This week in the #SheSociety office, we asked our team what woman past or present has inspired them- here is the roundup of all the women who inspire team #SheSociety.
“A woman I find inspiring is Triple J newsreader, Nas Campanella. Not only has Nas been blind since she was six, but she also has a genetic disease which results in near-lack of sensitivity in her fingertips- meaning she can’t read brail. When I first Nas’ story I thought it was incredible and truly inspiring- and I honestly had no idea. How does she read the news? She has a machine which reads it to her in a Siri-style and she repeats what it is saying real time- it’s actually insane. Despite all of these aspects, she was determined to follow her dream of becoming a newsreader and she kicks ass at it! With International Women’s Day celebrating #BalanceforBetter I hope we hear more stories like Nas’ and celebrate all of the amazing people in our community.”
Known most notably as one of the biggest comeback stories of our era, Bethany Hamilton has become synonymous with inspiration. Her story of determination, faith, and hope has resounded in encouragement worldwide. At the age of 13 as a rising surf star, Bethany lost her left arm to a 14-foot tiger shark, which seemed to end her dream career. However, one month after the attack, Bethany returned to surfing and within two years had won her first national surfing title. Bethany’s foundation of faith has been her backbone; her source of truth, hope, and strength. At 17 years old, she realized her dream of surfing professionally and she is still an active surf competitor to this day. Bethany has been able to touch a large number of people with her faith message, charitable efforts, and overall spirit. Her greatest joy is being a wife and mother, and she continues to touch and inspire lives globally as a professional surfer, author and motivational speaker.
Taking office as the New Zealand Prime Minister, age 37, Jacinta Ardern is the world’s youngest female head of government, and only the second after Benazir Bhutto, to give birth while in office. Focused on building a government that thinks about people, Ardern is a keen supporter of health reform, climate action, same sex marriage, Maori rights and social justice. She aims to build “a kind and equitable nation where children thrive, and success is measured not only by the nation’s GDP but by better lives lived by its people”. And … she collects and plays the Ukulele! What an inspiration.
“I was 11 years old when I first spotted her and all I wanted to be was her, clutching this dream until my late teens. Someone that could take on anyone including prime ministers, superstars and villains. She was beautiful, strong, smart, articulate and could debate or argue anything. Thank you Jana Wendt, my girl crush.”
“The SheSociety team won’t be surprised that I picked Ariana Grande as the woman that I look up to and admire. Not only can I listen to her albums for hours on repeat but she has been a huge inspiration and role model to me. Especially over the last two years after overcoming a series of hardships while openly sharing her struggles with mental health. In 2017, her Dangerous Woman concert was tragically bombed in Manchester which killed 22 fans. Ariana did not let hate win, organising a benefit concert that raised over $13 million for victims of the attack.
Ariana is not shy when it comes to standing up for women’s rights and equality where she constantly encourages her fans to never be afraid to be themselves. I always feel empowered listening to her music and admire her strength and courage to continue her passion of making music despite the challenges that she has faced.”
Naomi Parker Fraley (1921-2018)
Naomie Parker Fraley is believed to have been the inspiration behind that favourite feminist icon, the “We Can Do It” war-time poster. You know the one with the strong independant looking woman, flexing her muscles, rolling up her sleeves with a bright red headscarf and a lack of red lipstick looking totally BOSS!?
When Naomi was just 20, she went to work with her sister at the Naval Air Station in Alameda. And it was there that she was photographed with her hair tied in a red headscarf, in her court shoe heels with bright red lipstick — this photograph became the inspiration for the famous poster. That perhaps started our journey to equality in the workplace.
Naomi, otherwise known as Rosie the Riveter (the poster pin-up girls name), became representative of the thousands of women who worked in factories and shipyards around the world during World War II. These women created balance ensuring that work was still being done while men were away at war. Perhaps the start of #balanceforbetter being the theme of International Women’s Day for 2019, although the ratio of women doing ‘MEN’s’ jobs during the war was perhaps unbalanced due to the lack of men on the ground!
Let’s not forget that she also did her factory job with style!