Wisdom and practical tips 
to be role models 
in our everyday lives

Meet Susan

My name is Susan (Gen Xer). I work in Financial Services in the US. My hobbies are gourmet cooking and reading, and I’m most passionate about rescuing dogs.

Who has been your role model?

My previous manager is a role model to me. She is an expert in her field and an excellent communicator. It didn’t matter if she held big town halls or small meetings, she would always command the room and speak in a way that everyone could relate to. She broke down complicated topics into basics and educated in an inspiring manner. I also like how un-bureaucratic she was and how she would make it a priority to develop people. She led a big organization and was a role model to many.

My favorite role model of Walt Disney. His story is really impressive. Coming from a simple background he worked his way up. Early on he discovered his passion for drawing and photography. He acquired his studio but soon had to declare bankruptcy. He moved to Hollywood with his brother and created a cartoon character called Oswald the rabbit, which he had the rights stolen for. Again, Walt got back up on his feet and developed Mickey Mouse, which then led to his big breakthrough. I can relate to his life story in terms of being strong and never giving up. At a young age I lost a loved family member and learned to be strong, keep going and live the legacy. Whenever I need to brighten my day I read one of Walt’s quotes like: “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them!” “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing!”

Who have you been a role model to?

I truly believe it’s crucial to build your network outside of work. There are many organizations you can join based on your interest. For instance, I’m a member of two organizations that promote gender...

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Meet Ling

Hi, my name is Ling, Gen Xer usually working in the IT field. Although I spend free time on a variety of interests I am most passionate about food and travel. I am currently on a break from working and have indulged my dream of a world tour (or as many places as I can explore on this trip).

Who has been your role model?

My mother and sister inspire me in their commitment to providing for our family and making the most out of life despite circumstances. In general, women who have struggled against difficult situations and odds to overcome and succeed are my role models; whether they are famous like Oprah Winfrey or people I am lucky to have in my life. These friends usually have a common immigrant or minority background.

Who have you been a role model to?

Although colleagues at work have complimented me in the past, the most prevalent comments I receive (especially of late) are those related to my decision to start traveling on my own full time. Reactions to my plan range from inspired, in awe, envy, disbelief to admiration. I tell people to travel as much as possible. In particular, I encourage females to travel alone at least once in their lives. Previous to my round the world trip, I have had conversations with young women who said that my travel stories and bravery inspired them to start their own trips. I am uncomfortable with compliments but even I have to admit that travel does require a certain amount of courage let alone doing it full time as a single. Leaving behind all that is safe, secure; a relatively easy life for lands not familiar and distant is tough but I do believe most people have it in them to accomplish. I am not a seasoned traveler by any means. I am still learning, making mistakes, getting out of my comfort zone on a daily basis. Comments on social media include “You are my hero”,...

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Meet Glenda

Hi, my name is Glenda, I am a Gen Xer and for the past ten years have been an esthetician, the owner, and operator of my own business. I am currently transitioning from that career into High Performance Coaching which I am very excited about. I live on Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, Canada.

My interests include but are not limited to family, books, writing, hiking, learning, friendships, humor, good wine, cheese, chocolate, sports, fabulous clothes, colorful shoes, and unusual movies! I am most passionate about helping people ask the harder questions in life, questions that lead them to a more fulfilling, courageous and beautiful life. I love personal growth! During the past ten years, I have had the great privilege of caring for people who have needed outside care for their bodies, while at the same time nourishing their inner person. I believe that when we touch people and provide them a place to speak and feel heard, that much healing occurs. I have seen myself as more than an esthetician, and that has reflected in my relationships with my clients in a very positive way.

Who has been your role model?

Some of my most powerful lessons have been garnered through interaction with my clients, with different people touching my life and changing me in profound ways. As a sample, there was an occasion where I needed a serious attitude adjustment- and my client was the one to offer it to me. I had been complaining about a sport that my son loved, one that I didn’t love at the time. She told me point blank that I needed to change my attitude, that if my son loved that sport then I had better learn to love it too. Following some reflection of our conversation, I decided she was right and then I chose to be the best fan ever! I am sure she knew I would need that bridge of commonality in the future, and that...

