March is Women’s History Month, and there is so much to celebrate: historical figures and artists, activists and business leaders. And while we may look to the history books with fascination and awe, it’s often the people we’re closest to that inspire us most. We’ve asked our Women’s Leadership Network, an internal group dedicated to empowering the women of Motus, to share some of the women they’ve looked up to as leaders, mentors, trailblazers and for inspiration. Here are just a few of them.
There are many amazing women in the world, but the woman I look up to most is my mom. Her bravery, strength and humility never cease to amaze me. She is constantly looking on the bright side of things and always has a listening ear. She raised me to be an independent thinker and to face the world head on. The particular reasons she is a role model are personal. She raised four children as a single-mother. She always worked hard so we had the best life she could afford. She embraced grandma duties in her mid-30s. She lost her oldest child and father within months of each other. Everyone’s life has its hardships, but my mom always faces hers bravely. There is never a complaint, just a can-do attitude, a hopeful look to what’s next and moments of reflection on the good things in life.
-Aerica Lovett, Graphic Designer
There are so many reasons I look to Lauren as inspiration. My “girl crush” on her started my first week back at work after my 12 weeks of maternity leave was up. Another working mom recommended her book, “The Fifth Trimester,” to me. As I read through almost three months of emails, I also started listening to her book on Audible. Every emotion I was feeling as a new mom heading back to work was so perfectly described that I found myself laughing and crying and nodding through the whole thing. Her tips and tricks really got me through those first weeks back to work and I am so thankful I found her. But Lauren has not stopped with her book. She continues to advocate for working moms (and parents) in everything she does.
While helping new moms figure out how to function with the current state of parental leave, her book and Instagram also provide tips and tricks for us to make our companies better to all parents from the inside out. When the pandemic started, we all found the lines between personal and work even more blurred. Her continued advocacy for working parents even in our “new normal” inspired me to be brave in saying what I needed to be able to survive suddenly being a fulltime parent and fulltime employee. In her book she talks about how we are helping to shape the culture of our company for the parents that follow us. That really stuck with me and has inspired me to advocate for (and be a resource to) other new moms in our organization.
Lauren is also passionately advocating to our government that we need better parental leave as the standard. She continues to share resources, reach out to government officials, and do interviews to help push for the parental leave that matches the rest of the developed world. I know I am a better working mom because of her virtual presence in my life.
-Laura Weiler, Operations Analyst
The first person that comes to mind is my mom. She exemplifies our core values of Brave, Curious and Exceptional. I have always known that my mom was a brave and exceptional woman. This past year I witnessed this in action. With 30 some years in the nursing field, she always put everyone else first: her patients, her co-workers and her family. When she was diagnosed with cancer, it became her turn to be taken care of. As I took her to appointments at her place of work, I was touched to see her co-workers and the staff jump in to take care of her, just as she had done for others for so many years. This was a true reflection of how exceptional my mom was at her job and the impact she had made on others. She has taught us many lessons in life with one of the biggest ones, treat others how you want to be treated.
-Rachelle Case, Senior Director of Operations
The strength of any woman is inspiring in itself, but I have to say that there is no doubt that the woman who has had the biggest impact on my life is my mom. It may be cliché, but if you knew her, I think you would understand. Margaret DeCamp was an educator her whole life, eventually working with special needs children through the last 20 years of her career. But to me, she was so much more. My mom was kind, patient, understanding and supportive. She taught me how to work hard and stand up for myself, how to listen and take time to enjoy what I do, to be proud and confident in who I am, how to take anything that came my way and handle it with grace and determination. There was no problem too big to solve, no obstacle too challenging for teamwork. She always had a positive attitude and was willing to help anyone with anything. My mom lost her battle with cancer a few years ago, but continues to inspire me to be a better person. I often hear her voice saying, “you can do it”; “if you fail, learn from it and try again”; “never give up”; “it is ok to ask for help”; “it takes a village”; “be kind to others.” As a mentor, she definitely led by example and gave me the strength to be the woman I am today.
-Nancy Gillis, Member Services Associate
Two women profoundly inspired me. The first is my grandmother, Ruth. She was left hand dominant. When she started school, they tied her hand behind her back and she was forbidden to use it. Her stories made me more empathetic, less judgmental, more inclusive. Her highest compliment was “that’s different.” She gave me my first lessons about why it is important to celebrate people who are different from me.
The second is my mother, Lois. She loved the theatre. She also loved children. In partnership with a local Optimist Club, she started a children’s theatre troop at age 56. She proceeded to volunteer and co-direct 28 annual children’s theatre productions, with casts sometimes including as many as 50 children. She understood that every kid had different gifts and she found a way to accentuate them. She was my first mentor on growing talent. I also love the example she set in her 50’s. It is never too late to follow your dreams.
-Heidi Skatrud, Senior VP of Product Management