Most of us hit a point along the way of wondering if we are making a difference in this world. For me it was really hard to see some of the big players in this world making such a huge impact. I got stuck feeling like if I wasn’t making a huge impact then was I doing enough? Have you ever struggled with this question?
My goal in highlighting different women who are making an impact is to showcase the variety of ways individuals can have an impact. Whether someone touches individual lives one at a time, chooses a career in a field that innately helps others, launches an organization that solves a problem in our world, or even uses celebrity status to have a global impact, there is not a right or wrong way to do good in our world.
See a problem, do something about it
This month the focus is on women who saw an area where help was needed and decided to do something to change the situation. These women are impacting others, and in fact growing their impact day by day. It’s inspiring for me to see how their ideas started small and are growing, in some cases exponentially. Whether the reach is big or small, at the end of the day we should celebrate those who are committing to positive change.
Each one of these women or their companies came into my life in unique ways. It reminds me of the myriad ways in which we connect in this world. Most of them have involved a moment of putting myself out there in an uncomfortable way, but as a result the reward was so worth it!
Girls on skis
Addy Jacobsend is a professional skier who saw the lack of pay equity and representation of women in the ski industry. She teamed up with producer Sara Beam Robbins to create a ski movie created by, produced, and featuring women. The movie Advice for Girls is based on a poem by the same name written by Addy to “remind women and girls they are worthy of success, allowed to take up space, and are extremely valuable to the ski industry.”
Koreen is a model based in Los Angeles who created a game called We’re Not Really Strangers with the intention of empowering meaningful connections with others. It seems like we need more of this in our world, and if this video doesn’t make you have happy tears, then I’m impressed.
Getting to the root of the issue
As an educator Analise Harris observed that young girls of color were receiving extreme punishments and experiencing lower self-esteem. This was often linked to their curly hair. To address this, she created Curls on the Block for girls of all curls and colors to embrace, explore and empower their natural selves while at the same time working to increase engagement, investment, and commitment to careers in science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM).
Tanya Moushi is the founder of Moushi, a digital business advisement company. I stumbled upon her at some point during my marketing work. She saw how really good small digital businesses were struggling to get off the ground. Recognizing she has a different approach and perspective that others can benefit from, Tanya began creating tools based on her way of designing a business. Her unique style of communication and business strategy caught my attention. She sends a weekly email that has become one I look forward to seeing in my inbox. She’s creative, thoughtful, and a complete geek about all the different tools one can use running a business.
Using art to support mental health
Suzi Mitchell makes things happen. As an artist, she recognizes how art can heal and allow creative expression that is difficult to put into words. And being a mother she saw the mental health challenges faced by many youth where she lives in Northwest Colorado. This creative go-getter brought the two together and created the You Out Loud. This program is a transformative approach to mental wellbeing for youth in Routt County, through public art projects and community integration.
How could I ever be that badass?
My goal of featuring these women this month is to inspire others to act on what they observe in their world in order to make a change. If you feel intimidated by what these women have accomplished, there’s no doubt I understand. Recognize these are all amazingly talented women who are also normal humans with insecurities, self-doubt, and obstacles to overcome. You don’t have to take a big leap like they all have done to make a difference. Don’t underestimate the value of kindness and compassion with others. In fact sometimes just sharing a smile can make a huge difference in someone else’s day!