Who Are the Women that Drive You To Greatness - & How Can You Become One?

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Who are the women that inspire you?

I mean, damn, that's a long list - but really, stop & think about it for a minute.

Is it your mom, your grandma, your aunt, your sister? What about politicians, activists, advocates? Celebrities & "influencers"? A boss, a coworker, other women who work in your profession? A professor who taught you, a mentor who guided you, a friend who inspires you?

I feel pretty lucky: I know a lot of incredible women in real life & via the Internet who motivate me to be better, to contribute more, to make my mark.

I aspire to be like the women in my own family: by my mother, who went back for her masters after becoming a widow & a single mother before 40 (& who's now retired & living a life of travel, exercise, & adventure); by my grandmother, a community activist, a prolific painter, & a Democratic canvasser even in her Conservative town; by my cousins & my sister, incredible (& very different from one another) businesswomen who still make time to travel the globe.

I am in awe of the talented women I've met online: by writers who have become full-time bloggers or published their own books; by the photographers who beautifully capture life's most poignant moments; by the activists who march & advocate & fundraise & educate & motivate; by the business owners who hustle & promote & put their woman-driven work into the world. That list, in particular, goes on & on. The Internet is full of pretty amazing women.

I'm moved by celebrities & politicians & other big names: by the female politicians who blaze trails & break ceilings & persevere even as the male-dominated system works to remove their rights; by the #MeToo & #TimesUp women in Hollywood dismantling pop culture's patriarchy from the inside out; by the authors who share their words & their stories & their experiences & their entire goddamn hearts on paper for the rest of us to learn from.

And I am motivated by my own friends: by the rabbis who are both spiritual leaders & social justice warriors; by the moms who are raising the next generation & the educators who are teaching them, despite challenges stacked against them all; by the communicators who network & market their asses off, but never in a phony way; by every female coworker I have ever had in my 10+ years at my place of employment (!), who are passionate & hard-working & bettering the world, never too jaded to continue it.

I want to be a woman who inspires other women. 

I don't know how to get there, but all I can do is keep being myself & doing my best & hoping that it helps motivate someone, anyone, who sees my hustle & hard work & thinks, "I could live a life like hers," & then decides that she will.

That is, in part, why I'm so excited to have been invited to attend Engage Cleveland!'s Next Generation of Women forum on April 19 at First Energy Stadium in downtown Cleveland. 

Presented in partnership with Sherwin-Williams (they're local to the CLW!), this half-day conference is geared toward emerging professional women in their 20s & 30s who are navigating the balance between their careers & their personal lives. All  speakers are successful female professionals from across Cleveland, from companies like KeyBank & the Great Lakes Science Center, on topics like:
  • Creating your personal brand & selling yourself
  • Negotiating & broaching tough topics at work
  • Prioritizing personal, civic, & professional responsibilities
  • Selling yourself, speaking up, & asking for what you need
  • Making decisions in navigating your career & personal life
  • Finding people to help you thrive & grow

Sounds kind of amazing, right? Want to join us? There's still time to register! 

And whether or not you're able to join, stay tuned to my blog for a recap after the event of some of the most important lessons I learned from attending. Here's to strong women: May we know them, may we be them, may we raise them. 

Tell me: Who are the women who most inspire you?

Disclosure: I was offered a complementary ticket to Next Generation of Women in exchange for the creation of promotional content in advance of the event & recap content after the event. All opinions are my own - & truly, I'm excited as hell to attend this conference. 

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