Women We Admire is a community filled with incredible women leaders and professionals who have all found success in their respective fields. Many of them are also amazing working mothers who have shown that motherhood is not a barrier to professional growth, but rather a strength and motivating force behind their success. Each member of our community brings a unique perspective and expertise to the table, and we are proud to showcase their accomplishments. In this year's Mother's Day Campaign, we will hear from our members about what they find to be the most rewarding part of being a working mother.

Talyn Guercio
Chief Operating Officer and Partner, SGP Advisors
Industry: Financial Services

“The impact my efforts have on my children. They are old enough to see the dedication I have to our clients, my staff and being successful. It is rewarding to see that I am setting a positive example for their future success.”

Jessica Reeves
Director of Public Engagement, SBA
Industry: Government

“Knowing I’m setting an example for my two daughters, prioritizing family, serving our country as a political appointee, and making a difference for small businesses across the country who are the backbone of our economy.

The last few years have proven how important having good support systems at home can be, and I’m grateful to have a partner and help that allows me to do what I love and support my family at home.”

Laurie Lyons
VP Business Development, Pegasus Residential
Industry: Financial Services

“Inspiration to my daughter that girls can do anything they want and still be good at their top job being a mom. Finding balance and making it happen so you have work and family success.”

Wendy York
Dean, Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business, Clemson University
Industry: Education

“Being encouragement for the next generation of women leaders. I have four daughters which includes a set of triplets I just put single-handedly through college. In addition, I have the privilege to be a mom-figure for many female students in my college.”

Radhika Krishnan
General Manager, Amazon Web Services
Industry: Technology

“Loving what I do and showing my daughter that it is entirely feasible to balance family life and a stimulating career. Being a working mom is a constant balancing act. Be kind to those around but most of all, to yourself.”

Kimberly Ford
SVP, Head of Government Relations, Fiserv
Industry: Financial Services

“Several generations of women helped pave the way for women like me to feel like I didn’t have to choose between a career and motherhood. While I ultimately chose not to birth any children, I helped raise two incredible stepkids, and I took a lot of pride in being able to contribute materially to their quality of life by getting up and going to work every day. They saw me on days when I was thrilled with my achievements and days when I felt like I might buckle under all the pressure, and I think it taught them early on that the ups and downs of life are part of the journey and to not fear what could be seen as setbacks. But more than anything, and I truly believe this, I think I helped instill a sense of optimism in them that with the right mindset and attitude and work ethic, nothing in terms of their career and success would necessarily be out of reach.

As I mentioned, I’m a stepmother. Step parents occupy such a unique role in a family - they may be part authority figure and part friend/confidante, and possibly even part mediator, depending on the relationship the kids have with their biological parents. There aren’t that many positive stepparent role models out there; in fact, most of the constructs in movies and media still liken stepmothers, in particular, as evil, or at least mean and petty. I tried really hard to make sure that stereotype didn’t apply to our lives and my role as stepmother. In fact, my stepkids’ mother and I decided early on to be proactive in creating a relationship so that the kids would have a positive environment and not feel they were being asked to choose sides. Over the years of joint birthdays and holidays, their mom’s and my co-parenting efforts transformed into being strong allies and ultimately very close friends. I’m so proud of our efforts to approach parenting in that way, and I know my stepkids are more well-adjusted and happier because of our approach as well.”

Sandy Carter
COO, Unstoppable Domains
Industry: Technology

“As a successful working mom, I believe it's important to instill in our children the value of pursuing their passions and following their dreams. It's a privilege to be able to do what we love and make a difference in the world. By showing my kids through my own example, I want them to see that anything is possible and they should never let fear hold them back. Sharing my successes and failures with them, and telling stories of perseverance and growth, is how I hope to inspire them to always go after what they want. It fills me with pride to know that I'm not just creating a successful career for myself, but also raising confident and driven daughters who will make their own mark on the world.”

