A Superb Role Model For Our Daughters: Sophia Siskel

With Sophia Siskel and my daughters, Emma and Skatie, at the Chicago Botanic Garden

Sophia Siskel, of Highland Park, has led the Chicago Botanic Garden through exceptional growth in recent years as its President. A collaborative, strategic thinker who prioritizes education, Siskel nurtures best environmental practices for the future at our beloved regional treasure, while making it even more relevant, beautiful and engaging for visitors of all ages.

She’s also an other-centered natural beauty.

You see Siskel at her best though when she is with her two sons and husband.

Brilliant, beautiful, strategic, collaborative, kind, thoughtful and successful, Siskel is a superb role model for our daughters – and our sons.

Power Players – Women Making Their Mark. You Can Too

As seen in Make It Better magazine:

Eight Chicago leaders, embracing their power to build a great life for self and others.
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As seen hosting the Golden Globes:

Tina Fey & Amy Pohler, hosting the 2013 Golden Globes (photo courtesy of ABC News).

At Sunday’s Golden Globe Award Ceremony, Fey and Pohler reigned with wit and charm.

As seen in the New York Times:

From left, Maggie Hassan, the governor-elect; Ann McLane Kuster and Carol Shea-Porter, elected to the House of Representatives; and Senators Kelly Ayotte and Jeanne Shaheen. Photo credit: The New York Times.

In New Hampshire, women rule – literally. Every major office is filled by a woman.  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/02/us/politics/from-congress-to-halls-of-state-in-new-hampshire-women-rule.html?_r=0

Dear Daughters, Sisters, Girlfriends and Women Across the USA,

Our time is now. We can and will do anything to which we set our minds and hearts.

Thanks to great women and men who came before us, glass ceilings have been shattered. Thanks to the freedom, education and opportunities accorded us as American women, our employment and other life options are equal to those of any man. (OK, maybe not if you wish to pursue Major League sports…) Thanks to our enlightened culture, our life partners are more likely than ever to share child rearing and domestic responsibilities.

We can now make our mark, make a family and make a difference – over time and with intention and love. Our ability to multi-task and find win/win scenarios for ourselves and others in most situations is perfectly suited for the demands of our complex, developed world.

You are smart, talented, beautiful, and able to create a better world for yourself and others.  Please follow your heart to do so now. And, please, let me know if I can help. It would be my honor.

Susan

To My Daughters

Darling Daughters,

You are fully empowered! You can and will do anything to which you set your mind and heart. So please, relax and enjoy your life journey.

Thanks to great women and men who came before your generation, glass ceilings have been shattered. Thanks to the freedom accorded you as American women, and to the education and opportunities you earn by growing up in the North Shore, your employment options will be equal to those of any man. (OK, maybe not if you pursue Major League sports…) Thanks to our contemporary, educated, affluent culture which truly accepts the concept of equality of the sexes, your life partners will be more likely than ever to share child rearing and domestic responsibilities.

Anne-Marie Slaughter thought too narrowly in her recent, much discussed Atlantic Monthly article, “Why Women Can’t Have It All.”  Women may not be able to be the primary parent raising great kids, reach the apex of an ambitious career, and find perfect work-life balance all at the same time. But no one, male or female, should ever expect to do all things perfectly at the same time. It’s not even healthy to aspire to that!

Life is long and good. There will be plenty of time to accomplish multiple goals. Focus on what you love most at each phase of life, and the rest will follow. Making your mark, making a family and making a difference will all come with time and love.

Interestingly, women under the age of 40 actually are outpacing men in most fields. (Shhh – please don’t tell your brothers!) More women than men graduate from college and most graduate programs. On average women earn higher pay at work too. It seems that our ability to multi-task and find win/win scenarios for ourselves and others in most situations is perfectly suited for the demands of our complex, developed world. Women – especially mothers – know how to get things done while creating a better environment too.

Also, please stop worrying about what school you will attend or what job you will land. You are smart, talented, beautiful, healthy. Follow your heart. Put energy into creating new opportunities to do what you most enjoy. It’s not about where you start – but where you end and how much you enjoyed getting there.

I am enormously proud of you! You go girls.

Love,
Mom