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Celebrating Women with Stories of Inspiration

By: United Way Bay Area's Women United
April 15, 2021

Women’s History Month promotes women’s equality and solutions for more gender balance in all aspects of society. By taking actions, asking questions, having conversations, challenging habits, rewriting laws, and inspiring others, we strive for a world that supports women and treats them equitably. In honor of this year’s Choose to Challenge theme, United Way Bay Area's  Women United is celebrating women that have inspired us to challenge our own beliefs and actions. We’ve asked Bay Area residents to submit stories of a woman that has made an impact on their lives either personally or professionally. We hope these stories will spark more inspiration to reach for gender equality.

How has a female mentor opened doors for you professionally or personally?

“A former boss told me to ask for forgiveness not permission, to compensate for my unease at suggesting ideas. I've heard men use that phrase to each other to bring each other up the ranks. I embraced my creativity and rose up the ranks with the backing of my female boss.”

“My mentor helped me get through a number of challenging situations I was facing as a manager. She shared her experiences with me and helped me by role playing what I could say.”

“[My mentor] brought me with her to her new job and got me to expand my horizons and comfort zone.”

“[My mentors] have shown me through their experience, strength, and hope that I can be my authentic self and not be afraid to exist while struggling to do that.”

“One of my early bosses told me to stay true to myself and keep having integrity to do a good job – that it would be noticed and rewarded eventually. That word integrity stuck with me. At the time, I felt that there was nowhere else to go and was restless and probably a little crabby. Soon a job opened, and I was rewarded for my performance...and well, I still love this job!”