Ashleigh Anderson
VP and Head of Global Talent, Credit Karma
Industry: Technology

“I became a single mom 15 years ago when my children were just four and under two years old. My path has not been an easy one but it has been incredibly rewarding to raise two kids who see that a woman can have a successful career despite adversity. Both of my kids know that my success was born out of the fear that I wouldn’t be able to provide for them the way my parents did for me. They watched me work extra hard to keep up with work peers who didn’t have kids or who had partners to help shoulder the load of raising a family. My kids now see that hard work and perseverance pays off and that is the most rewarding part of being a working mom.”

Chelsie Lee
Founder & CEO, Calmaitry
Industry: Technology, Entrepreneurship

“The inspiration and motivation to be a positive role model.”

Sandra Lee
CEO, ES Advertising
Industry: Professional Services, Advertising & Marketing

“My 7 year old daughter is always being supportive of my work demands, travels yet being proud of her mom all the time. Communicating to my daughter on a daily basis how my work schedule is for the day in the morning and talking about how the day was in the evening has helped her understand and be supportive of a busy working mom.”

Tracee Seals
100 BMOH Executive Director, 100 Black Men Metropolitan Houston Chapter
Industry: Entrepreneurship, Education, Leadership

“Providing an example to my kids of what hard work, determination, and perseverance looks like for a woman of color. Especially a woman of color that works in a male dominant field. For all the moms out there, we are no longer in an era where we can not have it all. We live in an era where we can have a family, a career, and travel excursions with our girlfriends. Live out your dreams, boldly and loud! That's the best form of mental health support that we can provide for ourselves outside of therapy.”

Kristina Kennedy
Co-Founder and COO, Kickstand
Industry: Technology

“Making the workplace better for the next generation of parents is the highlight of my role. Really, it's the highlight of my whole career. Having children continues to be the leading reason women drop out of the workforce. Through personal experience and our work at Kickstand, we have the ability to strengthen this conversation and create meaningful change.”

Dr. Rochelle Bailey Price
VP of Shared Services, Miller Electric Company
Industry: Construction-Electrical Contractor

“Being a great example for my daughter. I love showing her how she should focus on living out her dreams and being her authentic self while not sacrificing a husband/wife, the house, the dog/cat, and even a child if that's her choice. She really can do anything as long as she is intentional with her decisions and puts herself first.”

Marie Hattar
SVP and Chief Marketing Officer, Keysight
Industry: Technology

“Learning as much from my children as I teach them. And hopefully, modeling for them leadership principles and practices that they can use both personally and professionally.”

Stacy Benaderet
VP Special Events, AEG Presents
Industry: Special Events Sales & Marketing

“Watching my children grow to respect and learn work ethic, loyalty and dedication. I thought the National Special Events Department was my true first baby and have now come to realize that working full time as a single mom through a pandemic with 2 small children and coming out alive and still striving is the real miracle of life. Never feel too comfortable or think you’ve got it all down, there is always room to grow and succeed.”

Patricia MacRae
Vice President, Government Markets Administration, Point32Health.org
Industry: Healthcare

“Seeing my children grow into successful young professionals and knowing that I have set a good example for them!

You really can be successful personally (wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend) and professionally! And, I am proud to be among an amazing group of esteemed female professionals who are doing great things every day!”

Dr. Susan Schayes
Chief Transformation Officer, ChenMed
Industry: Healthcare

“The most rewarding aspect of being a successful working mother is being a role model, mentor, coach, and transformational leader to my daughter and girls and women of all ages. I hope that I am inspiring the next generation to be servant leaders, to embrace traditionally male dominated fields and to be part of a movement of successful women, reaching for the c-suite and beyond. I hope that my daughter sees that a mission driven leader can also be a loving, caring, and supportive mother, wife, and daughter. I hope that I can help bridge diversity and inclusivity in the workplace, and in our society, through the pursuit of serving others, and through improving the human condition. I hope I can inspire others to join me in the journey of transformational healthcare change, leading by example through working with the poor, sick and neediest seniors, in the most underserved communities in the country.”

