memory was from working on the title, and it’s to no surprise that her response was of one day in 1975 – the day when she was appointed editor.

Ita during her first day as The Weekly’s Editor in 1975.

(Credit: (Image: Supplied and used with permission))

At 33-years-old Ita Buttrose was the youngest editor that the magazine has ever had.

“It was my goal to become Editor of The Australian Women’s Weekly, then the top job in Australia for a female journalist, and I worked hard to get it,” Ita told us.

“It was a privilege to edit this mighty magazine. It was then a weekly and went into one in four homes around Australia.

“No one ever said no to The Weekly.”

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