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Meet Chinmoyi

Hi, my name is Chinmoyi, I’m a millennial studying Computer Science at Rutgers University New Jersey in the United States. I really like learning about ancient Egyptian mythology, I write poems and color for fun (yes very unlike your stereotypical computer scientist). I enjoy the sun, but I love the snow with the city lights and that is why New York City is my favorite place in the world!

I realized my passion for promoting women in technology only after I joined the women in Computer Science group at my University. It took me a couple of higher level CS courses and a few conferences to realize how the field of technology/engineering has very little women! While transferring to Rutgers, the then president for Women in Computer Science, Jasmine, helped me a lot in advising which classes to take, where to find other campus resources and encouraged me to join women in CS (shout-out to Jasmine)! Due to her encouragement and support, I have led the annual women centric 24-hour hackathon at my University. We had about 300 participants from around NY/NJ over the last two years now. Looking at so many women coming together to build cool applications, network and learn from each other has given me great satisfaction! At the hackathon, we teach introductory workshops to first-time hackers, non-engineering major freshmen girls who might develop interest after seeing other girls pursuing CS or just anyone who would be interested in learning programming.

Who has been your role model?

I have never acknowledged it out loud but Priyanka Chopra has acted as a role model in my life for a long time. She started off as a Miss World winner and gradually became the protagonist of a show called Quantico. For some reason, I have always related to her life experience. Like me (I moved to the States for University), she moved countries...

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Meet Betsy

Hi, my name is Betsy.  I’m a Millennial that works as a Certified Health and High Performance Coach in the United States. I am an entrepreneur, speaker, scientist, educator, environmentalist and humanitarian.  I am passionate about combining my skills and talents to support those that are actively working towards making this world a better place.  Whether through mentoring, speaking, coaching, or getting involved in volunteerism, my life’s purpose is to inspire others to give and live their full potential. 

Who has been your role model?

A huge role model in my life has been Ellen Degeneres.  I was first drawn to her light-heartedness and her ability to always make me laugh through her role as a comedian.  Then, as I followed her career on her daytime talk show “The Ellen Show”, I realized that she stands for so many of the qualities that I look up to in others: kindness, joy, love, equality, compassion, consideration, courage, generosity. She brings these qualities into her business and brand, as well as lives by them. 

I also realized she has a strong passion for animals and environmentalism as a vegan and through launching her own pet care product line, as well as her humanitarian efforts to help support change-makers of all ages, race, gender, and walks of life by bringing them as guests on her show. Ellen serves as a reminder to me that I must live my best life, as my business is based on me and my expression of the qualities I admire in others.  She also inspires me to work towards building my business with the intention of giving back and creating a better world. 

Who have you been a role model to?

My life has been a series of events organized around the purpose of making a difference.  This desire started from a very young age and was...

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Meet Leann

My name is Leann, I’m a millennial (I do NOT fit the stereotype, I promise!) working as a middle school language arts teacher in Elizabeth, NJ, in the good ole’ US of A. My hobbies include taking barre classes (not drinking, but exercising), singing when no one can hear me, and dancing like no one is watching.  I’m most passionate about making a difference in lives of those who need a silver lining of hope. Since I was in grade school, I knew I wanted to become an educator and mold the young minds of our future to ensure success in our world, one child at a time. I knew challenges would be in store, but I had no idea just how difficult this task would be. Nevertheless, I rise to those challenges every day, even if it only makes a difference in one student. This is my 6th year teaching in an inner city and it does not become any easier. There are so many moments where I don’t think I can go on, but then I see the faces of my students. They may not have the best grades or attitudes, but they are known for having amazing attendance. That says something; that says they come to school as a safe-haven, as an escape from the violent urban living they must endure every day. When I learn their stories, I know I must keep moving forward with them because too often they feel abandoned. I WILL NOT be the one who left them behind. While I do not see myself in the classroom for my entire career, I do see myself working in some form of advocacy, whether it be a non-profit for education, or another organization supporting LGBTQ communities, refugees, battling world hunger and saving animals.

Who has been your role model?

In my life, there are several women who I may not openly discuss my admirations, but it is obvious and evident I look up to their successes and even their struggles. One woman I must...