Heather Walker, Ph.D.
CEO & Creative Founder, Lead with Levity
Industry: Education

“As a mother, seeing my daughter get excited about her own entrepreneurial endeavors is one of the most rewarding aspects for me.”

Claudia Buchanan
Vice President of Operations, Tier One Aztec Property Services, LLC
Industry: Facility Services

“To be a role model for my children, show them that women can work both inside and outside the home, and influence gender equality in terms of professional opportunities and household responsibilities.

As my children are growing older, it is rewarding to hear them express pride and interest in my career.”

Alexandra Rosen
Senior Director, GoDaddy
Industry: Technology

“The most rewarding aspect for me is the gratitude that comes from the ability to do both, to pursue my passions and think creatively while driving impact through my work and then to be able to switch modes and make the life of my child better through time spent together and the resources I can offer. Each facet of my life makes me better in the other. I'm better at time-management, at boundary-setting, at giving my all in a focused way, and learning from each scenario a new approach for the other part of my life. I am grateful to have so much meaning and inspiration thanks to integrating work and motherhood.”

Shatica McDonald
Managing Director, Client Account Executive & NA Inclusion & Diversity Health/PS Lead, Accenture
Industry: Technology, Healthcare, Consulting

“Sharing this career journey with my son, allowing him to see firsthand what it really takes to be successful, both as a senior executive and as a mother. I do my best to live leadership transparently so as to not shield the costs (time away, missing events, long hours, challenges, setbacks, tough decisions, etc.) nor the benefits. Instead, my personal approach to managing my career while taking care of my son has been to treat him as my first stakeholder, bringing him along the journey as opposed to him just being on the receiving end of mom not being there. With this approach, my son is not only proud of me and what we’ve accomplished together but also sees (and rather enjoys) his ROI!

Success looks and feels different for each and every one of us and despite what some say, we can indeed have it all! Cheers to us!”

Jaya Vaidhyanathan
CEO, BCT Digital
Industry: Technology

“I am fortunate to provide a good lifestyle for my son, my family, and myself, giving me immense financial stability and independence. Having the right work-life balance can be challenging, but overcoming these challenges and trying to succeed at work and handling my family responsibilities brings a great sense of accomplishment and pride. With the right support system, prioritizing self-care and setting definite boundaries, the experience can be truly positive and empowering.

Apart from that, being in the workforce lets me have the opportunity to implement big ideas, network, and meet new people, often leading to new and challenging opportunities. Working mothers also provide unique perspectives and skills that are valuable in the workplace, like empathy, sensitivity, managing expectations, multitasking, and problem-solving.

I like that as a working mother, I inspire and serve as a positive example to my son and others, particularly girls who aspire to have a career and family. It gives me personal fulfilment as I contribute to society in my own way. By showing them that it's possible to have a successful career and a happy family life, we can help break down societal barriers and encourage future generations to pursue their dreams.”

Monique Rodriguez
Vice President, Government Affairs, Qualcomm
Industry: Technology

“One of the most rewarding aspects of being a working mom is showing my sons the multiple sides of me, mom, volunteer, friend, and executive. They have a first row seat to see me as in numerous roles and that they are all part of me.

All moms are working moms.”

Brooke DeWyze
COO, Moreton & Company
Industry: Insurance

“Balancing family and a career is not without its challenges. However, being able to provide a strong example of success for my children makes those challenges worth it. My children see not only the effort and hours I put into my work, they also see the fulfillment my career provides. They have learned that hard work and dedication lead to a life they can take pride in. Watching them apply that knowledge in their own lives is easily the most rewarding aspect of being a working mother.”

Mikisha Nation
Executive Director, Teach For America Twin Cities
Industry: Education

“Mom - the only job where you are constantly learning and growing. There is always something new to figure out and you can try again each day. It is so rewarding to know that my kids appreciate the work I do in the community to support and partner with students, teachers, and families.”

