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The Women Who Inspire Us

  1. THE WOMEN WHO INSPIRE US In honor of International Women’s Day, the members of Connect: Professional Women’s Network recognize the women who’ve helped shape their lives. BROUGHT TO YOU BY
  2. When a Connect member asked the group about women who inspire them, the discussion exploded with not just names of women, but also stories about how and why they were inspirational. While many examples fell into obvious categories (politicians, business leaders, celebrities) just as many were moms, sisters, grandmothers and neighbors. It just goes to show, inspiration is all around you!
  3. “I am inspired by my mother. As a child, we grew up very poor, but my mother taught my siblings and me that we could become anything we believed. With that encouragement, I am now a candidate for the US Senate of Tennessee and completing my Ph.D. at the University of Tennessee.” Brenda Lenard Candidate for U.S. Senate (TN)
  4. “Michelle Obama is the perfect 50-year-old woman who exemplifies balance: professional, educated, accomplished, passionate, mother, wife, role model, fit and beautiful.” Lisa O'Dell, Child Advocate at CASA
  5. “My grandmother, Lucy Finkston, dropped out of high school to help her family, but talked her way into numerous jobs. Ultimately, she became a highly paid model. She traveled the world, was president of her local Haddasah chapter and formed many lifelong friendships. Lucy was the most accepting person I ever knew. She cared only about the content of your character.” Aviva Gittle Writer/publisher of children’s books
  6. “Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo, is my role model. Being a woman CEO in today’s competitive market and remaining successful in top management for more than a decade is definitely noteworthy.” Gayathri Ram Mohan, Environmental Engineer
  7. “I was inspired by my grandmother, who never went to school, taught herself how to read and write, ran a successful business in a new country where she barely spoke the language, and taught me everything that forged the foundation for who I am today.” Marcela Katz Armoza VP, Enrollment & Student Affairs
  8. “Creatively I admire Coco Chanel. I obtained a fashion degree largely because of her as such a driving influence. Now I work in the interior design world as a decorator, a profession closely related to fashion design.” Rebecca Charamut Cass, Owner, Inspired Interiors LLC
  9. “I am inspired by my great-great Cherokee grandmother. After all the men in her tribe were killed in Oklahoma, she gathered all the remaining children, put them in a covered wagon, and traveled to Pennsylvania so they could live a better life. I used her strength and her story to inspire me to success.” Audrey Snyder Adjunct Professor
  10. “Oprah has done more for women than any other media personality. She uses the media to help, lead, energize and motivate. And she does it wholeheartedly, with genuine openness and dignity.” Lauren Dane Butler, Emotional Intelligence Consultant
  11. “My mother has always been my inspiration. She has always been such a saint—patient, kind, persistent, compassionate and mentoring. She has endured innumerable hardships and done so like a champion. I have modeled myself after her and hope I can be even half the woman she has been throughout her life.” Jennifer Lynn Administrative Assistant
  12. “I love strong women who aren’t afraid to speak their minds or fight for a cause, which is why I hold a deep admiration for Audrey Hepburn. She was one of the first celebrities to travel to war-torn, poverty-stricken areas of the world, such as Somalia, to perform humanitarian work.” Samantha Esterman, Account Executive
  13. “Inspiring women are everywhere if you look for them. That’s what led me to write my column “Extraordinary Ordinary Women” for Women’s Voices Magazine. This month, I highlighted Kathy Buckley, the funniest and most inspiring speaker I’ve ever heard—who also happens to be deaf.” Rebecca Lacy, Author
  14. Additional Resources International Women’s Day official website UN Women 10 Reasons for Optimism This International Women’s Day Best Advice from Citi Women About Accelerating Your Career You’ve Had an Aha Moment. Now What? ©2014 LinkedIn Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  15. Join the conversation! Connect: Professional Women’s Network, Powered by Citi, is an online community on LinkedIn that helps women achieve the careers they want and discuss the issues relevant to their success. For more great insights from Connect members, check out the discussion: What Women Inspire You? Visit for more information and to join the group for free! PHOTO CREDITS: 1: kanate/Shutterstock 2: tukkki/Shutterstock 3: Courtesy of Brenda Lenard 4: Barack Obama/Flickr 5: Courtesy of Aviva Gittle 6: World Economic Forum/Flickr 7: Courtesy of Marcela Katz Armoza ©2014 LinkedIn Corporation. All Rights Reserved. 8: chariserin/Flickr 9: Courtesy of Audrey Snyder 10: Ian Kelly Ida Scope/Flickr 11: Photo courtesy Jennifer Lynn 12: fred baby/Flickr 13: Courtesy of Rebecca Lacy
  16. ©2014 LinkedIn Corporation. All Rights Reserved. CONNECT: PROFESSIONAL WOMEN’S NETWORK 16