“To my daughter”; inspirational messages everyone can learn this International Women’s Day

Endaba Group

#BeBoldForChange is the message for this year’s International Women’s Day, encouraging people to step up, take ground-breaking actions to help drive gender equality. It’s a great chance to celebrate the amazing things women have done, are doing and will do for our world and the future!

Executive search firm Egon Zehnder and their initiative Leaders and Daughters, which aims to highlight the challenges facing the next generation of professional women and learning from the insights and experience of accomplished leaders, have put on a campaign called “To my daughter”. This campaign, open to both female and male leaders, encourages people to write to their daughters, share hopes and dreams as well as bestow advice and wisdom.

So today, we at Endaba wanted to share some of our favourite messages that everyone can learn from, no matter their age:

Angela Ahrendts, Senior Vice President for Retail at Apple and former CEO of Burberry, has a simple but substantial message for her daughters: Be present.

“Always be present, read the signs, stay in your lane and never back up more than you have to.

Being fully present … builds trust. Being present is the greatest gift you can give another person, and the greatest way to more closely connect with them.

Stay open; always try to read the signs as you pass by them or they pass by you. I’ve often reminded you that there are no coincidences. Everything that happens in your life is for a reason or was predestined.

You know how happy you feel when you are doing what you love and that comes so easily and naturally to you. So please, please, please connect to your passion, and then just stay in your lane … Don’t let anyone persuade you to do anything that doesn’t feel natural or isn’t aligned with your values or God-given gifts.”

Mellody Hobson, President of Ariel Investments and board member of Estee Lauder and Starbucks reflects on what W.E.B. Du Bois told his daughter in 1914: you cannot be brave without fear

“I will expect you to be honest; I will hope for your frankness; and I will encourage you at every turn to be fearless. As you know, although you are only three, I often tell you to be ‘be brave.’ … Here is the thing to know; everyone feels fear—and you cannot be brave without it. So when the fear comes, dig deep inside and trust yourself.”

Maryam Bankarim, EVP and Global Chief Marketing Officer of Hyatt Corporation, stresses 5 important things for her daughter to remember: compassion, courage, trust yourself, go for it, and be positive.

“Courage is about acting on your compassion — actually doing something about what you see. And remember, hard isn’t bad — it’s when we actually learn!

There can be so much noise, so many folks with so many points of view. Listen and take in all opinions (particularly the ones that differ from yours), but in the end, take a moment and listen to yourself. … Trust yourself and your instincts.”

Adam Lashinksy, Assistant Managing Editor of Fortune, tells his daughter to be whatever she wants to be:

“You should explore whatever your passions are and give it your best. Growing up is all about dreaming big, trying and (sometimes) failing, and finding your joy.”

Finally Eric Sprunk, Chief Operating Officer of Nike, wants his daughter to have it all:

“I want you to work in a world where we aren’t keeping score of women in the workplace, or women leaders or women CEOs and BOD members. I want you to know you can be an incredible business leader, mother, sister, daughter, aunt, godparent, friend and wife all at the same time. In fact, the better you are at those things outside the workplace the better you will be in the workplace, and I want you to work for people and companies that recognize and enable that balance.”