In honor of Women’s History Month, I want to take a moment to celebrate the pioneers, trailblazers and champions that created a path for me and countless others to get where they are today.
As a business owner, I know how much ambition, strength and courage it takes to walk into a room and sit at a table where you aren’t necessarily welcome or have not traditionally had a seat. And this isn’t just for the women readers! There are plenty of men who understand the enormity of the changes we’ve seen in the last couple of decades. We all deserve a seat at the table! If that is still a struggle where you are today, take some great advice coined by Shirley Chisholm, the United States’ first African-American congresswoman: If they don’t give you a seat at the table, take a folding chair!
So, in honor of incredible women throughout the years, I want to share some of their words of wisdom that continue to inspire me.
“The most difficult thing is the decision to act; the rest is merely tenacity.” — Amelia Earhart, the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, one of the first aviators to promote commercial air travel and wrote best-selling books about her flying experiences
“If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s the power of using your voice.” — Michelle Obama, attorney, author and first African-American first lady of the United States
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” —Eleanor Roosevelt, an American political figure, diplomat, and activist. She served as the first lady of the United States from 1933 to 1945, during her husband President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s four terms in office, making her the longest-serving first lady of the United States.
“Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.” —Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a groundbreaking attorney, lifelong advocate for gender equality, and Supreme Court justice for 27 years
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” — Maya Angelou, poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years.
“Never lose sight of the fact that the most important yardstick of your success will be how you treat other people – your family, friends, and coworkers, and even strangers you meet along the way.” – Barbara Bush, First Lady of the United States and also a former second lady of the United States as well as the mother of a president
“You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right.” —Rosa Parks, American civil rights activist best known for her pivotal role in the Montgomery bus boycott
“My mother did not raise me to ask for permission to lead.” — Ayanna Pressley, U.S. Congresswoman and the first Black woman elected to the Boston City Council
“You learn something out of everything, and you come to realize more than ever that we’re all here for a certain space of time, and, and then it’s going to be over, and you better make this count.” – Nancy Reagan, actress and First Lady of the United States
“Step out of the history that is holding you back. Step into the new story you are willing to create.” — Oprah Winfrey, talk show host, television producer, actress, author, and philanthropist
“If you don’t see a clear path for what you want, sometimes you have to make it yourself.”— Mindy Kaling, actress, comedian, screenwriter, producer, director, and author
As I look back on my career and personal life, I can clearly see where incredible, strong women have gone before me – and perhaps just as important – I hope to clear a path for the next generation. In a recent blog for Orange Leaf Consulting, we tackle the topic of professional envy and how it can boost or tear us down, particularly women. Let’s be the kind of women and men who straighten other woman’s crown without telling her it was crooked!