It is late. It has been a busy week and I am exhausted. Yet here I am, not able to sleep, unable to turn off the brain with ideas bubbling to the surface.
So I am sitting at the computer trying to capture my thoughts and lessons from International Women’s Week. Like every year at this time, there are a flurry of events to celebrate the occasion, and it is an opportunity to reflect on how far we have come and how far we still need to go.
I had the pleasure of listening to two amazing women – Barb Stegemann and Fay Chapple. And what struck me as I reflect on their keynote presentations, is that the trigger to their success was a disastrous life event that propelled them into action, and changed not only their lives, but had far reaching impact on others around the world.
I applaud their optimism and ability to turn a tragedy into a triumph. They inspire you to look beyond yourself, to step out of your comfort zone and aim for the stars. Fay’s advice, for example, to take risks and to stretch yourself, truly resonated with me. As she asked, what’s the worst that can happen? While Barb readily acknowledged that not everyone will like your idea and that’s OK, but that doesn’t mean it is a bad idea and we need to trust our instinct and intuition and move on.
Rather than getting caught up in a pity party or just accepting what had happened as a done deal, both women were pragmatic and sought to find answers; to find some meaning in what had happened. In fact, Barb encouraged us to accept the challenges in our lives as a gift.
With their business savvy, their energy and tenacity, there is no question in my mind that they will achieve greatly and continue to make a difference in the lives of others. We need more women leaders like them. We need young women to hear their stories, so they see role models paving the way on their behalf. We need to step up ourselves and become who we are meant to be. We owe that to ourselves.
I salute Barb and Fay and all the other women in the world who are striving to make it a better place.
Happy International Women’s Day.