Happy International Women’s Day!
The future is female. Our very DNA at Sassy Mama is all about supporting and empowering women. From the stay-at-home mum to the working one, to the mama of grown children and the one in the early newborn days and to the mama who’s trying to balance it all. We celebrate every kind of woman and today we’re taking time to pay tribute to the ones we admire and aspire to be like.
This year, we’ve chosen nine women from all the world with a variety of backgrounds to highlight and celebrate. In one way or another they have set an example and extended a hand to fellow women and men to reach higher heights. In short, they are all #goals. Whether through laughter, progressive reform, honest real talk or breaking the glass ceiling these women represent all of us. Here’s to women who are keeping it real, pushing boundaries and making a difference… may we know them, may we be them and may we raise them.
Turn up the tunes, click through our slideshow and give a fellow female a hug and high five today.
Shaneli, Digital Editor:
The most bad-ass woman on Twitter, she lives her life sticking it to “the man” and to her haters and trolls as well. A mama to darling Luna (and wifey to John Legend… swoon!), she does motherhood on her own terms, which is how it’s supposed to be done! I love how she’s got a sassy response to anyone who criticises her ability to parent, from how she holds her bub to whether or not she changes her kiddo’s nappy. And can we talk about how she took a nap at the Oscars this year? She is every mama who has a toddler at home and is out past regular bedtime. Chrissy Teigen is officially my hero!
Katie Lavin, Managing Director:
At number seven on Forbes list of the most powerful women in the world (she is also a billionaire), it would be easy for Sheryl Sandberg to focus exclusively on her own work and ambitions. What makes her stand out is her dedication to helping other women achieve their own successes. Her famous TED talk, her book, and her foundation all encourage women to “lean in”. In the wake of her husband’s sudden death, Sandberg has expanded her scope to create a new project called “Plan B” to give people the support and tools build resilience in the face adversity. Her commencement speech at UC Berkley gives a moving peek into how she ended up with her own Plan B life and the support she received. I admire Sandberg’s commitment to pulling up other women and creating communities that allow women everywhere to do the same.
Kat, Sassy Mama Editor:
Born and raised in Hong Kong, Patricia Ho is a human rights lawyer that specialises in refugee, human trafficking, immigration, constitutional and family law. Recently, she was featured on CNN’s Freedom Project and her expertise and knowledge is often reported on by SCMP.
As a defender and representative of people in minority groups, she challenges the government to change its policies and law in judicial reviews that reflects just rights for the most vulnerable. Patricia also provides pro bono legal advice to local NGOs and churches in Hong Kong as part of her advocacy work.
Read more: Sassy Mama Supports: Stop Trafficking of People (STOP)
Her commitment and passion for ending the cycle of human trafficking, involvement in humanitarian work across Asia and changing the conversation about basic human rights in Hong Kong makes her a modern day super hero (and mama to two!) in my eyes.
Surmayee, Partnerships Manager:
Ann and Amina are the hilarious and badass women behind the podcast Call Your Girlfriend, and honestly there’s nothing I want more than to be best friends with them. Both are strong, respected and accomplished women in journalism and tech (both industries tend to be male dominated) and they are unafraid to share their opinions on topics ranging from women’s rights to pop culture happenings around the world. Plus they aren’t squeamish about tackling menstruation, so they are immediate queens in my book. I’ve been listening to their podcast since it first started, and their candid chats have prompted me to have some great conversations of my own with my girlfriends. Pro tip: listen to them talk about Shine Theory and it will change your life.
Pearl, Editorial Assistant :
As someone who aspired to become a YouTuber as a teenager (and secretly still does), I have always looked up to Lily Singh – the successful, quirky, unapologetic YouTube comedian. She recently initiated the #GirlLove campaign, which encourages women and girls to build each other up and refrain from girl-on-girl hate. She’s even created a video with the amazing Michelle Obama for that initiative. She also collaborates with The Malala Fund (under Malala Yousafzai) and partnered with Me to We and its bracelets to support the education of young women in Kenya. I love how she uses her influence to spread positive energy on women issues. She’s truly a real life superwoman.
Roxanne, Senior Editor:
She may be married to one of the brightest men out there, but Melinda Gates is definitely no dummy. In fact, I would consider her downright sassy the way she fights for women’s (and girls’) rights! Despite being one of the richest women in the world, she strives to combat poverty. As a mum, I love that she is working to allow all children access to quality education. I also think her dedication to improving family leave is awesome – she wants women in tech and fields with a lower ratio of women to be able to stay in the workplace. My favourite moment of hers was when access to birth control was threatened she vowed to provide 120 million women worldwide access to healthcare. Now that’s someone I admire!
Beatrice, Graphic Designer:
Shonda Rhimes: This woman is the ultimate behind-the-scenes TV bad-ass. With three hit shows on air (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder) and three children at home, Shonda has more than enough to keep her busy. Her book, “Year of Yes” goes through her growth and discovery to new and sometimes scary opportunities. She reminds us that even the most powerful of women have their insecurities, and encourages us to face them head-on, and to just say yes. Have a sneak peek at her empowering thoughts on her Ted Talk here.
Mansha, Partnerships Manager:
Tania, Assistant Editor:
I had the immense honour of meeting Shiza Shahid at a Quintessentially event in Hong Kong. As the founding CEO of the Malala Fund, she’s been an advocate for girls’ education since she was a teenager. Recently, she started focusing on the newly-started Now Ventures, a mission-driven startup working to leverage philanthropy, tech and the media as driving forces for (scalable!) social impact.
Listening to her share snippets of her powerful story made it clear she truly is an ambassador for empowering girls and women around the globe. What stuck with me the most was her humble ability to make action her priority. She spoke about how the education and skills we’ve been given can be used to make a positive impact.
Read more: Sassy Mama Supports: Shiza Shahid and The Malala Fund