Elizabeth Kemp Caulder
Founder & Chief Brand Strategist, THE PHOENIX Lifestyle Marketing Group
Industry: Entrepreneurship

“There are so many rewarding aspects of being a successful working mother. I love the fact that I am able to give my sons the opportunity to be exposed to executive leadership from a powerful woman who just happens to be the very same person who picked them up, dusted them off and kissed their boo boos when they stumbled. I think it is incredibly valuable for them to be able to witness firsthand how hard work, determination and servant leadership pays off exponentially. We talk a lot about The Phoenix and they know the members of my company's ELT. I love the fact that they are learning valuable leadership lessons about how to truly empathize and the importance of putting people first. I am proud to know that they will grow to become men who are never surprised by the greatness that women can achieve. They will become men who know and expect women to be every bit as capable of being effective leaders, and will support women in leadership by treating their female colleagues as the equals that they are in business.”

Nicole R. Braley
Chief Marketing Officer, Inception Fertility
Industry: Healthcare, Fertility

“The most rewarding aspect of being a successful working mother is the example I set for my children. I am able to show them how to balance work and motherhood, which I think is an important life lesson that will serve them well as they navigate career and parenthood.

As an executive, I feel a strong sense of responsibility to pave the path for both men and women in the business world, particularly those who have ambition and tenacity, but who may need help creating a crack in the proverbial ceiling.”

Dr. Nika White
Founder, Nika White Consulting
Industry: Entrepreneurship

“Seeing my daughter aspire for more success than I have. Being able to model that I can be passionate about several different aspects of life, including work, shows her that women can indeed have it all. My daughter sees me being a mother, entrepreneur, team player, speaker, volunteer, and community leader. This shows her the strength of women and how to balance life passions to encourage a well-rounded life. I appreciate that I have started a business that I am passionate and proud of which isn’t the case for many women. My daughter sees that she can shoot for the stars and aspire to be anything she wants.

When my daughter completes her program at LSE she’s planning to work with me at Nika White Consulting. Working with my daughter is very important to me because she will learn how to run and grow a business and hopefully open one of her own. She will gain firsthand knowledge of how to develop and mentor employees while also learning how to manage financial goals. This should set her on a path for continued success. Mothers and daughters have a special bond, and I look forward to seeing our relationship grow and transition as she gets older.”

Sashalla Lemond
Managing Director - Diversity Equity & Inclusion, Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco
Industry: Financial Services

“The most rewarding aspect of being a successful working mother is being a role model for my son, other working mothers and women who are considering motherhood. Also, the ability to demonstrate strength, while wearing multiple hats, and building my dream that helps to build a future for my son.

Let’s talk about how awesome my fellow successful working mothers are. Being a working mom is no easy feat, as it requires balancing the demands of a career while caring for children and managing a household. While many factors contribute to success, one of the most important aspects is the ability to manage time effectively, which doesn’t mean we’re always perfect at it. This involves setting realistic goals, establishing a schedule, and delegating tasks when necessary. This also requires us to say “no” to non-essential activities or obligations to focus on the most critical tasks and family is always number one.”

Xochy Hurtado
Chief Operating Officer, Methodist Healthcare Ministries
Industry: Healthcare

“Showing my beautiful daughter's, and other young ladies, that you can do, and be, anything you set your mind to!

Stay true to yourself and follow your calling! Become who God created you to be and continue to be the best version of yourself you can be. There is only one you, so honor it and cherish it. Be proud of who you are and the experiences that have shaped you and the culture that defines you. Stand with confidence that you need not be like anyone else because you are your own trail blazer and world changer!”

Hetal Parikh
President & Co-Founder, Rangam
Industry: Staffing & Recruiting, Consulting, DE&I

“It’s unique to everyone. In my mind, the path to being a successful working mother is often fraught with roadblocks and detours that require frequent course corrections, analyses, and self-reflections. Sometimes what we get at the end may turn out to be different from what we set out to achieve in the beginning. However, the sum of all the hard work, sweat, and sacrifice is worth the result. In my case, it’s the journey that I enjoy and draw inspiration from.

