International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women – while also marking a call to action for accelerating gender equality. On that note, this year’s campaign theme is #EachforEqual, because equality is not just a women’s issue, it’s a business issue. Gender equality is essential for economies and communities to thrive, and can help the world to be healthier, wealthier and more harmonious.
The race is on for gender equality everywhere – in the boardroom, in government, in media coverage, in the workplace and more – and there are so many great women paving the way for others and chipping away at that ominous glass ceiling each day. So, for this International Women’s Day, Matter’s ERG, the Women Professionals Circle, wanted to highlight women who inspire them both personally and professionally.
American TV Broadcaster & Anchor of ABC’s Good Morning America
To me, Robin has proven to be one of the strongest women as she battled breast cancer and later a bone marrow disease called myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). She shared her journey with both while tackling the day-to-day of Good Morning America and beat both diseases gracefully. I love being greeted by Robin’s smile with my morning coffee and she inspires me every day to get up and be a better person.
– Emma Gielata
Former Nurse at Brigham & Women’s Hospital
The women in my family inspire me every day. My mother has taught me that you should treat the people in your life with empathy and understanding, and to offer help even if you don’t always receive equal return. I also try to live by the rules of my Great Great Aunt Becky who was sent to America for her participation in a resistance toward anti-Semitic laws in the early 20th century: be fierce, and sometimes, blow things up to create change (figuratively of course!).
– Alexis Feinberg
Honors Program Director & Journalism Professor at Point Park University
From my first day at Point Park University, Helen Fallon was invested in my success. As a professor, she challenged me to become a better writer. As a boss, she allowed me to lead projects with confidence and work with a diverse group of fellow students. Through her nonprofit, The Fallon Travel Fund, I was able to travel to New York City, Washington D.C., and Italy with my some of my best friends while learning and experiencing wonderful things. Throughout my time at Point Park, Helen became not only a mentor to me, but a friend as well. She has supported every project, internship, and job offer that has come my way. She has offered advice and support at every turn as I’ve navigated the start of my career and I consider meeting her a privilege.
– Beth Turnbull
Former Executive Director of International Education at Umass Dartmouth
Last fall, my mother retired after a successful career in higher education, most recently as the Executive Director of International Education at Umass Dartmouth. While I’ve always greatly admired my mom personally, it wasn’t until I attended the retirement party that her colleagues threw her that I fully understood the magnitude of her impact professionally. Her colleagues, peers and students spoke of her utmost professionalism, her kind heart, her work ethic and her insatiable desire to keep learning. It’s one thing to think your mom is a super woman, it’s another to realize that others think so too. As my sisters and I stood around listening, we reflected that our mother’s legacy was not only felt in her professional community, but also reflected in each of us. As a single mom, she always put us first, but also worked hard to carve a professional life for herself – rising to be well respected in her field and in the community. To say that she paved the way for us, as a feminist, an executive and as a mother, would be an understatement; we each are working mothers and successful professionals in our respected field. (And I’m the only one without my masters – what a slacker!)
– Laura Peck
Founder, SchroderHaus Marketing Communications
This International Women’s Day, I’d like to shout out Elexis Schroder, someone I truly admire. She’s a mentor, kick-butt communications professional, business owner, mom and friend – and she does it all with a smile on her face. When I met E, I was a PR student with no agency experience, and she took me under her wing to show me the ropes, ultimately leading me to my career at an agency, and specifically, at Matter. Thank you Elexis, for teaching me what it’s like to be a strong and confident woman and PR professional.
– Dani Kraycik
Nicole “Nikki” Eaton
Group Director, Digital Marketing Solutions, Epsilon
My sister is hands-down the most inspirational female to me and has been a role-model my entire life. She gives her all to everything and finds ways to manage her personal and professional life flawlessly. Not only does she have a senior level position at a large organization, she also has two young active children, she finds the time to dedicate to her physical and mental well-being on a daily basis, and somehow is still able to attend every family event and friend gathering throughout the year! Admiration, inspiration and appreciation are just some of the words that come to mind when I think of Nikki.
– Danielle Conlin
Public Relations Executive and Actress, New York
Throughout my career, I’ve been inspired by the women I’ve worked alongside, but my very first manager left a deep impression on me. My first job out of college was at a boutique PR agency in New York City, where I was lucky enough to have a manager who believed in me and led by example. She was enthusiastic, respected and confident, and showed me the value of hard work. We are still in touch years later and she was even one of my references when I applied to Matter. Thank you, Lisa, for your sparks of energy!
– Jill Gross