To celebrate International Women’s Day, we asked some exceptional H+K women about their inspiration, what they wish they could tell their 20-year-old selves, and what single word has had the biggest impact on their lives and careers. Check out their fascinating interviews below.

Alessandra Favilli, General Manager
Milan, Italy

#IWD2019

Who inspires you?
Mary Poppins was my heroine when I was a child. She was nice and sweet, but at the same time strong and independent. With her bag full of the most incredible things, she was the perfect problem solver, but at the same time, able to empower people around her. Wise and crazy, she’s the perfect balance of qualities needed at work and in private life.

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
You are unique, so you have to find your unique way of doing things. Don’t conform and be proud of what you are!

List one single word that has had a lasting impact on your life or career, or that is a focus word of yours at this time.
Resilience.

Provide a brief explanation for your word above, if you’d like!
Resilience is a word that has become popular recently, but that for me has always been a mantra. Be positive, set objectives and work to achieve them. If you fail, accept it and start again, fine-tuning your approach, reconsidering your vision and reorganizing your action plan.

Amy Paddock, Managing Director
Austin, United States

#IWD2019

Who inspires you?
The unbelievably talented and supportive women I’ve worked with at PSI/H+K (present and former employees – you know who you are!), my mom – Dr. Carol Reese and my stepmom – Dr. Melinda McMichael.

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
That Spanish/History double major will pay off – and finding your own path will work out just fine.

List one single word that has had a lasting impact on your life or career, or that is a focus word of yours at this time.
Presence.

Andrea Farias, Account Director (Ideal H+K)
São Paulo, Brazil

#IWD2019

Who inspires you?
There are many examples of women becoming world icons for their attitude, but the incredible stories of ordinary women facing tough challenges and finding a way to accomplish their dreams is the most inspiring to me. They do not give up when adversity strikes – they fight on.

What advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?
Trust you, do your best, learn from mistakes, stay positive. And travel as much as you can.

List one single word that has had a lasting impact on your life or career, or that is a focus word of yours at this time.
Believe.

Provide a brief explanation for your word above, if you’d like!
Believing gives us the impetus to perform. It is allows us to move forward and pursue our dreams.

Additional comments/concerns?
Every day we face challenges, big and small, at home, at work, at school… believing we are capable makes all the difference.

Avra Lorrimer, Managing Director
London, United Kingdom

#IWD2019

Who inspires you?
I’m really inspired by Kate Robertson of One Young World and her commitment to mobilizing tomorrow’s business leaders to be a force for good. The world needs more people who advocate for responsible and accountable capitalism. I’m also obsessed with Sheryl Sandberg— she is so accomplished but speaks in an accessible voice that connects with so many women. She is a catalyst in the changes that are happening for women in the workforce today and I hope that Lean In keeps its momentum.

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Don’t let life happen to you— make plans! And also, don’t be afraid to change them…

List one single word that has had a lasting impact on your life or career, or that is a focus word of yours at this time.
Curiosity.

Provide a brief explanation for your word above, if you’d like!
That was inspired by Albert Einstein’s quote: “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”

Emily Yin, Vice President
Beijing, China

#IWD2019

Who inspires you?
When I was a teenager, I learned about the great Marie Curie. No matter what kind of challenges she encountered, she held her ground, she persevered step-by-step toward her goal and, finally, she achieved success in her career.

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Find a career that you like, one that you can enjoy for a lifetime.

List one single word that has had a lasting impact on your life or career, or that is a focus word of yours at this time.
Passion.

Provide a brief explanation for your word above, if you’d like!
Love your career and be willing to do the best you can to develop it. Continually innovate to make your work more interesting and meaningful.

Estelle Gouin, Strategy Director
Paris, France

#IWD2019

Who inspires you?
Michelle O! She is the new symbol of women empowerment. She is engaged, passionate and makes things happen, always in a positive and modern way.

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Have great professional and personal goals, light your inner flame and take your time!

List one single word that has had a lasting impact on your life or career, or that is a focus word of yours at this time.
Share.

Provide a brief explanation for your word above, if you’d like!
Sharing, for me, is key! You can go further! It helps you to be connected to your eco-system, interact, bounce-back and do great things together!