As a mother and co-founder of a globally expanding business, I continue to learn a lot from this journey, especially when I see my kids happy and content with what they’ve accomplished and the dreams they have for their future. As a working mother, I had to set and reset my priorities many times when my kids were young. Now that they’ve grown up and started living independently, I can connect the dots and see how my life, career, and destiny were impacted by the decisions that I made and the paths that I took. Seeing our kids’ journey reminds me and Nish, my husband and co-founder of Rangam, of the progress that our organization has made over the years as we inch closer and closer to achieving our mission of ’Accelerating Meaningful Employment for Everyone.’”

Charlene DImas-Peinado
President & CEO, Wellnest Emotional Health & Wellness
Industry: Behavioral Health Care

“Being a successful working mother has been incredibly rewarding, both personally and professionally. It has provided me with a sense of purpose and accomplishment that has positively impacted myself and my family including financial stability and career satisfaction. I have served as a positive role model for my children, showing them the importance of higher education, hard work, dedication and giving back, making the world a better place.

Moreover, it has provided me with a greater sense of independence and accomplishment that has boosted my self-confidence and self-esteem. Being able to balance work and family life can be achieved which has provided me with a great sense of accomplishment, making me feel like I am capable of achieving success in multiple areas of my life while also fulfilling the responsibilities of being a nurturing and loving parent.

As a successful working mother I have been able to adapt to the challenges that come with balancing work and family life. I sought support when needed, whether it was my husband, family members, friends, or colleagues. I was never afraid to ask for help when necessary. Ultimately, being a successful working mother means finding a way to achieve success and satisfaction in both personal and professional areas of life, while still maintaining a healthy work-life balance and being present for one's family. Success is not always easy to achieve, and setbacks are common. Teaching my son and daughter the importance of resilience and how to bounce back from failures will help to develop the skills and qualities they will need to succeed in their own lives.”

Maura DeMouy
Assistant Dean for Experiential Education & Executive Director for RISE, Georgetown University of Law Center
Industry: Education

“Serving as an example for my sons, my colleagues and my students! The roles are mutually reinforcing. My work inspires me and makes me a better mother, and being a mother inspires me and makes me better at work.”

Sherika Ekpo
Human Resources Executive, SE Enterprises
Industry: Technology, Entrepreneurship

“My ability to serve as a role model for my children, showing them the importance of hard work, dedication, and time management. As a working mom, I juggle my time between being a c-suite executive, wife and mother to three beautiful children, and civic leader in the community. My hope is that these experiences will have a positive impact on my children’s career aspirations. Through my daily activity, my children can see the rewards of their mother's hard work and success, which will inspire them to pursue their own career and community aspirations.”

Tricia Brouwers
SVP & Area Manager, Wintrust Mortgage
Industry: Financial Services

“Modeling for my kids, who are now adulting that you don't have to sacrifice motherhood for a career or a career for motherhood. Living in the world of ‘and’ is possible when you learn it's about counterbalance, priority setting, and grace.”

Zemfira Khisaeva
Co-Founder and President, yWhales
Industry: Technology

“Being a role model for my son and being able to teach him the basics of business by example.”

Neetu Sangari
Advanced Data Science & Analytics, Director, Pfizer
Industry: Healthcare

“Discipline, humbleness, dedication, perseverance, and being fully supported to do my best to manage a career and raise my family successfully.

Lifelong learning sharpens my skill set and develops my professional abilities. Love and a positive attitude toward others assist me to do my job efficiently.”

