Blogversation 2012: Who’s your professional female role model?

Throughout this year, several bloggers will engage in a conversation here and on their blogs — asking questions of each other and responding. Others are absolutely welcome to join the conversation, as well. Learn more about the ladies of Blogversation 2012.

This week’s question comes from Jennifer Worick, jenniferworick.blogspot.com, on Twitter as @jennifer_worick:

Who’s your professional female role model?

This is a tough one for me. When people ask about role models, they often call out their mother for various and sundry reasons. My mom, while loving and a place of comfort, isn’t at the top of my list when it comes to professional guidance or inspiration. So I’m posing this question without a clear answer on the tip of my tongue.

In high school, I found my path as a writer and editor thanks to an amazing English teacher. Mrs. Lindenmuth made literature come alive and helped me to consider life beyond my tiny corner of the world. In college, I read Working Woman magazine religiously and bought suits, while others were buying designer jeans. I idolized editors Diana Vreeland, Ruth Whitney and Helen Gurley Brown, and couldn’t wait to jump into the working world and make my mark. When I did enter the workforce, I had amazing female bosses and co-workers, but it takes a village to raise a kick-ass female professional and I take something from all of my phenomenal friends and colleagues.

I greatly admire my best friend Alison and the way she’s been able to build a consulting business from the ground up, putting systems in place and developing a deep and varied client list. I turn to her for personal and professional guidance. My business partner Kerry is cool and collected, particularly around financial issues, which I learn from when I’m feeling ADD and hesitant about asking for what I’m worth. I also admire how my agent and leadership coach both manage to be compassionate, open women while also being ball busters when necessary. They take my breath away and earn my admiration with their feminine mettle. Whenever I’m in sticky business situations, I often think, What would Alison do?, What would Joy do?, or What would Elizabeth do? Thanks to the support network I’ve created around myself, I have role models around me on a daily basis and that helps me act and make choices as if I’m the powerful, wonderful woman I know myself to be.

I’m still working on the feminine mettle, but it’s coming along.

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Categories: career, home and family, lifestyle

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4 replies

  1. The person who comes to mind is creativity author and speaker SARK. When I was in my early twenties and figuring out what to do next, her first book, A Creative Companion, fell off the bookstore shelf and into my hands. I ended up reading her book that night and writing a letter to her to see if she would be willing to meet. She was! We ended up having lunch and, later, I assisted her in her first-ever workshop which was held here in NYC. I love that SARK has made a career of encouraging people to go after their creative dreams. I love that she makes it a priority to nourish her own creative spirit while doing all of this, too.

  2. Martina Navratilova. I’m not a professional athlete and only a casual tennis fan, but Martina’s life is inspiring in so many ways. First, she defected from Czechoslovakia at age 17 or 19 or something, with no assurance that she’d ever see her family again. I can’t imagine doing that at any age, much less as a teenager, but she didn’t want to live under Communism. Second, she was totally open about being a lesbian when just about no top athletes were (and often still aren’t). It’s probably cost her some endorsements, but she’s very outspoken about gay rights. And finally, she’s just an amazing tennis player.

  3. I’ve never really had a professional role model or a role model in general for that mater. However I was out, at a party, during New York Fashion Week and someone walked up to me and said that I reminded them of a young Iris Afpel and I was instantly honored. Iris’ career in fashion is one that has spanned decades and has been very successful. So, if I had to have a role model I’d say its the super savvy, classy, icon Iris.

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  1. Blogversation 2012: Wrapping up a year of online conversation « Newvine Growing — exploring evolution, revolution and living life intentionally

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