Planting the Seeds of Women-spiration

Two young guys approached me on the street the other day. “We’re asking people to name women they think are really inspiring,” they told me. I was on my way to a doctor’s appointment and was frustrated that I didn’t have more time to consider their question.

Christine Lagarde,” I said. But neither had heard of her. “French,” I said. “Was head of the International Monetary Fund. Super-smart. A formidable force on the world stage.” I apologized that I had to go and continued on my way, finding myself absorbed in my own exercise to come up with a list of all the women who inspired me. Here are a half-dozen:

Elif Shafak: Turkish. Brilliant novelist and political activist. A walking intellectual stimulant.

Jennifer Lopez: Started out as “Jenny from the block” and kept that pure and genuine part of herself intact as she advanced as a singer, dancer, actress, and businesswoman.

Joni Mitchell: My first musical idol. Kept evolving as an artist all her life. Inducted into the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. Her music provided the perfect ambiance for TV series like Thirty-something” in the 80s and is even more poignant in the soundtrack and story-lines of “This Is Us” today.

Stacey Abrams: Forty-seven-year-old black woman politician who came within a hair of being elected Georgia’s governor in 2018. First African-American to deliver the State of the Union response. A name often bandied about as a possible VP or cabinet member.

Katie Porter: Prominent member of the 2018 Freshman Class of Congressional Representatives. Spousal abuse survivor who’s now a single mother making a major contribution to changing the direction of the country.

Kate McKinnon: Standout SNL comedian and actress. Her tribute to Ellen DeGeneres at this year’s Golden Globe Award exuded palpable gratitude for the role Ellen played in paving the way for lesbian girls desperately seeking the courage to come out.

I actually found this exercise fun and didn’t realize until this morning that it’s International Women’s Day. In fact, the whole of March is Women’s History Month, established in 1987 to commemorate women’s contributions to history, culture, and society. Shout-out to the two guys on the street who invited me to the celebration.


Martin D. Hirsch
Martin D. Hirsch
Martin Hirsch started building his own communications consulting practice in 2017 after a career spanning almost 35 years with one of the world’s leading international healthcare groups. He’s led internal and external corporate communications, brand and reputation management, and crisis and issue management. Working in both the United States and Europe, he has advised multiple CEOs and collaborated with colleagues all over the world. Martin’s strengths include executive consulting, strategic message development, content marketing, storytelling, communications training, public speaking, mentoring talent, and inspiring organizations to advance beyond their limitations.Lately he’s been helping clients by writing keynote speeches for top executives, developing strategies for pitching new business and explaining complex issues, ranging from how to apply new digital health tools in the pharmaceuticals industry to making sense of the rapid and complex changes challenging employees to maintain their equilibrium at major corporations. Martin also works as a faculty adviser at the New York University School of Professional Studies, helping graduate students with their Capstone Papers. His speaking engagements have included presentations at the IABC World Conference, the European Association of Communications Directors Summit, the Corporate Communications International Leaders Forum, the European Commission Communications Directorate and the Rotterdam School of Business Reputation Forum Netherlands. More recently, he was a panelist at the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association conference on expat issues held at Pfizer headquarters in New York. Martin’s writing, including essays, letters and poems, has appeared in newspapers and magazines in the U.S. and Europe. You can read his blog on MUSE-WORTHY, here on BIZCATALYST 360°. He received the American Association of Journalists and Authors 2018 Writing Award for Best Personal Story Blog.

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  1. Inspiring for me Martin is the Mother of Jesus, not to force a belief on any one but through Her Son’s Passion, (suffering) She endured so much and she is always present. Included in this are many of the women Saints who became Martyrs, and in todays world, those with disabilities who defy all and accomplish the unexpected.

  2. In our faith, there is no such Women’s History month we honor, praise and pray for women 365 days per year. Every Friday night a husband sings a special song of praise to his wife written by King Solomon which is entitled Eshet Chayil.