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  • Writer's pictureMichael Gill

The Influences of Strong Women in My Life

Typically, I am a more of a technical writer, but today I am going to take this opportunity to share something more personal. Since it is March and the time to celebrate women; I thought I would recognize those women who have impacted my life. First and foremost, I would not be here if it were not for my mother; so, I will start with her. My mother has always represented strength, kindness and caring but also has always been a voice of reason. Like most of us we go through our ups and downs in life throughout various phases in our lives. But not everyone has had or has the voice of reason that is so much needed when struggles occur. When we struggle most of need a shoulder to lean on and most of us need someone else’s perspective or even advice to help us through. My mother has always been there and has always been one to take things and break them down into small manageable pieces to help me recognize exactly what is worth taking on versus what should just be left behind. For me this demonstrated compassion and empathy because she was always willing to take the time to help me get through my struggles.

These qualities are integral in being a leader. I say this because a good leader takes the time to ensure they truly understand the needs of their team, in this case was my sister and I. My mother raised my sister and I alone for most of our lives which meant she had to be strong, and she had to show that life continues even through hardship. Because of this, I was a witness to just how strong and courageous my mother was and still is today. I never had any doubt of a woman’s capabilities in comparison to a man. In fact, I saw my mother show strengths that my father maybe never had. Having grown up during a time where there were many stereotypes on what a woman’s place was in the world; I can tell you I never experienced this first hand. But I did know of its existence and I know things have certainly improved, but we do have a lot more distance to travel. Things have improved because of women like my mother. My mother made for certain that there was no way anyone could challenge her drive and direction. She knew what she wanted, and she went out and got it. As a result my sister and I grew up knowing that woman can be strong and women can be leaders despite what old beliefs told us.

My mother’s mom (my grandma) was born a farm girl, so she could tell you many stories of how she had to become independent very quickly. I believe a lot of the strength my mother has was inherited through her. My grandmother is 92 years young at the time of writing, and she is the flagship of our family. She represents and embodies what a strong woman is. Not only is she incredibly intelligent, but she has also survived a fall that would have killed most people her age. Her will to be present and stay present for her family has overcome any physical injury. My grandmother has taught me a lot, and she has shown that a woman who was brought up and raised to certain stereotypes can overcome them and represent true leadership in a family and among her peers. My grandmother did sustain serious injuries because of her fall, but still walks with no cane or walker, still drives (as she is so competent and passes all the driver assessments) and can still do math and complex puzzles like she is 25. She is truly a symbol of a strong woman, and no single day is enough to celebrate her. My grandmother has proven that gender equality is real, not because of her words, but because of her actions. My daughters have such a great influence as they lead into their challenges in their lives; a motto simply stated: do whatever you want to do, be whatever you want to be, and never let anything or anyone make it seem like it cannot happen.

I have been so blessed to be around such strong beautiful women. I believe it has contributed to my successes and has provided me with the strong value structure I maintain today. When I met my wife, I was literally floored by her confidence. My wife is beautiful, but I can tell you there was such a draw for me towards her confidence that she has. Maybe it is because I do not have her level of confidence at times, and she helps to support me when I need a little extra. I had such great women in my life growing up already, was it possible for me to yet encounter another? I would keep asking myself. And I have to say though the grace of God, yes.

My wife has taught me so much and has also shown me how incredibly independent she can be. She manages to be successful in everything she decides to take on. She demonstrates courage and commitment to my children and I. We are continuously amazed at her passion and willingness to help others. My wife and I lead together in our house, and we stand together in our house. We have never demonstrated man’s work versus woman’s work. After all, what does that even mean? We do things as they come up and we help each other when help is needed. My daughters are so lucky to have someone like my wife to help guide them and show them how to be a leader and how to push through stereotypes, adversity, and setbacks. I see my wife's strength in my youngest daughter already; watch out world! My wife, my grandmother and my mother are some of the most amazing women I have ever had the privilege to be around.

Never would I imagine that I would yet meet another strong and amazing woman like the ones that I have already had in my life; but then my business partner Kait Dinunzio came into my life. Kait embodies the same spirit of the women I have mentioned above, and I believe that is one of the reasons we have such a strong connection in our business, as well as how we connect with one another outside of work. I have never worked with anyone who not only charges forward with such passion and drive, but always maintains realism. Kait is a dynamic and incredibly outgoing leader and I learn so much from her all the time. I am so proud to be working alongside her. All these wonderful women in my life break down the walls of gender inequality and I absolutely see it necessary to mention them as we celebrate Women’s History.

Take the time to recognize important women in your life!

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