The lack of substantial roles for actresses over the age of forty has always been a bone of contention in the film industry and while some manage to weather the storm and continue their incredible careers uninterrupted, for many it remains a stumbling block.

Thankfully greater awareness and the rise in female owned and led production companies has meant this is becoming less of an issue. The likes of Reece Witherspoon, Drew Barrymore, Charlize Theron and Alicia Vikander are just some of the women who have taken matters into their own hands and set-up their own companies.

But the biggest industry change has come in the form of Netflix and Amazon Prime who are turning out fresh new content at such a rate that there’s a huge opportunity for actresses of all ages to get right into the thick of the action.

Grace & Frankie

What can be said about Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin’s performances that hasn’t already been said a million times before? They may be 80 and 78 years old respectively but these two light up the screen like 1000 watt bulbs and with four seasons under their belts and a fifth in production, they are seemingly unstoppable in what is now Netflix’s longest running original comedy.

Orange Is The New Black

Five seasons in and with the sixth due to air on July 27th, the appetite for this predominantly female show shows no signs of waining. With Taylor Schilling, Laura Prepon and Kate Mulgrew leading the way, this deadpan look a life behind bars was one of the first major commercial successes for Netflix and continues to be one of it’s biggest hits.

The Letdown

New to Netflix, this seven part Australian TV show follows a beleaguered and bewildered Audrey as she ventures into the ups and downs of motherhood for the first time. Brilliantly written and created by Sarah Scheller and Alison Bell (who plays Audrey), The Letdown is a funny but realistic portrayal of the steep learning curve of motherhood, sleeplessness, relationship dynamics and career ambitions.

Good Girls

A brand new Netflix Original, Good Girls is created by Jenna Bans and stars Christina Hendricks, Retta and Mae Whitman as three friends who suddenly each find themselves in dire financial straits. So they concoct a plan to rob the local supermarket but quickly discover that their new found windfall brings far bigger problems than they could ever have imagined.

Glow

For the ultimate in kick ass female roles, Glow is where it’s at. Created by Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch, Glow is set in LA in the 1980’s and follows a cast of misfits who decide to re-invent themselves as the Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling (GLOW). Another huge hit for Netflix, this female-centric look at life in a predominantly male sport is not to be missed.