Faith McIver, Senior Associate
Washington, D.C., United States

Who inspires you?
Honestly, there are too many women in my life who have been instrumental in helping me become the woman I am today to just call out one – other than my mom – by name. There’s truth in that it takes a village to raise a child, and for better or worse I am proof that it takes an ecosystem to build someone like me. I am thankful for all of my coaches and second parents at @Crimson_Heat where I have not only cheered, but also coached. I am inspired by so many of my sorors who work tirelessly for @akasorority1908, and I am inspired by the trailblazers in the PR industry whom I’ve met and been exposed to through organizations like @colorcomm@nabj and @prsa.

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Well, since I’m still a twenty-something this advice resonates with me even today. But, I’d tell myself: 1) keep going down the path you’ve chosen fiercely. 2) Don’t give up when it gets hard because diamonds are birthed through pressure. 3) Be kind to others, stay consistent and don’t be intimidated by the success you see around you – time is a unique gift for everyone on this planet and it’s a blessing to have more than less of it.

List one single word that has had a lasting impact on your life or career, or that is a focus word of yours at this time.
Discipline.

Provide a brief explanation for your word above, if you’d like!
No matter the capacity, the word discipline is relevant to help you attain and maintain goals. By going back to school to pursue my master’s degree while also working full-time and occasionally freelancing, it’s imperative that I remain disciplined in keeping my schedule, staying motivated, staying consistent, being present and living in the moment. All great leaders and change-makers practice discipline to become the best at whatever it is they have set out to achieve.

Helena Mayanja, Managing Director
Kampala, Uganda + Kigali, Rwanda

#IWD2019

Who inspires you?
My mother is by far by biggest inspiration in life. Her hard work and humility knows no bounds. Career wise, Biola AlabiJackie NamaraTina ByaruhangaChimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Joseline Kateeba are some of the women whom I have looked up to from near and far throughout my journey. In their different walks of life, they have inspired me to create my own path, be brave and not only work hard but also work smart.

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Goodness… I have so much to say to my 20-year-old self! In the interest of space and time I will pick on a few “If-Only-I-Knew-Thens”:

  1. If you are the smartest person in your peer group, you have outgrown that group— you need to consistently evolve and aim higher. This doesn’t mean cut out your friends, no. It means find your next challenge and be inspired by people better than you. Comfort can be dangerous to growth.
  2. There are no short cuts; work hard and be consistent at it.
  3. Everything will work out in the end. If it hasn’t worked out, it is not the end— keep going.
  4. James 2:14-26 — this scripture is about Faith and deeds. To my 20-year-old self, I say: what good is it for you to be socially/politically aware and do nothing about it? You are equipped. Do something. While you are at it, learn to be in that moment and enjoy it….there are loads of distractions coming!

List one single word that has had a lasting impact on your life or career, or that is a focus word of yours at this time.
Consistency.

Provide a brief explanation for your word above, if you’d like!
Consistency is key—yes I know, cliché, but it is true! If you consistently work out and diet, you will start to see change. If you consistently work hard, you will start to win. If you consistently work hard at something, you get really good at it. You grow, you evolve, and eventually you prosper. #ConsistencyPaysOff

Jennifer Leppington-Clark, Managing Director
Johannesburg, South Africa

#IWD2019

Who inspires you?
Lady Gaga. She is extremely talented, passionate and not afraid of standing up for what she believes in. I read that she insisted that during the filming of “A Star is Born” (the movie she starred in recently with Bradley Cooper) that all their songs should be performed and filmed live because that was the best way to really capture the spirit of their performances – while staying true to the story. She’s also ambitious. I think many women still feel they can’t express their ambition, but no man ever apologized for being clear and open about what they want and then going for it. We should do the same.

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
You’re on an incredible journey. Use every opportunity to learn and grow. All the experiences that you have on the way, and all the people you meet will teach you something. You’ve got this!

List one single word that has had a lasting impact on your life or career, or that is a focus word of yours at this time.
Impact.

Jenny Åström, CEO, Sweden
Stockholm, Sweden

Who inspires you?
So many women have inspired me— within my family, my friends, my workplace. Just looking around the office at this minute, I see so many hard-working, fun and interesting women around me. I try to keep up and learn from all people as much as I can. A new perspective, a point of view, something I didn’t know anything about a minute ago. In answering this, I want to send out love to the many women who inspire me, but it would be such a long list. I am inspired by people that go above and beyond, people that really have knowledge and really care.

