International Conference on

Ageism Towards Womxn

Envisâge 2020 is an international conference on ageism towards older womxn. This live, online event features a diverse panel of speakers who will share their experiences, perspectives, and resources for the wide range of ageism issues affecting midlife/older womxn. Our mission is to foster intergenerational dialogue and bring our discussions into the mainstream. We will explore how all of us can take action in building a more inclusive, safe, and appreciative future for womxn of all ages.


Saturday, 14 November 2020

16:00 - 21:00 (Central European Standard Time)

Conference Host, Émilie Vandame

(see bio)



What is (anti-)ageism?

What does ageism towards womxn look like in 2020?

What progress has been made and where do we need to go to build the age-inclusive and gender equitable world that we envisâge?



Inclusive feminist Indian poet, Abhinaya Murthy, will share a poem of hers on ageism towards womxn.

See bio.


PANEL: Ageism at Work

Womxn in the workplace face challenges of sexism and even harsher challenges of ageism. Around the world, the lack of age-inclusive legislation and accountability measures for employers perpetuate this reality. Studies show that 21% of womxn over 40 say they have faced age-related discrimination in the workplace. Older womxn workers will have fewer opportunities, are given less responsibility, will constantly face microaggressions,* and will even be pushed out of their jobs. Our panelists, will guide us through these questions and more:


  • How can you tackle gendered ageism in your workplace?

  • What is being done worldwide with regards to age inclusion at work?

  • How can hiring processes and workplace environments become age-inclusive, and what are the benefits of doing so?



Janine Vanderburg, Director of Changing the Narrative (see bio)

Julianne Taaffe, Anti-Ageism Activist and ESOL Instructor (see bio)

- Liza Sekaggya, Co-Founder of Phenomenal Women Global (see bio)

- Amanda Farinacci, NY1 News Reporter, Emmy Nominee (see bio)

Panel Host:

Josefine Lynggaard, Dual Master's Student (Univ. of Geneva - Tsinghua Univ.) (see bio)

*a microaggression is a subtle, indirect, or unintended instance of discrimination in the form of an action or statement against the member(s) of a marginalized group of people





Charlotte Japp

Charlotte Japp is the founder of CIRKEL, a company that connects older and younger professionals for mutual personal and professional growth.


See bio.


PANEL:  Healthy (and Happy) Aging

The stigma around (peri)menopause, the development of eating disorders, and the commercial myth of the ageless womxn are only a few of the many challenges of aging as a womxn. Trans womxn and womxn from other marginalized communities will face these realities even more harshly. Prejudice that leads to isolation and inequities can create scars that impede our capacity to enjoy, have equitable resource access, and thrive throughout the beautiful and natural phenomenon that is aging. This panel will explore these questions (and more):

  • What does healthy aging look like?


  • What are some opportunities for providing womxn entering midlife and later life the support they need?


  • How can I deconstruct stereotypes related to womxn and their age in my own community?


  • What are some next steps in creating a more age-inclusive society and medical community?



- Michelle Viña-Baltsas, Intuitive Eating Coach (see bio)

- Doreen Bieri-Ngafor, Founder/co-CEO of Cho Ngafor Foundation (see bio)

- Amita Bhakta, Freelance WASH Consultant (see bio)

Panel Host:

Nicole Christina, Founder and Host of Zestful Aging (see bio)



Mélodie Daniel

Mélodie Daniel is the founder of Newmanity.

See bio.



Ashton Applewhite

Ashton Applewhite is a leading expert on ageism towards womxn and the author of the book This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism.

See bio.


Learn -> Envisâge -> Act! 

Now that we've explored how our speakers envisâge age inclusion, let's turn our conversations into anti-ageist action! 



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Charlotte Japp

Founder | CIRKEL

Charlotte Japp is the founder of CIRKEL, a company that connects older and younger professionals for mutual personal and professional growth. After graduating from Georgetown University, Charlotte started her career in creative marketing and saw the consequences of age segregation in the workplace. Older and younger professionals needed to connect and learn from each other, but had no way to meet. CIRKEL makes networking across generations seamless, inspiring, and impactful – working with both individuals and corporations to bridge the gap. Charlotte has been featured in publications like The New York Times and spoken internationally about the magic of connecting generations.



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Michelle Viña-Baltsas

Intuitive Eating Coach

Michelle Viña-Baltsas is a professionally trained coach and certified intuitive eating counselor. She supports midlife women who are ready to rewrite their stories around eating, body image and movement. Her unique approach to living guides women to focus on meeting their own needs and respecting their bodies at all shapes, sizes, weights, and ages without apology. 



Amita Bhakta

Freelance WASH Consultant

Dr. Amita Bhakta is a freelance consultant in the field of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) provision for low- and middle-income countries. She recently completed her PhD at the Water Engineering and Development Centre at Loughborough University on the WASH needs of perimenopausal women in urban Ghana. This research has stemmed Amita’s interest in exploring the infrastructural needs of women going through this life stage, and meeting their needs for otherwise neglected hygiene practices such as bathing and laundry in contexts where water and sanitation services are lacking and women’s ageing-related issues are taboo. Amita is continuing to engage with this topic as a consultant, as well as related issues of incontinence and disability in WASH.



