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Most influential woman in my life is...

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Anonymous
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Most influential woman in my life is...

Please share who the most influential woman in your life has been and why to help us celebrate Women's History Month! If you share your comment in this thread by 5pm PT this Friday 3/11, you will be entered to win a $50 amazon gift card.

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Jenn_DiMaria2
Level 10 - Champion

Re: Most influential woman in my life is...

The most influential woman in my life is unfortunately someone who isn't physically here anymore, but who I carry around with me in some way daily: my Oma (grandmother).

She came to the US from Germany as a war bride during WWII after working for the US army, where she met my grandfather. She left her family and friends to restart life in a new country that - at the time - wasn't so nice to German folks. My family and I didn't really get a feel for that until after her death in 2014, after which we found letters she and my grandfather had written to her parents back in Germany about the way she was treated. You can tell it was a real struggle that forced her to keep her chin up in the most dire of circumstances. Her war stories were documented, as well, and many of those were completely horrific.

So of course she was brave and resilient. She wasn't without her flaws, of course, but she always taught me that I'm a worthy human being and to rely on my smarts to get by (she always stressed that I was smart and should use that to my advantage). In a world where being smart is sometimes frowned upon, that turned out to be an important lesson. Whenever I doubt myself in any area of my life, I always say, "Well, at least I'm smart and I know I'll figure out how to get through this."

It's one of those things where you don't appreciate someone until they're gone. My family and friends have a habit of walking on eggshells in case they say something rude. My Oma told it like it is and I miss that because I'm one of those people that wants to be slapped in the fact with honesty sometimes. I can only hope to have inherited some of her backbone and I'd be honored to be even 30% the woman she was.

#WHM2016

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14 REPLIES 14
Dory_Viscoglio
Level 10

Re: Most influential woman in my life is...

So, since I'm the first person to reply, I'm going to go ahead and pick (the cliche,) my mom. From before I can remember, she's been an incredibly hard worker, always showing us the value of a dollar and what it takes to get that dollar -- and then make it into several more dollars. Even though she was always working, she also always managed to maintain a very healthy work/home relationship, which has helped me to realize that it's ok (even good) to work hard, and then play harder with my kids. She just retired this year, and I hope that she is able to look back positively on the hard work that she has done and all that she has accomplished. Someday I hope to do the same!

#WHM2016

Brittany_Stover
Level 5 - Champion Alumni

Re: Most influential woman in my life is...

I have had the privilege to know many influential women in my life. whether it's the ladies I have worked with, women whom I have gathered alongside and watched make a positive difference in the world, or older and wiser family members. All of these women are influential, but the individual that I consider to be my MOST influential woman may not be what people expect... Because when I think of that person all of my thoughts go to my daughter who is almost 3. Never has a person challenged me, shown more unconditional love, or forced me to evaluate my life more than she has. Having a little person watch your every move from the tone in my voice to the perfume I wear she watches everything. I want to be a woman of integrity. Someone who her daughter can confidently say "my mom is fearless, strong and loving. she has an awesome job but still has time for our family... yep that's my mom".

#WHM2016

Kiersti_Esparz1
Marketo Employee

Re: Most influential woman in my life is...

I could point to so many influential women in the public space. Sally Ride is one of my first memories of an awesome woman -> I have her autograph!  I met the mayor of San Diego (then a woman) when I was young, that meeting has stayed with me.  I remember "The Year of the Woman" in 1992 when California elected 2 women to the Senate.  I am a history buff and am inspired by Eleanor Roosevelt and Margaret Sanger and Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Rosa Parks.  I hold up Michelle Obama as a modern inspiration.

But for this I also will look to my family for influential women in my life.  On both sides of my family I have inspiring women to look up to.  My grandmother on my father's side graduated college in 1933.  Her father had died when she was very young of TB and her mother worked to make sure my grandma still had every opportunity.  She went on to help set the framework for Physical Education in the CA school system for disabled children.  My grandmother on my mother's side worked on some of the first computers in a department store's billing department and ran a successful real-estate business after she retired. My aunt was a newspaper editor and publisher.  She is retired but continues to consult for the city planning department and the local University of California.

And I continue to be surrounded by amazing women.  The mothers of my kids friends continue to humble and amaze me with the contributions they make.  And the women I work with wow me every single day with what they accomplish inside and outside of the office.

#WHM2016

Kiersti Esparza
Joe_Reitz
Level 10 - Champion Alumni

Re: Most influential woman in my life is...

Most influential? I'm a huge mama's boy, and think my wife is the 8th natural wonder of the world, so... To seek a diplomatic escape, I'll answer in terms of the most influential woman on my career...

In that regard, it has to be my favorite high school English teacher. She taught me that my views and voice mattered, and that I had a knack for conveying them. She taught me to write evocatively, speak with conviction, and bow to no one. Look, I've been a lot of things in the years since I've known her – a kid, a man, a student, a Marine, a professional... whatever. But I wouldn't have been worthy in any of those endeavors if she hadn't recognized one thing: potential.

What meager success I find in the world can be chalked up to her vision; I'm eternally grateful.

#WHM2016

If it doesn't look cool, you're probably doing it wrong.
Dory_Viscoglio
Level 10

Re: Most influential woman in my life is...

To be clear, I'm liking the whole post... including your "diplomatic escape"

Jenn_DiMaria2
Level 10 - Champion

Re: Most influential woman in my life is...

Yes. A wise move, for sure

Joe_Reitz
Level 10 - Champion Alumni

Re: Most influential woman in my life is...

Sooooooo tempted to abuse my admin privileges and mark this as the "Correct Answer."

If it doesn't look cool, you're probably doing it wrong.
Geoff_Krajeski1
Level 10 - Champion Alumni

Re: Most influential woman in my life is...

OH Joe Reitz​, are you now contributing to the PC-ification of America?  j/k 

Wise move indeed, just don't let mom or the wife see this post  

Jenn_DiMaria2
Level 10 - Champion

Re: Most influential woman in my life is...

The most influential woman in my life is unfortunately someone who isn't physically here anymore, but who I carry around with me in some way daily: my Oma (grandmother).

She came to the US from Germany as a war bride during WWII after working for the US army, where she met my grandfather. She left her family and friends to restart life in a new country that - at the time - wasn't so nice to German folks. My family and I didn't really get a feel for that until after her death in 2014, after which we found letters she and my grandfather had written to her parents back in Germany about the way she was treated. You can tell it was a real struggle that forced her to keep her chin up in the most dire of circumstances. Her war stories were documented, as well, and many of those were completely horrific.

So of course she was brave and resilient. She wasn't without her flaws, of course, but she always taught me that I'm a worthy human being and to rely on my smarts to get by (she always stressed that I was smart and should use that to my advantage). In a world where being smart is sometimes frowned upon, that turned out to be an important lesson. Whenever I doubt myself in any area of my life, I always say, "Well, at least I'm smart and I know I'll figure out how to get through this."

It's one of those things where you don't appreciate someone until they're gone. My family and friends have a habit of walking on eggshells in case they say something rude. My Oma told it like it is and I miss that because I'm one of those people that wants to be slapped in the fact with honesty sometimes. I can only hope to have inherited some of her backbone and I'd be honored to be even 30% the woman she was.

#WHM2016

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