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Nothing. I was fab. Studying hard, having fun, worrying, traveling. A lot of what I am doing now. Just go, you know?

List one single word that has had a lasting impact on your life or career, or that is a focus word of yours at this time.
Spark.

Provide a brief explanation for your word above, if you’d like!
A leader of mine once said to me, “I hear you are putting in the time”— he meant that I was doing what needed to be done to move into the right direction. And sometimes, even when stuff isn’t going my way, I think of that. Am I putting in the time? If you have the spark, you will put in the time. And that’s the first step to being great at what you do.

Jill Peng, China Business Lead
London, United Kingdom

Who inspires you?
In my personal life, my mother has inspired me to be kind, positive and true to myself and others. In her I see the endless strength of a loving heart. An awakening moment in my career was when I read Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In. In her book, she asked her readers, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” That has been the question I ask myself when an opportunity or challenge is presented to me.

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Be bold. Have opinions. And make sure your opinions are heard.

List one single word that has had a lasting impact on your life or career, or that is a focus word of yours at this time.
Compassion.

Provide a brief explanation for your word above, if you’d like!
Our work is all about people. I believe the ability to relate and connect to people is an important strength.

Lina Díaz, Director of Communications and Public Affairs
Bogotá, Colombia

#IWD2019

Who inspires you?
My grandmother (the root) for being one step ahead of her time. My mom (the trunk) for her obsession with my happiness and independence. My dad (branches) for raising me free and without labels. Brigitte Baptiste, Colombian transwoman, for her effort to erase the borders between the feminine and masculine, and for being a leading voice regarding environmental issues. Also, Doris Salcedo, a Colombian artist, for using art as a part of peace process. Friends like Andrea Aldana @andreilla17 for her sincere vocation to help others. Clients like Claudia Sterling @claudiasterling for being a role model in their homes and company. In conclusion, I have been inspired by men and women who lead daily revolutions to make the world a better place.

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Do not stop. Have memorable experiences. Improve your knowledge through more daily life experiences such as trips, movies, music, books, conversations and family moments. For me, it is the best way to get to know and understand the world’s reality to produce relevant, creative and revolutionary ideas.

List one single word that has had a lasting impact on your life or career, or that is a focus word of yours at this time.
Balance.

Lindsay Broadhead, VP Corporate Communications
Toronto, Canada

#IWD2019

Who inspires you?
My kids.

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
The Top 4:

  1. It’s better to start small than do nothing at all— small turns into big fast.
  2. Listening will prove to be one of the loudest things you can do.
  3. Don’t be afraid of the big decisions— they always, always, always bring the best results.
  4. Most people can’t dance, so shake it.

List one single word that has had a lasting impact on your life or career, or that is a focus word of yours at this time.
Authentic.

Liz Torrez, Managing Director
Chicago, United States

#IWD2019

Who inspires you?
I have a close group of friends from college who are amazing, hard-working, fun-loving and super talented and they inspire me immensely! Colleagues all around the H+K network also inspire me with their creativity, passion and dedication.

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
If you want something, you have to ask for it— go after it and don’t give up until you get it! Something worth getting is never just handed out.

List one single word that has had a lasting impact on your life or career, or that is a focus word of yours at this time.
Inspire.

Provide a brief explanation for your word above, if you’d like!
“The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in rising again after you fall.” – Vince Lombardi

Maggie Lu, Managing Director
Shanghai, China

#IWD2019

Who inspires you?
My mom.

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
There is not only one correct answer to a question of your life/career. Just try your best to get your favorite one.

List one single word that has had a lasting impact on your life or career, or that is a focus word of yours at this time.
Harmony.

Provide a brief explanation for your word above, if you’d like!
Harmony means you always follow your heart and try to achieve balance in life and career.

May Sadek, Deputy General Manager
Cairo, Egypt

#IWD2019

Who inspires you?
@saragourlay.

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Trust yourself, believe in yourself and take more risks.

List one single word that has had a lasting impact on your life or career, or that is a focus word of yours at this time.
Hustle.

Provide a brief explanation for your word above, if you’d like!
As a single mother working in the Middle East, I’ve had to hustle every day to get where I am.

