Women We Admire

To continue the celebrations acknowledging the achievements of women throughout the world and throughout the ages on International Women’s Day (March 8) last week, we’ve listed just a few women who have been a real inspiration for each of us.

These women have all created, in their own particular way, a positive impact on the people around them. Whether from humble beginnings or from places of privilege, they’ve used their personal gifts and talents in ways that have helped others and created change in the world:

Nadia Lopez, principal of Mott Hall Bridges Academy, New York (Paula – SO Substance)

Lopez founded this public middle school with the ambitious and visionary goal of creating educational stability in one of the areas in New York with the lowest socioeconomic status.

Her hard work was discovered when Brandon Stanton, the photographer of ‘Humans Of New York’ interviewed one of her students about who the most influential person was in his life. Vidal, the name of the student, responded with Ms. Lopez because “When we get in trouble, she doesn’t suspend us. She calls us to her office and explains to us how society was built around us … one time she made every student stand up, one at a time, and told each of us that we matter.”

Amna Karra-Hassan, founder Auburn Tiger’s AFL women’s team (Beverly – SO Sport)

I admire Amna for her passion in helping promote active engagement of local women of Western Sydney through sport. In 2011, she heroically established the Auburn Tiger’s AFL women’s team. I’m in awe by how she actively advocates for grassroots initiatives and mentors young women. She is a beautiful testament to the importance of persevering in service within inter-faith and inter-cultural communities.

Aung San Suu Kyi, activist and Burmese stateswoman (Kristina – SO Co-Founder)

She is a woman of peace, resilience and patient perseverance. She fought for peace in her home country of Burma and wasn’t afraid to speak out against the injustices that were being carried out by the ruling dictator and military. Over decades, she responded to violence with an active peaceful movement to achieve democracy in Burma, while inspiring others to do the same. Despite the number of times she was suppressed and put under house arrest, she never ceased her fight for human rights and justice.

Sara Blakely, female entrepreneur and mum (Lote – SO social media coordinator)

She invented Spanx. She literally knew nothing about starting a product but she had saved $5,000 from selling fax machines door-to-door for 7 years and never gave up on her idea and just kept discovering and learning what to do at every step of the way.

Imagine if she never cut the feet off her control-top pantyhose? I love how a seemingly superficial product/idea has been able to build homes for families, send women to college, fund entrepreneurial programs in girls schools, raise awareness about violence against women and support a leadership program for girls in South Africa. A simple idea can help change the world in unexpected ways.

SO… who do you admire?

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