Superwoman, role model, lady boss; These are all modern day nicknames for women who spearhead challenges and go above and beyond to empower the females around them. Here at FTD, we like to call them “sheroes” and have borrowed the coined term to recognize and celebrate the sheroes in our lives this International Women’s Month.
What Exactly is a Shero?
A shero is defined as a woman admired or idealized for her courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities; a heroine. Originally, a shero could be any woman who was defined by another as a hero and the term first came to fruition in 1836 during the suffrage movement. Today we believe a shero can be everyday people who support diversity, and have strong character and sense of self. They support, encourage and push every woman to be better and are champions for gender equality. Anyone at any age and from any culture or background can be a shero.
In celebration of International Women’s Month we have asked men and women from diverse backgrounds to share who their shero is and why. We hope these stories resonate and inspire you to reflect on who your shero is this holiday and celebrate them whole-heartedly.
But why stop there? We also pulled tips from the top quotes we received in order to challenge you to be your own shero this International Women’s Day! Pass the baton and help pave the way to a brighter future by being a trailblazer for the next generation of lady heros!
Sheroes Give Others a Voice
While saying a mother or sister is a shero may seem cliché, we have to mention the lovely ladies in our family who have accomplished so much and often sacrifice their own needs for others. Courtney Keene, Director of Operations at MyRoofingPal told us that her shero was her mother because of the amount of respect she had for her and that she had overcome more adversity than any one person should have to face. Keene said “I’m not sure I would be able to get past even a fraction of the things she’s been through. I certainly wouldn’t be the caring, compassionate person she’s turned out to be.”
Tip: Sheroes use their voices and compassion in order to approach difficult conversations instead of brushing them under the rug. Use your power to promote good and be a voice for those who don’t have one.
Sheroes Stick to Their Beliefs
Sabine Saadeh, author of Trading Love, shared that Coco Chanel was her shero because “she was herself in every circumstance unapologetically and understood that life is not about possessing material wealth but of trying to make it a more beautiful place!”
Many appreciated their mother’s ability to love unconditionally and make every person in the room feel special and free to be themselves. Faith Teel, Co-Owner of the former Artisan Built-ins said her mother “seemed to have a deep insight into human nature, and to see everyone for exactly who they were, and yet she also seemed to like just about everyone despite their foibles”.
Tip: Sheroes do not let people’s opinions affect hers. Sticking to your beliefs and values when the pressure gets high are attributes that make a shero.
Sheroes Rest Without Apologies
The old saying rang true that a mother never stops being a mother, and many shared that these were the sheros in their lives. Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew of Soulstice Consultancy recalled that it was her mother who helped her get through her doctoral program. She shared that when times of discouragement set in, her mother reminded her of her possibilities. “She never compared me to others, she just wanted me to do my best” she said.
Alisha Chocha, founder of Your Marketing People and Roam Often also shared that her shero was her business partner Ishani due to her ability to “balance being a mother of two and a badass business partner all at the same time.” She shared that “she crushes it with numbers, keeping clients happy, and is always going above and beyond. It amazes me how much compassion and smarts she has.”
Tip: Sheroes know how to work hard, but also know how to rest without apologies. Sheroes prioritize balance so they can be a shero for whoever needs it (even themselves)!
Sheroes Value Themselves and Others
On average, people now spend approximately 13 years and two months of their lives at work so it only makes sense to appreciate sheroes in the workplace. Beloved female colleagues are often referred to as “work wives” since the trust and respect that can grow between coworkers can be somewhat marital.
Natalia ‘Saw Lady’ Paruz, of Saw Lady, remarked that her colleague Alexandra “is strong, has no fear when it comes to fighting for principles, and expresses her opinions to her supervisors (even in the face of intimidation) to secure better conditions or to right a wrong. She is kind and caring not just in words but in deeds.” To close, Natalia even shared that when Alexandra smiles at you you feel truly loved.
Tip: The relationship we have with ourselves is the most important one of all and sets the tone for all. Sheroes prioritize self-care and respect others so they can be the best version of themselves.