Meaghan Campbell, Vice President and Group Leader, Communications
Vancouver, Canada

#IWD2019

Who inspires you?
Early on I was guided by two inspiring mentors, Shelley Silbernagel, former Global Head of HR for Starbucks, and Jan Selman, inspiring theatre director and teacher from the University of British Columbia.

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
My father told me from an early age “choose a job you love and you will never work a day in your life”. I only realized how wise this advice was recently and wish I had believed it earlier.

List one single word that has had a lasting impact on your life or career, or that is a focus word of yours at this time.
Share.

Provide a brief explanation for your word above, if you’d like!
The things that I have enjoyed the most in my life and career have been things that have been shared experiences working with teams, friends and family.

Melissa Lantsman, Vice President, Public Affairs
Toronto, Canada

#IWD2019

Who inspires you?
My mother.

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Slow down. Listen more. Listen better.

List one single word that has had a lasting impact on your life or career, or that is a focus word of yours at this time.
Results.

Provide a brief explanation for your word above, if you’d like!
Take the lead. Be the forecaster. Speak up with confidence. Leave a lasting impression.

Melissa Pasi, Senior Account Director, Public Affairs
Ottawa, Canada

#IWD2019

Who inspires you?
I have been fortunate to be able to count many inspirational women amongst my peers and mentors as I’ve navigated life and career, but it is my mother’s courage, counsel and convictions that I hold as most motivating.

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Learn from every moment and opportunity. Invest in your curiosities, your passions and yourself. Have the confidence to focus your energy only on the things you have the power to influence.

List one single word that has had a lasting impact on your life or career, or that is a focus word of yours at this time.
Resolute.

Micaela Maciel, Senior Content + Publishing Strategist
London, United Kingdom

#IWD2019

Who inspires you?
This list could become very long very quick, luckily so many women inspire me both personally and professionally! But I have a few names of women who have inspired most recently… Aditi Jaganathan (@deetsjag). Aditi taught the ‘Representations of Race and Gender in Popular Culture’ course I attended at Goldsmith University last year and the way she delivered it changed my life, personally and professionally. I don’t think I have met someone more welcoming and inspiring who listens and informs so well.

Cindy Gallop (@cindygallop) has also been a major source of career inspiration. Her stories, from the female POV, about BBH, advertising and creativity always help me ground myself and her advice on how to ask for more money is one that I recommend women listen to.

Jameela Jamil (@jameelajamil) is also on my list. I used to work in fashion and I remember we used to dress her. Back then I didn’t spend much time thinking about feminism, intersectionality or equality. Not like I do today anyway, and I don’t know she did either. It’s amazing to see how she’s become a force to reckon with and a source of daily inspiration. I love how she’s opened up the conversation and made it approachable. There’s this tweet she shared which I think summarizes this journey so well. Not only for her but for many people (myself included!) who are trying to be better by doing better.

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Own your voice. When I started my career I used to be scared of being judged, saying the wrong thing or even speaking confidently about topics I knew so well using a language that wasn’t my mother tongue (English) but, had I known then what I know now, I would’ve just owned my voice and who I am. It’s become one of my greatest assets.

List one single word that has had a lasting impact on your life or career, or that is a focus word of yours at this time.
Authentic.

Provide a brief explanation for your word above, if you’d like!
My word would actually be “uncool,” but it sounds made-up! My favorite film is Almost Famous and there’s this scene where Philip Seymour Hoffman, who plays music journalist Lester Bangs says: “The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.” Ever since I saw the film it stuck with me (it’s even my Twitter handle). I think what he is was saying is that when you are being authentic and genuine and you share that with someone else, there is no stronger currency because even if you are not “cool” you are being yourself. I think it’s OK to not be cool so long you are doing you.

Natasha Henderson, Business Development Coordinator
London, United Kingdom

#IWD2019

Who inspires you?
My mum.

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Do what makes you happy, because you always want to wake up and look forward to the day!

List one single word that has had a lasting impact on your life or career, or that is a focus word of yours at this time.
Inquisitive.

Provide a brief explanation for your word above, if you’d like!
I think at my stage of my career, it’s always important to have your eyes open and to constantly feel like you’re learning. To do so, I’m always asking how or why.

