So it’s my birthday:
39. Again. And it’s gotten me all philosophical. It started when I looked at the appointment announcement of Emma Pullman to a new senior position at SumOfUs.
About a lot of things actually, but specifically about some of the amazing younger women I know.We all know such women, of course, but let me introduce you to the ones I know. Because whether you know them or not, they are shaping your world and it is made better because of them.
Reilly is the former Managing Director of (and now consultant to) Openmedia.ca, perhaps the most effective grassroots advocacy group in Canada. She is also who I want to be when I grow up. Self assured and smart, Reilly is the strongest community manager I’ve ever seen, igniting disparate groups of people around a cause by giving them the voice and tools that empower them to make a difference.
Lindsey is the Communications Officer for the Centre for Policy Alternatives. She takes my breath away with her bravery and compassion, and she embodies one of my favourite quotes: Speak the truth even though your voice is shaking.
Kim brightens every room she walks into, does all the heavy lifting and makes it look easy. She is the director of business development for Convince and Convert, a content and social media consultancy firm that I’ve been lucky to work with on fascinating projects, including the rebrand of our company to Reimagine PR.
Jess is the director of calm everywhere she goes, including around here, providing administrative and content support at Reimagine PR. She is always positive and solutions oriented and she has made my life so much easier, it is hard to imagine a time without her, though it wasn’t that long ago.
Marie is queen of the internet, and not just around Reimagine PR. She understands digital culture like no one else has and by the time you’ve heard of it, she’s been there, done that and come back with the t-shirt. She thinks in surprising and delightful ways, super-friending influencers and engaging people by being human. You’d be surprised how rare that can be. Check her out at Karmacake.ca.
Oh, Emma, Campaigner, investigator and fearless champion of the future, sometimes I think it’s your planet and I just live here. Emma is a senior campaigner with SumOfUs.org, a global corporate accountability watchdog that fights everything from oil companies to private prison corporations seeking to profit from injustice. She is also a sometimes journalist/investigator who writes about oil, politics and their intersection. She wants to help people learn how to use the internet to find misinformation and make the world a better place.
They all do different work. They span a couple of countries and a whole bunch of time zones.But they share certain values.Here is what I see as among their best.
They do the work:
In a fake it til you make it culture, they stand on the record of what they have actually done and not the blustery promise of what they could do if given half the chance.They have proven their work and ability and give generously of their gifts.
They have humility:
They tend to fall into the less talk more rock category. They don’t trump up inconsequential projects they worked on to have been more than they were. And they work backwards from what they need to achieve for the good of the project not for the benefit of their own ego.Consequently, each has quickly built up a body of work that would be impressive in someone much, much older.
They show others the respect they would want for themselves:
Because they have actually done the work and have the skill, they don’t try and puff themselves up and throw expertise they really don’t have around.
They know when to lead and when to follow:
It is a mark of talent and self assurance that they seek to work collaboratively with those around them, contributing positively and helpfully wherever they can.They are not afraid to admit when they don’t know something and they are more than ready to step up and lead when it is right for them to do so. What marks them as different is the wisdom to know when to do what.
They know when and how to apologize
They aren’t too proud for their own good, and know when and how to offer a meaningful, heartfelt apology for the real matter at hand, not the bait and switch or faux apologies that are much easier to toss out.
They seek to lift their colleagues not tear them down:
They prefer to inspire the best out of others.
They speak the truth:
They don’t cut corners with the truth. They know that someone who is willing to lie for you will probably also lie to you.
They stand for what’s right:
They aren’t willing to throw others under the bus for personal gain.
They are willing to undertake personal sacrifice, however, to live by their values and do the right thing.
I could go on:
I could gush and glow about this amazing group of women until the cows come home.
I stand behind them sometimes and look into the distance visions they see. I find hope for the future there. So should you.
Each one is breaking new ground in her respective field and shaping the narrative through which we see the world.
For those of you who know them, what do you love about them? And for those who don’t know them, who are the amazing women that inspire you?
I really want to know.