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Meet Kara

Hi, my name is Kara, I’m a Sommelier and I work in the wine industry in the United States.  I’m a millennial.  My hobbies are connecting with others; book clubs, running, traveling, studying wine, and enjoying good food and wine with friends. I’m most passionate about bringing positive energy to the world.  With this overall passion, I find everything in life seems to feel a bit richer and more meaningful.  I use wine, running, and traveling to create and spread that energy.  These are the things that I am most passionate about.  When I can share them with others, that’s when I feel I am most successful in life. 

 Who has been your role model?

The most important role model in my life is undoubtedly my mother.  More than anyone in life, I feel like she never stops believing in me.  Growing up, my most precious memories include my mom.  Laughter was such a huge part of my life as a child.  No one can make me laugh like my mom.  My favorite sound in the whole world is the sound of my mom’s laugh.  It’s contagious and never fails to light up a room. 

One of the biggest lessons I learned from my mom was no matter how hard life gets or how hopeless a situation seems; we can always persevere.  Not only can we persevere, but we can always find the joy and laughter in a situation if we are willing to look.  Aside from teaching me how to look at life, she taught me how to love people.  It was through watching how she treated everyone from the mailman to our neighbors, to the check out lady at the grocery store, to our teachers that had a profound impact on me.  She made everyone she met feel so special and loved.  That’s what I always saw in my mom and I wanted so badly to be able...

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Meet Bibi

Hi, I’m Bibi, millennial, singer and actress based in Germany. I have a band with my siblings called "CasterSugar". We do acoustic cover versions of different kinds of music. I love music, singing, playing shows and attending concerts. I love to play different roles and characters on stage to put a smile on people's faces or a tear in their eyes. Drawing and writing are two of my hobbies as well. Art in general is something I really find important and powerful in so many ways, for example to transport emotions and messages such as encouraging others.

Who has been your role model?

Women of my family such as my Mum, Sister, Cousin, Aunt, Perrie Edwards (Little Mix) and Jesy Nelson (Little Mix).

My mum has always been a role model to me. She's such an optimistic person, full of joy, positive energy and positive thoughts. As a mum it was important for her that her children trust her. I always knew and still know that I can talk to her about everything! She tries to help me in every way she can. She supports me whenever needed and is always there for me. When I have kids, I hope they will trust me as much as I trust my mum. 

Jasmin, my sister, is a role model to me, even though she's 2.5 years younger than me. This shows being a role model and inspiring people is NOT a matter of age! She is such a strong, independent, confident woman, knows exactly what she wants/doesn't want and, most importantly, stands up for it. She's always there for me in her own special way. As a performer, I learned a lot from her, too. Her voice and appearance on stage helped me to become a better singer and actress. I saw her develop from a shy girl into a confident, beautiful woman. A role model for many young girls! 

Sabina is a role model to me in so many ways. My cousin is a woman, who stands up for not only herself but all...

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Meet Jay

My name is Jay, I’m a Gen Xer working in financial services in the US. My hobbies involve traveling and keeping fit through a variety of classes (Capoeira, Thai kickboxing and Trampolining are some of the more fun ones that I have tried). My dream is to go into space one day but in the meantime, my passion is to see as much as the world as possible. This urge to explore has led me to leave the comfort of my home city London for more than just a holiday. I have always wanted to live and work abroad and have been able to achieve this as part of my career, having lived in Switzerland for 3 years and New York for the last 6.5 years. 

Who has been your role model?

Role models for me do not tend to be specific or constant, they can appear and appeal to me based on the challenges I am facing at the time. A particular example of this is my work mentor Allyson, a Managing Director of the group I am in. Although she is kept busy with a large team, she offered to become my mentor at the point when I found out that I did not succeed in getting a promotion. I can relate to my mentor as she has elevated her career in a primarily male-dominated technology industry. Through her coaching and belief in my abilities, I was able to get the promotion the following year. My mentor is generous with her time when it comes to developing people and working on causes that she cares about. It is through her that I became involved in a corporate Diversity & Inclusion initiative that she is leading. 

Outside of work I am inspired by people who have overcome adversity in their lives, be it financial, physical or social to reach their goal and those who are trying to change the world for the better, one bit at a time. Some examples of this include:  

Indra Nooyi, mother, chairperson and first female non-American...

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