Pelin Kocaalp, General Manager
Istanbul, Turkey

#IWD2019

Who inspires you?
Many people in my life have inspired me. Everyone with whom I have ever crossed paths with has affected me and made me who I am today.

First and foremost, I was inspired and encouraged by my parents— both my mother and my father. They have supported me in any decision I made and at every step that I took in life. This support makes you stronger, in terms of feeling supported and knowing you are loved. They always told me that they trust my judgment in any decision I make, and that they stand behind my choices, no matter what. Because of this, I was able to pursue my dreams and take advantage of every opportunity that has come my way.

I would also like to highlight another individual who has been an inspiration for myself and many women in Turkey: Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey and one of the greatest men of the 20th century. Ataturk’s leadership was a source of inspiration to Turkish women; his reforms empowered women in Turkey and included the introduction of modern education, co-education for boys and girls, and equal rights for women. I appreciate his faith in the vital importance of women in society and the fact that he encouraged us to make the difference in the world.

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Be good and do good! The total package of finding something that makes you happy and making it into a great career comes together when you have three things: hard work, a good heart and faith. Good luck!

List one single word that has had a lasting impact on your life or career, or that is a focus word of yours at this time.
Good.

Provide a brief explanation for your word above, if you’d like!
Be good, do good.

Pippa Burridge, Managing Director – Operations
London, United Kingdom

#IWD2019

Who inspires you?
I am hugely inspired by people from all walks of life, especially those who, when they see something wrong, do something about it, those individuals who show immense courage and bravery and often every-day people who are doing remarkable things. Three people that particularly stand out for me, whom I find hugely inspirational are:

Malala Yousafzai – In retaliation for her high-profile campaign for education and criticism of the Taliban, she was shot in the head at close range by a Taliban gunman. She survived the gunshot wound and has become a leading spokesperson for human rights, education and women’s rights. She has received numerous peace awards and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.

David Nott – a volunteer surgeon working in disaster and war zones. He has helped vulnerable people in some of the most dangerous and disadvantaged places in the world, often operating with minimal surgical equipment and basic facilities.

Baroness Hale of Richmond – the current President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and the first family lawyer to fill the post. She has campaigned for greater judicial diversity in the UK and her judgments have changed family and equality law in the UK She is outspoken about domestic violence, women in prison, and the rights of children.

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Be yourself. Focus on how you use your time and energy and don’t get distracted. Tenacity, resilience, and enthusiasm are key. Bring solutions, not problems. Encourage other women. As Madeleine Albright said, “there is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”

List one single word that has had a lasting impact on your life or career, or that is a focus word of yours at this time.
Smile.

Provide a brief explanation for your word above, if you’d like!
A smile goes a long way!

Roz Thomas, CEO, South Africa
Johannesburg, South Africa

#IWD2019

Who inspires you?
Christiane Amanpour

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Know your self-worth. Care little for what others think of you for all that matters is that you take leaps of faith and act boldly, while behaving with integrity and a good dose of humility.

List one single word that has had a lasting impact on your life or career, or that is a focus word of yours at this time.
Thrive.

Sam, Global Chief Business Development Officer
Global Citizen

#IWD2019

Who inspires you?
My mother. She ran her own business (with my Dad). She was a guiding mother who was always there for me yet was brave enough to let me create my own path (even when that scared her). She also still holds my toes to the fire if she sees I am not being true to the person I really am. I do blame her for my hatred of peas though. If you follow her on Twitter you will get a lot of Arsenal Football Club news so be warned … @2carolclark. I also LOVE Katherine Hepburn’s quote – it pretty much sums me up: “If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun.”

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
At 20 I was living in another country, traveling around Europe in my beat-up old car with my other student friends, thinking the world was my oyster. Whilst I have two children now, and whilst my car is definitely upgraded, and I eat better food, I am not sure my ethos has changed much: I believe we ask for permission too much and if the worst that can happen isn’t that bad, then just do it!

Oh, and focus on just being good at what you do, and who you are.

List one single word that has had a lasting impact on your life or career, or that is a focus word of yours at this time.
RESILIENCE.

Provide a brief explanation for your word above, if you’d like!
Life is a challenge, or more truthfully, a never-ending series of challenges, so decide the battles you are going to fight and those that you aren’t, know what is important to you, know what doing right by yourself is, and then carve your path and forge AHEAD. Don’t overthink it, just do it. Whatever ‘it’ is right for you.

