My paternal grandmother - Alicia Abdala. She's unparalleled in her ability to tap into what she wants and turning that into reality. Born in a destitute Lebanese family in Mexico City, she started working as a clerk at 14, got herself into college, and became a consulate for Mexico in San Diego. As the youngest daughter among 14 children in a Lebanese family, the expectation was that she stay at home to take care of her parents in their old age. But Aliz had much bigger plans for her future and that of her children, and grand-children.
- Misha Talavera, COO/Co-Founder, NeoReach
Besides my mom, I really love Oprah Winfrey, because who doesn't love Oprah?!
- Amy Lee, Influencer/Content Creator, Vagabond Youth
My mother is extremely hard working and kind, and humble. She became a doctor twice - the first time a physician in Ukraine, and later a dentist after moving to America. All this, while raising three kids and acclimating to a new culture and way of life in San Francisco.
- Josh Berd, DDS, Founder, The Dentist Group
I can’t pick just one! I can barely pick two. But those two would be Sheryl Sandberg and Amy Poehler. Sheryl because she taught me how much gender bias is outside of our control, but more importantly how much is entirely within our control. We unnecessarily limit ourselves so much, and often women around us by accident. She shares how to break this cycle and stop holding ourselves back. And Amy Poehler because she doesn't apologize for being a privileged, middle-class woman, and instead owns her power and opportunities and insecurities and fears, and is a badass, inspiring, hilarious, and ridiculous woman. Like I aspire to be.
- Rebecca Brian Pan, CEO/Founder, Covo
I admire many women. I really respect the work, philanthropic efforts and philosophies of Emma Watson, Shakira, Serena Williams, Rihanna, Michelle Obama, etc. What I like about these females is that they not only excel in the fields that made them famous but they also have a much broader view on issues that affect the population at large. I encourage anyone reading this to look up the work of the women I listed and study what they are doing best!
- Alejandro Rioja, CEO/Founder, Flux Ventures
Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook. She is the definition of a role model, a leader, and overcomer of difficulties. To see her resilience with respect to the death of her husband, and how she is still on a mission to empower young girls and leaders in our future community, is truly inspiring.
- Austin Vaday, CTO, Aquaint
My mom, that's easy. She is the Vice President of a Fortune 500 Company and is the example of someone who has just done everything right. Michelle Obama is my second, I respect how she carried herself in the public eye, and she was an outstanding First Lady. She made an impact with her position and actually worked to make the country a better place, all while exemplifying what it means to be a good person.
- Kevin McReynolds, CEO/Founder McReynolds Enterprises
Chelsea Handler (that's probably controversial for some people lol). She is unapolagetically herself, says what's on her mind, and embraces her imperfections - something I aspire to be able to be like one day. And I think she's one of the funniest people on this planet.
- Olivia Davis, Founder, Olivia Davis Make-Up Artist
My mom. There is no struggle too large for her. No matter the challenge, large or small, she rolls up her sleeves to accomplish what is needed. I know of no one stronger.
- DeAnne Steele, CFA, CAIA, Managing Director & Investment Executive - Western United States, U.S. Trust
My mother. She raised five boys and by all social metrics did an amazing job. She was incredibly strong and supportive. She also reads more books than anyone I’ve ever met. She’s a wizard of modern literature, a wordsmith if I’ve ever known one, and embodies every quality a son could imagine in a great mom. (Love you mom!).
- Steve O'Dell, CEO/Co-Founder, Tenzo Tea
Honestly our most inspirational female role models are the women that are closest to us in our lives. They’re our best friends, our mothers, our mentors. They’re all incredibly different, but very much the same -- they’re strong, driven, and independent and continue to inspire us.
- Lindsey Pallares & Vivian Nguyen, Co-Founders, Throw Like a GRL
I loved Lucille Ball. As an entrepreneur, as an entertainer, as a female innovator. I have read so many of her biographies and studied her work as a mogul in the entertainment business. Plus, a few episodes of I Love Lucy are always good for the soul.
-Vanessa Van Edwards, Lead Investigator, Science of People
I don’t have one in particular. But my ideal female role model is any woman that uses their entertainment platform to advocate and fight for something they truly believe in. Demi Lovato for mental health. Angelina Jolie for refugee rights and child immigration. Jane Fonda for reproductive health. Hollywood artists have little incentive to give their time and money away to something that doesn’t affect them-it is a superficial industry. But these women are giving away substantial dollar amounts where they can actually tip issues and actually make a change, and offer their brand to it to inspire others who consider them role models to invest in important issues as well. I hope that I can achieve something similar- create a platform that reaches enough people and do something meaningful with it.
- Yasmeen Al-Mazeedi, Musician