On March 1st, the beginning of Women’s History Month, I thought it would be an awesome idea to have the girls on Team Jilly contribute and share who their favourite female role models are. Since our team is getting SO big, we had to split this series up into two parts. Today, the rest of the girls are sharing who their female role models are and why!
If you missed part one, make sure to check it out here! Take it away ladies!
My Mom, Jane Merritt
When I think about inspirational women in my life I feel blessed to be surrounded by so many, it’s hard to pick just one! Everyone inspires me in different ways but if I were to pick just ONE who’s inspired me my entire life, it would have to be my MOM! I have always struggled putting into words how much my Mama means to me because I’ve always felt that no words would ever be able to do it justice, but lets give this a shot!
For those that don’t know my mom, she is a very proud Czech by the name of Jane Browne (now Merritt) who didn’t speak english until she was 5. She is a free spirited hippy who was a teacher my entire life (she was even my kindergarten teacher), who now creates pottery amongst many other things in her spare time. She speaks 5 languages, is a travelling expert, and knows how to bring out the positive in any situation all while making anything and everything FUN (she definitely knows how to have a good time and is the person you call on a Friday night).
My mom has so graciously shaped me and guided me into who I am today. She challenges me to be the best version of myself every day and sparks the creativity in my soul. The way she raised me (and my brothers), she always encouraged me to chase my wildest dreams and that anything is possible if you set your mind to it and work hard. She has always been my biggest cheerleader and support system, whether it was competitive ski racing, provincial beach volleyball, french immersion, moving across the world by myself at 19, to working with Jillian Harris, the list goes on. If it didn’t work out, which I have had my fair share of falls, she has always been right there beside me to pick me up and brush me off (literally). We have been through it all together.
We have such a deep connection that I have grown to realize this isn’t the case for every parent or child. I feel so lucky to be raised by such an inspirational role model who has set the bar high in every aspect of life. I hope someday I’ll be lucky enough to lead by her example and share that same bond with children of my own.
As my mom would say, peace, love, laughter, and happiness is all that matters! Cheers to all the inspirational women, may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.
This is a tough blog to write. I have so many women in my life that I look up to, learn from and turn to for guidance. Living in Kelowna, I’ve never really had any family live in the same city as me and am so thankful for my Mother’s commitment to my connection with her family growing up. We would drive to the Coast nearly every week – no joke – to visit her parents, siblings and cousins. My grandmother played and still plays a HUGE role in my life. The adversity she has had to overcome in her life is truly inspirational. Out of respect for her and her privacy, I won’t be going into very much detail – this is more so a great big digital I LOVE YOU – to Rita, my grandmother!
This month I listened to Jane Goodall’s MasterClass so she is top of mind when thinking about role models!
Jane Goodall is known for her work around climate change. She set out at the age of 26 to research chimpanzees in Gombe due to her fascination and love for animals. Since then she has had a tremendous impact on inspiring people to protect not only chimpanzees but all living beings. Jane Goodall is an example of a woman in science who was able to take a new approach and make huge advancements in her field (she forever changed the field of behavioural science!).
Jane Goodall’s message on climate change is so powerful because she recognizes the interconnectedness of some of the world’s largest challenges. It is evident that her work and storytelling is fuelled by the optimism and hope that she has for this world. “In order to slow down climate change, we must solve four seemingly unsolvable problems. We must eliminate poverty. We must change the unsustainable lifestyles of so many of us. We must abolish corruption. And we must think about our growing human population”
Image Credit: New York Times
There are SO many incredible female role models in my life, but I couldn’t think of anyone better dedicate this piece to than my amazing mom, Joanne. My mom is one of the most selfless ladies I have ever met, if a friend is in need of help or her daughter decides to pack up and move across the country she is always there to lend a helping hand. True story, my mom was the first person I called when I got the news that I landed my dream job with Team Jilly, which meant packing up and moving across the country, at that very moment she told me she was making the 4 day trek with me.
On top of that, she has the best fashion sense; she used to be a Buyer for Sears and The Hudson’s Bay Company, so whenever I have a question about a new trending piece to buy, she is always my go-to. She ended her successful career in the fashion industry when my step-dad had the opportunity to move to Chicago for work. Since then, she has just started a side-hustle helping clients design and plan their dream home interiors. Even though she lives far away (and I haven’t seen her in a year 😭), she texts and calls daily and FaceTimes weekly over a glass of wine to catch up. I feel so blessed to have her as a role model and can’t wait to squeeze her again (hopefully) soon!
Ruth Bader Ginsburg (March 15, 1933 – September 18, 2020)
Although I have many women in my life that I look up to and aspire to more like (aka my mom Marilynn). I really wanted to focus on one role model that I feel has made great strides for all women and men in society, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She is someone that I only recently came across in the last few years. I think that she has shown such passion and vision in her work in making our world equal across all marginalized groups. Thinking back to what life would have been like before some of the laws that she passed, is mind blowing to me and to think that this was happening within my mom’s life is even more crazy (she is still very young). Now being a mom myself, I really hold dear to my heart all that she has made possible not only for myself but has inspired other leaders to keep the momentum of equal rights pushing forward, making a more inclusive world for all including my children and their children. So thank you to Ruth, a scholar, a lawyer, a judge, and to dedicating your career to ensuring that justice was tactfully dissenting in court.
I would also like to include the 5 main laws that were passed under her guidance:
1. Employers cannot discriminate against employees based on gender or reproductive choices. Women are now more protected against getting fired, or not considered for a job because they are pregnant or have plans to get pregnant.
2. State-funded schools must admit women.
3. Women have the right to financial independence and equal benefits. Passed in 1974, allowed women to apply for bank accounts, credit cards, and mortgages without a male co-signer. She also helped ensure that women could receive the same military housing allowances as men, and women are no longer required to pay more for pension plans than men to receive the same benefits.
4. Men are entitled to the same caregiving and Social Security rights as women.
5. Juries must include women. Up until 1979, jury duty was considered optional for women in the US. Several states argued that women should be exempt from participating due to family and household obligations.
“Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you,” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Image Credit: The New Yorker
Well, there you have it! I hope you enjoyed this women’s history month round-up, we would love to know below, who are your favourite female role models!