Shelcie Kalinowski, Principal/US Communications Manager
Costa Mesa, CA

#IWD2019

Who inspires you?
There are so many people that have inspired me throughout different periods in my life. One source of inspiration that has always remained constant is my mother. She challenged me to always do/be better even when I thought I had already done my best. She taught me humility and is the first person I call whenever I am faced with a problem. She’s fair and compassionate yet fierce and hard-working and is the most kind-hearted human being I have ever met.

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Probably two things – Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Your journey in your career and life will be unique to you and while it may seem like others are getting more opportunities, accolades or recognition, your time will come.

It’s okay to make mistakes – don’t be paralyzed by your fear of acting. No matter how experienced we are, everyone makes mistakes. As long as you approach everything in life with integrity and you’ve put the time in to learn, people will understand your intentions whether or not you’ve given the right answer.

List one single word that has had a lasting impact on your life or career, or that is a focus word of yours at this time.
Integrity.

Provide a brief explanation for your word above, if you’d like!
One of the life lessons I was taught very early on from my parents is that your integrity is one of the few things in life you have control over. If you operate in life by being honest, sincere, trustworthy and stable, you will always be respected. When you prioritize integrity, you will always do what’s best for your team, your clients, your colleagues, and your friends and family, which will build you up as someone everyone values and respects.

Sonali Das, Executive Director
Nairobi, Kenya

#IWD2019

 

Who inspires you?
I don’t need to look outside for inspiration, I come from a household of strong independent women – my mum and two elder sisters— they have always inspired me and continue to motivate me by their dedication and honesty towards their profession and home.

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Focus and trust your judgement. Remember to have fun along the way!

List one single word that has had a lasting impact on your life or career, or that is a focus word of yours at this time.
Learn

Provide a brief explanation for your word above, if you’d like!
I believe that one should never become stagnant in life— keep developing. Whether it’s in your career or your personal life. Till the time you are learning you are growing. Be hungry to learn.

Tania Atallah, Regional Director, Training+Government Affairs
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

#IWD2019

Who inspires you?
I have great respect to women who “use their pain to break the shell” like Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) and Malala Yousafzai (@Malala).

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
The only change that you want to make in life, is to change your own self for the better.

List one single word that has had a lasting impact on your life or career, or that is a focus word of yours at this time.
Inspire.

Provide a brief explanation for your word above, if you’d like!
Inspire people to find their better selves.

Tokunboh George-Taylor, Managing Director
Lagos, Nigeria

#IWD2019

Who inspires you?
Firstly, my mum has really inspired my life.  I am also inspired by other women both locally and internationally that have been very successful in their careers and motherhood.  Lastly, I am inspired by the opportunity that God has given me which keeps me going!

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Start saving early.

List one single word that has had a lasting impact on your life or career, or that is a focus word of yours at this time.
Assiduous.

Provide a brief explanation for your word above, if you’d like!
I never give up on anything in life. I always persevere.

Ulla Herlt, Director, Corporate & Public Affairs
Berlin, Germany

#IWD2019

Who inspires you?
During my studies, I devoured Virginia Woolf’s novels and in many of my papers, I examined her personality and the conditions that shaped it. Since then, she has been a “lighthouse” for me – a vulnerable yet at the same time strong person who stood up for the rights of women (including the right to have a fulfilling job!) – not only in pamphlets, but through creating wonderful characters and expressive language.

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Embrace challenges. Stop pondering. Face problems if and when they occur – not beforehand. There will always be a solution.

List one single word that has had a lasting impact on your life or career, or that is a focus word of yours at this time.
Empathy.

Provide a brief explanation for your word above, if you’d like!
In my experience, empathy – paired with a vivid mind – is key to understanding clients, colleagues, friends. Being empathetic helps me build trustful relationships and find mutually beneficial solutions to any problem.

Yianna Daklaras, Consultant
Montreal, Canada

Who inspires you?
Mel Robbins (@melrobbins).

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Speak up and grab every opportunity you can.

List one single word that has had a lasting impact on your life or career, or that is a focus word of yours at this time.
Integrity.

Provide a brief explanation for your word above, if you’d like!
Always be true to who you are. Integrity will provide you with so many positive returns in all aspects of your life.

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