Press For Progress on International Women’s Day

On this International Women’s Day, I want to recognize 10 of most impactful women in my life that have helped shaped me into the person I am today.

My mom for raising my brothers and I to treat others with respect, teaching us to look for the good or what you can learn in every situation, demonstrating gratitude, embracing change, challenging us to be our best selves – no matter what that looks like, and countless other lessons.

Paula for pushing me to recognize & embrace my strengths & what makes me different, teaching me that sometimes you need to just march in the Dean’s office and speak up for what you believe in, and that faking it ’til you make it is one of the best ways to continuously learn & push yourself.

Elise for championing me in my first “real” career job, showing me how to understand & connect with others, and teaching me how to maintain, rather than burn, bridges… because you never know which ones you’ll want to cross later.

My Aunt Lynne, an interior designer, for teaching me what it means to be welcoming and a great host, allowing me to appreciate the little things, and demonstrating what grace and poise looks like in every scenario – even with a broken arm & ankle.

My second mom, Linda, for welcoming our family & teaching me that family is what you make it, showing me that animals have feelings too, and demonstrating what hard work & passion looks like as a business owner.

Debbie for showing me how to persevere even when things aren’t going as they should, demonstrating how to lead a healthy family & work team, and teaching me how to mentally train for & run my first marathon (which has taught me countless other things).

Our neighborhood mom, Susan, for teaching me what community should look like, making our family countless meals (I still think about your mac & cheese), and welcoming us Hart kids like your own.

Leslie for showing me how to roll with the punches & play the best hand with whatever cards dealt, and how to do that with a smile. 

Sara for sharing that passion for other people’s success can fuel your own success, how to lead in a world of followers, and for instilling the importance of diversity in the people you surround yourself with.

Bekah for teaching me what kindness and compassion looks like, and for helping me realize that no matter how long it’s been, a true friend will be there for you.

Thank you all for being the leaders you are and continuing to

. Thinking about what I’ve learned from each of you, and countless others not mentioned here, puts a smile on my face (just like the one in this photo).

What women have impacted your life? Please don’t be afraid to tell them today, or any day.