- The scientist joins other Indian Americans like Vice President Kamala Harris and Nandita Bakhshi, featured in the inaugural list.
Scientist Mridula Nair, a research fellow at Eastman Kodak is the sole Indian American in Forbes ’50 Over 50 Vision List,’ highlighting “exceptional women who are shaping the future of science, technology and art.”
Nair, 67, from Rochester, New York, holds more than 135 U.S. patents, a majority of which were earned after she turned 50. Her accomplishments after 50 include her promotion to a research fellow at Kodak and winning its Century Inventors Award. In 2020, at age 66, she received a patent for a new and greener method for opacifying textiles. She has worked at Kodak since 1996 and was promoted to research fellow in 2009. Nair is currently featured in the Rochester Museum and Science Center’s exhibit “Changemakers: Rochester Women Who Changed the World.”
The vision list comes on the heels of Forbes’s inaugural 50 Over 50 list, which included Vice President Kamala Devi Harris, 56; and Nandita Bakhshi, CEO at Bank of the West; and co-CEO, BNP Paribas USA, 62. “For these dynamic women, growing older is about getting wiser—and bolder. Meet the inaugural class of entrepreneurs, leaders and creators who are part of an exhilarating movement redefining life’s second half and proving that success has no age limit.”
Harris made history on Jan. 20 by becoming the first woman, the first Black person, and the first South Asian American to become U.S. vice president. No stranger to firsts, she was the first Indian American woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate in 2016; and the first South Asian American, African American and first woman to serve as California’s attorney general in 2010.
After the failure of Washington Mutual in 2008, where Bakshi was working, returned to her native India to spend time with family and work at a microfinance organization lending money to women in rural areas. She was tapped in 2016 to be CEO of Bank of the West, a subsidiary of BNP Paribas.
Apart from its inaugural and vision list, Forbes also released a 50 Over 50 Impact list of women changing their communities and the world in ways big and small through social entrepreneurship, law, advocacy and education. Included in that list is Neeti Pawar, 52, Judge, Court of Appeals, State of Colorado, who was appointed to the Colorado Court of Appeals in 2019 at age 50. She became the first South Asian appointed as a judge in Colorado and the first Asian American appointed to an appellate court in the state.
Before joining the court, she ran a solo private practice for 12 years and specialized in family law, employment law and criminal defense. She was previously a mediator, partner at a small boutique law firm and a public defender for the City of Denver. Pawar is the founder of the South Asian Bar Association of Colorado and past president of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association.
The Forbes “50 Over 50” platform, in partnership with Mika Brzezinski’s “Know Your Value” is dedicated to shine a light on women over the age of 50 who have achieved significant success later in life, often overcoming formidable odds or barriers. Due to an abundance of interest for the 50 Over 50 list, Forbes has continued to roll out additional lists to spotlight women who are achieving great success after 50.