top of page
  • siobhanmdaniels

Ageing with Purpose: Embracing Wisdom and Power with Barbara Scully

Hello, retirement rebels! It's Siobhan Daniels here, your guide to redefining the narrative of ageing and embracing life beyond traditional retirement expectations.

In today's episode, I had the pleasure of conversing with the inspiring Barbara Scully, a strong advocate for challenging ageist stereotypes and reshaping societal perceptions about women in their 60s and beyond. Together, we delved into three key subjects that lay at the heart of our discussion.

Firstly, we explored the societal challenges faced by women in their late 50s and approaching 60, specifically in the workplace. We shed light on the undervaluation and voicelessness often experienced due to assumptions about retirement age and changing pension eligibility. Barbara shared powerful insights into the impact of ageism and sexism, touching upon the fear that women have of not being taken seriously if they choose to embrace their natural appearance, like letting their hair go grey. This led us into an engaging conversation about the importance of individual choice and not succumbing to societal pressures, especially when it comes to appearance and lifestyle decisions.

The second key subject revolved around defying age-related stereotypes and celebrating the beauty of ageing. Barbara and I passionately discussed the significance of embracing one's age and making choices that align with personal preferences, reframing the narrative from one of limitation to one of liberation. We collectively expressed the belief that getting older can bring about freedom, confidence, and the opportunity to pursue long-postponed dreams, all while challenging the societal norms and beliefs that attempt to limit this stage of life.

Finally, we delved into the courageous and rebellious spirit that ignites within us as we embrace life beyond traditional expectations. Barbara bravely shared her own experience of doing a stand-up comedy gig in Dublin, despite feeling terrified. We explored the transformative power of doing things that intimidate and scare us, ultimately finding fulfilment and growth in the process.

So, retirement rebels, join me in celebrating individual choices, defying age-related stereotypes, and embracing the rebellious spirit within us as we journey through the later years of life. The stage is set for a vibrant conversation that challenges norms and celebrates the wisdom and power of older women. Stay tuned for the rest of this episode, where we delve deeper into the rich tapestry of Barbara's insights, experiences, and rebellious spirit.

Remember, the rebel is within you!

Don’t forget to follow / subscribe to the podcast for FREE on your podcast app of choice, or play it directly from the website:

Key Points:

03:14 "Empowerment through menopause and age positivity book."

08:30 Elderly and female stereotypes impact society negatively.

11:17 Age can bring confidence and bravery for women.

13:55 Older women hold valuable wisdom from experience.

17:31 Choosing to embrace grey hair is empowering.

22:02 Rediscovering freedom and dreams in later life.

24:59 Empower older women through relatable positive messages.

26:37 Social media gives voice to women of all ages.

29:41 Embrace independence, pursue goals, leave memorable legacy.

34:38 As you age, look after your health.

36:06 Learn about yourself, plan for happiness, enjoy life.

40:08 Encouraging women to age better, embracing self-worth.

Guest Info

Barbara Scully, a Dublin-based writer and broadcaster, has become a prominent voice in Ireland's media landscape. Her insightful opinion pieces and features are regularly published in Ireland's national press and magazines, and she's a familiar presence on both television and radio.

Barbara's diverse 'Portfolio Career' evolved accidentally, with past roles including Public Relations and Fundraising Manager for The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, a word-processing teacher, and a decade-long stint in the travel industry during the 80s. She also took a ten-year hiatus from her paid career to focus on family life, a period she recalls as blissful.

Married to photographer Paul Sherwood, Barbara is a mother to three daughters and a grandmother to two. Her household in the Dublin suburb of Dun Laoghaire is bustling with a large bouncy dog, four cats, and even a resident fox in the garden.

Barbara's daily essentials for a balanced life include good coffee (specifically a flat white), regular indulgence in large bubble baths, daily walks or cycle rides with her dog, frequent trips to West Cork, a stack of books for her reading pleasure, and gin (sans ice). Discover more about her and her work at

Links and Resources:


 "We see older people as a burden on society and as passive kind of contributors to society. But then, obviously, on top of that, general ageism, women then have the sexism, which actually gets worse very often as you get older."

"I'm a huge believer in the power of older women. You will have gained wisdom in each of your decades of your life. Wisdom purely comes from our lived experience."

"Social media gets a bad rap a lot of the times, but social media has helped women to get a voice."

If you enjoy the show, then please consider giving us a review; it would mean the world to me and will help others make informed decisions to give the show a try. 

Head to Podchaser to leave your glowing review


bottom of page