Utah 40 Over 40 empowers women, pushing workplace equity

PARK CITY, UT — Robyn Cohen is an inspiring leader for women in business, having founded W Collective in 2019, an events and educational initiative championing female entrepreneurs, and launching the first round of recipients of Utah 40 Over 40 in 2022.

This dynamic traveler brings a valuable perspective to managing businesses with firsthand experience on how different cultures can impact development. Originally from Toronto, Cohen has seen the world, spanning two continents, three countries, and eight cities. Cohen moved to Utah in 2014.

Photo: Kinser Studios.

“I think moving around has helped me, from a business standpoint, to have lived and worked in different cities, etc.— it has been a real benefit to me,” Cohen said. “I have had a unique career.”

Cohen began her ambitious career in 1993 as a makeup artist working with various brands in the media and film industry before working her way up to sales and public relations. Since 2008 she has been actively involved with women’s advocacy spearheading many organizations and events, such as Women’s Week during her time at the Impact HUB SLC, to propel women in the workforce. Cohen also worked in part to launch Kiln, another co-working space in Salt Lake City, and was its director for a time.

“Utah is dead last in the nation for women’s equality,” Cohen said. “We have some work there to do. In 2022, after the relaunch [ of W Collective] in June, we have produced nine events, elevated over 90 women to an audience of 550 people, and were recognized by The Utah Governors Office of Economic Opportunity and the Utah Women of Leadership Project as one of the one hundred companies championing women in Utah-that was a lovely recognition to get towards the end of the year.”

Cohen’s mission to engage, empower, and educate women with the vital support of male allyship has been critical in pushing women toward equal representation in the business world. She launched Utah’s 40 Over 40 in March of 2022 as a way to highlight women in business who are over 40.

Utah 40 Over 40. Photo: Kinser Studios.

“As a woman in her late 40’s, I came across key statics that 25 percent of the American population is over 40,” Cohen said. “The question is, where do we see it? Where do we see it in companies, directors, employees, etc.? I felt it was high time that we did something to highlight particular women over 40; it was really great to execute.”

Applications should be available online in March, and women can nominate themselves. A committee selects the winners through a judging process.

“I was incredibly humbled to have been nominated by Robyn Cohen for the inaugural 40 Over 40!” said Missy Greis, Publik Founder/Owner 2012. “I really love that they are highlighting women in our state who are over 40, but I also appreciate that they are exposing the significant inequity in Utah. It was such an honor to be included amongst some serious powerhouses and innovators.”

Undeniably, Cohen is a driving force behind women taking control of their own destinies. She is always looking for corporate sponsors and partners to assist her in achieving her goals.

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