If there’s one thing we all need about now it’s inspiration. What’s even better is finding inspiration in the people we meet. Especially wonderful are those women we know who have shaped us in the most remarkable ways, helping us to become better versions of ourselves. We’re pretty sure our mentors have no idea what a difference they’ve made but there’s no doubt that without them, our lives would be a lot less full. So we asked our community (that’s you!) to let us know about a very special woman who has left her lasting mark, just in time for International Women’s Day. Today we celebrate you and her—along with some of our favourite female quotes to keep you feeling inspired and brazen. Cheers to the power of women!
Elaine Schaffer was a Jewish flute soloist when I was young, married to a conductor, Rudolph Schwarz. I heard her play the Bach Suite and decided then that was what I was going to do with my life. ~Atarah Ben-tovim
If you can’t make it better, you can laugh at it. ~Erma Bombeck
My mom. Unfortunately she passed away two years ago from pancreatic cancer. She was my best friend, mentor, business partner, and ‘person’. ~Lisa Gelman
Success is getting what you want, happiness is wanting what you get. ~Ingrid Bergman
When I started my PhD as a mature student, I was taken under the wing of Professor Roz Anderson, who although is in a different field, reached out and has unconditionally mentored, guided and supported me, listening when I need to talk, talking when I need to listen, celebrating my successes, giving me advice and helping me to navigate my new academic career. She is devoted to her career, family, research and helping students to achieve their potential and fulfill their dreams. She is a shining example of a strong, courageous woman and the quintessential academic researcher. Women like her are a rare breed and an inspiration. If I turn out a tenth of what she is, then I will be happy. And her research has and will change the lives of many. ~Yitka Graham My second grade teacher, Ms. Hamburger. Because of her I decided I wanted to become a teacher. She changed my life that year. She taught me to believe in myself and that I can do anything. She introduced me to the world of books and turned me into a bookaholic. ~ Sara Atkins
I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. ~Maya Angelou
Golda Meir, Israel’s Prime Minister in 1969. A force like no other. A simple woman who made a difference. ~Dayna Switzer
Too many women to mention. But I have to say that Girl Guides of Canada has been a part of my life for 35 consecutive years and was a constant source of friendship, support, challenges (in the good way), no matter what city I was in, or what age I was. To this day I still have amazing friendships with the girls I was in the programs with. I recently got together with four of my Guide girlfriends and we sat and laughed and chatted for over 6 hours! ~Jenn Wallage
It’s not your job to like me, it’s mine. ~Byron Katie
A previous mother-in-law and work colleague friend before that, Donna Pattison. She taught me how to be a better person. She was the most unselfish person in the world that was not famous but inspired many. While she was suffering through pancreatic cancer, she had many visitors stop in to thank her for helping them to take a different path in their lives that made them better. One person she only spoke to for 15 minutes ever, but in her quiet way and honesty, she inspired him. She was everyone’s mother, never judging but supportive of our crazy choices even though she told us we were on the wrong path sometimes. She was full of love. At her funeral, the church was overflowing into the sidewalks with hundreds of people there to celebrate a wonderful woman. ~Darleen Witmer I think my mom is one of the most amazing women I know. She has influenced me in too many ways to say especially since she had such struggles with me when I was born quite ill. I’m almost 21 now and I don’t know where I would be without her. ~Tracey Payer’s daughter Brittany (sneaking on her Facebook)
We’d love to know: Is there a woman who has been a lasting influence on you? Tell us about her.