Liza Sekaggya

Co-Founder | Phenomenal Women Global


Liza Sekaggya is the co-founder of Phenomenal Women Global (PWG), a nonprofit organization based in Switzerland and Uganda with a mission to connect, advance and empower women and girls by supporting their personal and professional growth; developing leadership skills; coaching and mentoring. PWG creates safe spaces to discuss strategies from women advancing in leadership, career and business and potential challenges faced, as well as eliminating discrimination against women and gender based violence, that stifles women’s progress. 



Julianne Taaffe

ESL Professor

For 27 years Julianne Taaffe taught English as a Second Language at Ohio State University. Working with, and learning from, bright, thoughtful and interesting international students and scholars widened her perspective, keeping her engaged with the social, environmental and educational issues that link us locally and across the globe. In 2015, she decided to fight back when Ohio State “reclassified” her and eleven other older, experienced ESL teachers out of their full-time positions. She and another colleague, with the help of two Ohio civil rights lawyers and the AARP, sued the University for age-discrimination and won. . 


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Émilie Vandame

Student | University of Geneva

Émilie is a master’s student in innovation, human development and sustainability at the University of Geneva, with a background in human geography. She is a firm believer that intersectional and inclusive feminism is the key to solve many contemporary issues. In the future she hopes to link her passion for feminist and LGBT+ activism to her career.


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Josefine Lynggaard

Student | Tsinghua University

Josefine is a graduate student in a dual master program between Tsinghua University, Beijing and the University of Geneva, Switzerland. Her interests and previous work relate to advocacy and research on environmental issues and energy policy. Josefine previously worked in the private sector in Beijing in China, coordinating outreaching campaigns for improved awareness of air quality among citizens.


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Doreen Bieri-Ngafor

Founder | Cho Ngafor Foundation

Doreen Bieri is the founder and co-CEO of the Cho Ngafor Foundation, whose mission is to empower the deprived through sustainable solutions to contribute to menstrual hygiene management especially in rural communities in Cameroon and beyond. For the past 13 years, Doreen has been working as a geriatric nurse and gaining experience in different health institutions in and around Bern, Switzerland. Currently, she works at the Domizil spitallackerpark in Bern. As an African resident abroad, she remains very passionate about her continent of origin, and she promotes the sociocultural values of her continent and aspires to help where needed.



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Janine Vanderburg

Director | Changing the Narrative

An encore champion and longtime community activist, Janine Vanderburg is in her encore career leading Changing the Narrative in Colorado, a campaign started in 2018 to change the way people think, talk and act about aging and ageism. In 2019, Janine created the Age-Friendly Workplace Initiative, to “reframe” older workers to businesses and to make businesses more aware of the benefits of intergenerational workplaces, and On the Same Page, a campaign to encourage
intergenerational conversations about ageism. Committed to leveraging the talents of people of all ages to benefit community, Janine currently serves on the Encore Network Leadership Council, and will be chairing the Council this upcoming year. Her favorite saying: “We are the leaders we are looking for.”


Abhinaya Murthy


Abhinaya is an Indian poet who has performed feminist spoken word on several stages across India. She believes in the power of expression that gives voice to stories that are both political and personal, with the hope of bringing people together.


Dana Mahr

Board Member | QueerAltern

Dana Mahr is Assistant Professor for Public Participation in Medicine at the University of Geneva. Her research centers on how marginalized social groups interact with the normative aspects of biomedical technologies. She is a member of the scientific advisory board of QueerAltern in Zurich and as a transgender person active in LGBTQIA+ activism in Switzerland. 


Mélodie Daniel

Founder | Newmanity by Mélodie

Mélodie Daniel is the founder of Newmanity by Mélodie, a project centered on yoga, tolerance, and emotional intelligence. In her work, Mélodie deconstructs stereotypes toward older womxn at a young age by reinventing education with a message of peace and hope to the world. 


Ashton Applewhite

Author | This Chair Rocks

Ashton Applewhite is the author of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism. An internationally recognized expert on ageism, she speaks widely at venues that have included the TED mainstage and the United Nations, has written for Harper’s, the Guardian, and the New York Times, and is the voice of Yo, Is This Ageist?  Ashton is a leading spokesperson for the emerging movement to make discrimination on the basis of age as unacceptable as any other prejudice.  



Amanda Farinacci

News Reporter | NY1

Amanda Farinacci has been at NY1 for 20 years. A lifelong Staten Island resident, she has covered thousands of stories in the borough, from the police chokehold death of Eric Garner to the campaign by disgraced former Rep. Michael Grimm to reclaim his old congressional seat, and recently many stories about the pandemic and its impact on the city. She has produced many exclusive reports - revealing, for example, that a prominent Staten Island attorney was behind several misleading Facebook pages designed to sway political races in the borough. Her reporting led to the appointment of a special prosecutor, criminal charges and legislation meant to dissuade people from posting misleading political information on social media. Farinacci is one of 5 anchor reporters from NYC news channel NY1 currently suing the station for age and gender discrimination.



Nicole Christina

Founder/Host | Zestful Aging

Nicole Christina is the host of the Zestful Aging podcast, an interview show heard in 92 countries. She is also a psychotherapist of 30 years, specializing in eating disorders.

Zestful Aging is a media partner with the International Federation of Ageing based in Toronto. Nicole is working on her first book: "Not Just Chatting; How to Become a Great Podcast Interviewer."



Register for

Envisâge 2020