Marjorie Briley
Vice President Business Development, Ascend Education
Industry: Education

“As a mother, I see firsthand friends and classmates of my children who have insecurities in school, particularly in mathematics. The struggle was only exacerbated by the pandemic and the long absences which led to unfinished learning. Our program, Ascend Math, is designed to quickly identify and fill in skill gaps in math to help eliminate additional anxiety on students who are already stressed out.
Our mission at Ascend Education is to help 10 million students graduate high school. Passing Algebra is crucial for students to stay in school and therefore an essential steppingstone to graduate.

I recognize that each student is an individual and I take pride in hearing about the positive impact Ascend Math has on students’ lives. I once heard from a teacher that a mother called him and said, ‘this is the first time my daughter has found success and confidence in any subject, and it is math!’ For all the students we serve, I know that there are mothers out there who also feel a similar positive impact. Often when I hear a story about making a difference in one student’s life, I share these rewarding stories with my sons.”

Meagan Edwards
Head of Schools, Yes Prep Public Schools
Industry: Education

“Watching your energy and effort poured into others manifest into greatness in action! Whether my children or colleagues, seeing the best in an individual and leveraging strengths while developing their gaps to produce a desired outcome is so rewarding. I approach life, both work and home, in hopes of leaving a legacy of persistence, purpose and joy. I have learned that balancing motherhood and success in your career is possible. Even on the hard days, finding silver linings along this journey keeps me motivated to continue excelling in my career and motherhood.”

Meghann Butcher
CEO and Founder, RepSpark Systems
Industry: Technology, Entrepreneurship

“I have three boys who are a ball of loud fun and excitement every day. I find it most rewarding for my boys to see diligence, hard work, and leadership with a strong dose of tenderness and motherly love. I love that they see me lead with both strength and compassion. It’s very important to me to also set an example to model a good balance of work and other life for my boys so they will respect all colleagues and leaders in the paths they choose.”

Izella Mitchell Dornell
Vice President and Executive Partner, Gartner
Industry: Technology

“Having the opportunity to be a positive role model for my children and others demonstrates that it is not impossible to balance one's professional and personal life, and that goals can be achieved regardless of one's diverse nature, especially as a woman of color in STEM. The bonus is seeing your children transition into adulthood with confidence determined to never quit pursuing their aspirations and embracing the no-limits mindset.”

Lisa Schaberg
Senior Director and Client Accountable Executive, Oracle Health
Industry: Technology, Healthcare

“It is most rewarding to be a role model for my daughters, showing that they are capable of achieving whatever they set their minds to and have unlimited career options in any field.”

Din Chaney
VP, Talent-as-a-Service, HireBetter
Industry: Professional Services

“It's incredibly rewarding to be able to inspire all my children on their path to success, especially my three daughters. Joining them on their adventure in life and watching them shine is priceless.”

Marija Zivanovic-Smith
Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, IEX
Industry: Technology, Financial Services

“Shaping the future for my daughters and the girls that come before and after them. Even 50 years ago, the workforce was not comprised of enough women, let alone in leadership roles, to make a huge impact on the technology, features, and the way things were done. Today, we are shaping how things can get done for future generations. It's exciting to have those conversations with my girls and hear their ideas for the future - they see themselves with completely different options than I felt I had. And it's because they see myself ,and working moms in our circle, as role models who are doing it. Let me also add, regardless of title, all working moms are successful when they are raising kind, empathetic, humans who will lead the future.”

Ingrid Myers
Global Director of DEI Business Enablement, Strategy, and Innovation, DocuSign
Industry: Technology

“Being able to see the results of my efforts show up in my daughter and how she thinks through making her own decisions. I discuss many of the choices that I have to make with her so she understands some things are not so easy and there are different outcomes. Preparing her for life is my most important job.

As a mom you will never get everything right. Our children will sometimes provide tough feedback for us that we should take to heart so we can be better. I've received plenty of feedback from my daughter.”

