#LeadLikeHer: Celebrating the Women Leaders of Today (and Tomorrow)

#LeadLikeHer: Celebrating the Women Leaders of Today (and Tomorrow)

By: Katie Brubaker

It was another school snow day and my eight-year-old daughter and two neighborhood friends were running around the house. I watched them zip from basketball, to baking, to writing, directing, and then starring in their own play.


They performed the play while the brownies were baking, and after trying the brownies and announcing them to be a tremendous failure (an accurate assessment), the girls sold the undercooked failures to the neighborhood boys at a profit.

Another day of playing and entrepreneurship in the books.

That night, my daughter quietly came to me and asked, “Mom, are my legs fat?” She searched my face for reassurance. My heart broke for her; it’s not easy being a girl. We’re often absorbing conflicting messages about who we should be, or who we should aspire to be. One moment we’re designing our destiny—turning a failure into a profit—and the next moment our insecurities creep back up, threatening to undo the day we’ve just conquered. 

I recognize that I was lucky. I was born into a family who set up a college fund for me at birth. College was assumed and planned for, and it was never a question in my mind that I’d acquire a post-secondary education. I’ve always enjoyed learning and ended up continuing through to a doctorate.

I didn’t take advantage of this opportunity as a means to a dream job; I did it as a means to have more options. You see, women in leadership are often dealing with layered decision making, meaning we're not simply taking the next linear step up the career ladder.

My dream job, for example, is one that I’m fulfilled in, can pay the bills with, and still be home by 3:00 pm when the kids get home from school.

Leadership looks different for all of us.

Look around you. Who inspires you to lead well at home? Who inspires you to take that next step in your career or go after the thing you’ve always wanted to try? Who do you look at and simply think, “Wow, she’s brave”?

This month at Treetops Collective, we're highlighting these remarkable women leaders.

In honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day on March 8, we’re lifting up the voices of women who are leading in their own way—in their communities, at work, and beyond.

Why? Because we need examples to look to—to affirm that we too have leadership abilities, endless potential, and unique gifts to offer. We need empowering models for the next generation, for girls like my daughter, to look up to.

I smiled knowingly at my daughter’s searching eyes and said, “You are beautiful. Don’t worry about being skinny, short, tall, fat, dark or light. I want you to aim for strong. And baby, strong looks a whole lotta different ways.”

So, tell us about a woman who inspires you to lead well in one of your many spheres of life. Give her a shout out on social media—using the hashtag #LeadLikeHer—and follow along on Instagram and Facebook as we highlight other amazing women leaders (like Florence, Sylvia, and Sara) this month!

Here’s to the strong women who inspire us today, and to the emerging women leaders of tomorrow. May we, together, create a world where all women and girls have the opportunity to live into their fullest potential.