Sheroes Don’t Fear Obstacles
Sheroes aren’t only appreciated by other women, especially in a business setting that can be largely dominated by males. Chuck Casto, Head of Corporate Communications, Content & Social Media at Alignable shared that his colleague Annette is his shero because she is a master of mentoring people on staff (both women and men included). He shared that “she has a big goal to achieve and empowers everyone to feel like they have a vital role in helping the company to attain it — or even exceed it” and we loved hearing that she is inclusive and supports gender equality.
Meghan Gardner, Director of Guard Up’s Guardian Adventures shared that her shero was Greta Thunberg, environmental activist. At only 17 years old she was awarded Time’s Person of the Year for her efforts and work speaking out against climate change. Gardner shared that, “ her immense bravery to stand in the face of criticism and threats as well as her perseverance to overcome a wide range of personal hurdles, is inspirational to me.”
Tip: Greta Thunberg had a clear vision and deep authenticity. Regardless of her age she fears no boundaries which makes her a shero. Don’t let any obstacles frighten you to accomplish your goals.
Sheroes Are Leaders
Many business women also shared that they received their initial inspiration to launch their entrepreneurial endeavors by watching successful women pave the way for them. Paige Arnof-Fenn, Founder and CEO of Mavens & Moguls shared that she idolizes Sara Blakely founder of Spanx, because she represented both innovation and disruption. She shared that through the creation of the now billion dollar women’s undergarment company “she identified a problem women had that was not being addressed and created a new category by leveraging existing technology to improve products, making her a billionaire.”
Tip: Sheroes embody all the best qualities of leaders including entrepreneurship, persistence, problem solving, determination, smarts, visionary, energy and hustle. Rock your skills and don’t be afraid to shine.
Sheroes Don’t Doubt Themselves
Others stated that their mothers were the ones who taught them important life lessons like pushing boundaries and chasing their goals. Liz Brown, Founder of Sleeping Lucid said that “my mother taught me the importance of my dreams and encouraged me to challenge the status quo”.
Tip: Starting a new venture or questioning the status quo is never an easy task. Sheroes trust their gut and jump in head first without knowing the outcome.
Sheroes Are Real
A similar woman in the media who spoke out for what she believed in was Frida Kahlo and Simon Hansen Founder of Home Brew Advice shared that Kahlo was her shero due to the fact that “she’s someone who was hellbent in incorporating her country’s culture in her craft. Her inquisitive and creative mind empowered her to become a voice that challenged the socio-economic issues of her time.”
These activists created a platform for themselves to discuss what mattered to them. However, at times it wasn’t as easy and required significant amounts of courage. Katie Dames, Feely Feelings touches on this when she shared that her shero was Alyssa Milano, who ignited the “Me Too” movement. In 2017 she encouraged her Twitter followers to write “me too” if they had ever experienced sexual assault or harassment as a way to shed light on the issue. She said that “taking this brave and heroic step encouraged bravery in others as well, so Milano is a true leader who has helped thousands of other women tell their story and find healing.”
Tip: Forge your own path and be authentic to your style and values. Sheroes focus on being the best version of themselves and aren’t distracted with other agendas.
Sheroes Are Flexible
Another mover and shaker in the journalism industry who Arnof-Fenn highly regarded as a shero was Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post. She shared that her ability to stay relevant and grow as the economy shifted into technology and new media was astounding. She continued to add, “she is a force to be reckoned with too and I hope I am still at the top of my game as I age too.”
Tip: Regardless of the challenge shero Arianna Huffington faced as the economy shifted with technology and new media, she stayed relevant and grew the Huffington Post! Sheroes roll with the punches and never stop adapting.
How to Become Your Own Shero?
Now that we have shared so many inspiring stories from men and women who were impacted by the shero in their life we challenge you to become your own shero and pay it forward this International Women’s Month. Start small by taking these tips from the celebrities, activists, mothers, and colleagues we’ve discussed to become a shero who is a force to be reckoned with.
We hope you feel inspired to thank the sheroes in your life, mirror their character and actions, and lead others by example by becoming your own shero this International Women’s Month. The perfect way to say thank you is by writing them a note or sharing how much they mean to you. Accompany your thanks with a beautiful bouquet of flowers that exemplify the wonderful woman she is and brings her feelings of empowerment all month long. Happy International Women’s Month!