Nanea Marcial
Executive Vice President & Chief Business Officer, American Facilities Professionals, LLC
Industry: Facilities Management, Electric Vehicle Charger Management

“Achieving a c-level executive position as a single mother of two boys is something I’m truly proud of. Life has handed me incredibly intense challenges and I never let myself stay down. As the sole financial provider and protector of my boys, it has certainly not been easy doing it all alone. But being their mother and doing everything in my power to keep them safe, loved and protected is the magic that keeps me going and propels me to pursue excellence in life and in my career. My hope is to be a role model for them to never give up, no matter how hard life hits. We all have the power within to get ourselves back up, grow and achieve happiness and greatness. I channel this same strength as a CBO to create a culture of empowerment for our executive team and employees. When you embody and promote internal empowerment, your team will emulate this and rise to a standard of excellence where they feel valued, important, and worthy.”

Kathleen Schofield
Executive Director, NEFL Regional STEM2 Hub, Inc.
Industry: Education

“Setting an example for my children, especially for my daughter, that women are able to have an impactful career. I like to know that my work is making the region a better place for all children to have opportunities in STEM+CS that I did not have when I was a child.”

Claudia Ortega Hogue
Founder & CEO, Global Communities Houston, LLC
Industry: Non-profit

“Knowing that my kids know how to love unconditionally and make each moment count! All about quality time! I know they understand the importance of me being involved in the community and helping people. My hope is that they understand how important it is to make a difference in people's lives and to make this world a better place.

I am proud to be a mom of two teenagers. They give me energy and purpose!”

Stacey Johnston, MD, MHA, CHCIO
VP and Chief Application Officer, Baptist Health Jacksonville
Industry: Technology, Healthcare

“I feel that being a woman in a leadership position in healthcare shows my daughters that if they love what they do, are enthusiastic about life, pursue learning opportunities, and work hard, that the sky's the limit for them. I also want to show my young son that a working woman is someone to be loved and cherished so that he can do the same for the future women in his life.

For all of the younger moms out there: cherish these moments, take the extra snuggles, and love on your children.”

Charisse Richards
Chief Information Officer, Judicial Branch of Arizona in Maricopa County
Industry: Government

“Applying my parenting and leadership skills to ensure that my 10-year-old son and my team thrive. I have to be very creative, adaptive, and conscientious of his needs so he feels successful and motivated to navigate challenges, similar to how I manage my teams. Conversely, being a mother helps me better understand what the terms ‘always’ and ‘never’ mean when I hear them at work. It's also rewarding to celebrate small wins, professionally and personally, rather than waiting for the big transformational victories, often making success feel unattainable. In both cases, success is defined by narrative, expectations, and communication.

I'm an introvert, so the level of engagement it takes to be a successful working mother often drains me, so it's really important that I have quiet time to recharge.”

Lydia Flocchini
Chief Marketing Officer, SurePoint Technologies
Industry: Technology, Entrepreneurship, Legal Tech

“Being a leader by example for my daughter and demonstrating the many roles that a mother can wear from mother, to caregiver, to leader, to volunteer, to team parent, to mentor, community builder and more. This also includes being a vulnerable, empathetic and caring leader. I want my daughter to feel that it's okay to have different dimensions in life as a working mother and that growing is a constant journey. If I can model this for her, I know that she and the next generation of women leaders will be even more empowered to lead change and help all women rise to levels of leadership.

As a community, we need to take proactive steps to mentor, amplify and support our sisters. Mentorship has the power to change the trajectory of one's life.”

Chanda Smith Baker
Chief Impact Officer and SVP, the Minneapolis Foundation
Industry: Philanthropy

“Being able to share my career journey with my children. How they observe, question, approach and celebrate milestones in my life teach me so much and for that I am so grateful.

Being a working mother has allowed me to fulfill personal and professional dreams in this wonderful intersectional way that I could have never imagined when my children were younger.”

Michele Booth Cole
Executive Director, Safe Shores - The DC Children’s Advocacy Center
Industry: Child & Family Advocacy, Child Abuse Prevention

“The most rewarding aspect of being a mother who has always had to have paid work outside the home is the privilege of being able to have a full life of meaning, purpose, service, and joy and to offer that example to my daughters and other young women.

My daughters have been and continue to be my best teachers and my life’s greatest gifts!”

Jennifer Duffy
Attorney and Partner, Rimon Law
Industry: Law

“Showing my children that they can be successful, too.”

Sarah Chavarria
President, Delta Dental of California and Affiliates
Industry: Healthcare

“My two big inspirations and role models when I was growing up were my grandmother, a librarian, and her sister, a teacher. They taught me to be independent and modeled for me what it meant to have a career that you truly care about. I learned so much from them, and the other female mentors in my life, on how to face and overcome my own professional challenges. Being able to pass those lessons down to my children has been one of the most rewarding aspects of being a working mother. Now that my children are beginning their own careers, seeing them pursue what they are passionate about and excel in their jobs makes me extremely proud. I have loved being able to share with them the pearls of wisdom I’ve learned throughout my career - from the power of storytelling and the importance of being prepared, to the willingness to learn and lean on your team when you’re unsure of the answer. Watching them build skills and resilience, and ultimately flourish, has been such a gift and has made all the long hours at the office worth it.

I have always been passionate about gender equality, and one of the things I am most proud of as President of Delta Dental of California is that women employees account for over 68% of our workforce, with many holding key leadership roles. This is nearly double the benchmark for the healthcare industry.
This passion extends to my family. I am so proud to have raised daughters who are intelligent, independent and strong. But it has meant just as much to me to raise a son who is the same. In order to close the gender gap, we must teach our children, girls and boys, the importance of equality and to treat everyone with respect, not just those who look and think like we do. I have long believed that leadership has no gender and I’m so proud to have children who believe in and will fight for the same.”

Elizabeth Calzadilla
Founder, Business 411
Industry: Entrepreneurship

“Building a legacy for my son, something that is mainly a male focus in the business world. I take pride in being a woman who is leaving behind a legacy for my current and future children.

Becoming a single mom and starting a business was the best decision I could have ever made. It gave me the freedom and motivation to conquer everything I had ever dreamed of. In less then 3 years I built a multi-million dollar business management agency in a male dominated industry while still being a mom to a 3 year old. Now he is 6. That experience taught me more than I could have ever dreamed of and my biggest lesson is - the risks we take mould us into being better humans, as mothers we are at times more scared to take risks but the rewards are on that other side of fear. Instead of thinking we are just moms, we should think we are mothers who lead our families, our lives, and others! Our potential is endless.”

Annalisa Esposito Bluhm
Vice President and CEO, Northrop Grumman
Industry: Technology, Aerospace and Defense

“My family and community. As a single mom to two younger kids and an executive, I prioritize family time. This also gives space for my colleagues and team members to do the same. Being fully present, in work and at home, is a gift - one which requires balance and boundaries. Becoming a mom helped me prioritize what's most important and bring focus and clarity to my work, and personal life. Living with purpose, giving my best to my family, myself, and my profession took time to cultivate. I'm grateful to have friends, family and loved ones who support me and my children, including my own incredible mom who demonstrated it's possible to thrive as a working mother.

Honoring those who mother, through childbirth or caregiving, is noble. It also requires us to look critically at the state of motherhood in the United States. More women than ever are exiting the workforce due to the demands of child/elder care and the reality that moms of every background are not at pay equity. Moving America forward through technology, innovation and R&D requires female leadership. Women who choose to work must be compensated and supported. Our nation's economic and social future depends on moms in the workforce.”

Daniela Fonseca Puggina
Principal and Shareholder, Baker & McKenzie LLP
Industry: Legal Services

“Learning a few lessons such as what unconditional love really means, that motherhood affords us a better perspective of life and transforms us into better professionals. That my three children are proud of their mother and that my three children have a clear understanding that pursuing a career in an area that they love and that affords them financial independence can be extremely satisfying.”