The first thing I did when writing this post is search the thesaurus for a bigger word than “thankful.” Because when I think about profound impact these women have had on me, there needs to be an enormous word to express my intense gratitude for helping me become who I am. Each has taught me something very special.

  1. I must start with mom. She is our family matriarch and quite simply the glue that holds us together — collectively and individually. She has the broad shoulders on which we all stand. She has taught me about quiet strength. It is not about having the loudest voice but the strongest voice, strong in values and conviction.
  2. Next, my two sisters. My older sister, Sheryl, taught me the power of education and how it is the great equalizer in society. She followed in our dad’s footsteps and dedicated her career to helping special needs children. During the time she was a teacher, I would go spend the Wednesday before Thanksgiving in her classroom . I watched how she unlocked curiosity one child at a time and gave each human being a true hand up for a better life.
  3. My younger sister Sue is successful both professionally and personally. She has two freakishly smart kids who also are very involved in things that they are passionate about. Sue always made it a priority to be there for her family for the moments that matter while meeting the career demands as an executive in the financial services industry. I know that both women and men look to her as a model for how to live a full life, at work and at home and so do I.
  4. Gill Rider was the first female senior executive who sponsored me at work. She gave me an incredible gift. She truly believed in me and in turn, helped me believe in myself.
  5. I met Arianna Huffington a few years ago and I’m so grateful she pulled me into her office after I taped a short segment for Huff Post live. Arianna taught me about the power of my voice. She taught me if I lend my voice to others you can make a difference in a profound way. And, her focus on not only professional, but personal success is something that resonates with me personally and that we’re extending across all of Accenture.
  6. The 150,000 women of Accenture inspire me every single day to move the Rocks. You fuel my passion to drive change not only at Accenture but beyond our doors.
  7. My daughter Jessie taught me perhaps the most important life lesson, to never leave the house without my heart. She follows her dreams and keeps her heart open, always. I try each and every day to do the same.

Finally, someone I’ve never met personally, but her words helped me discover my true reason for being. Coach Courtney Banghart shared these four words — lift as you rise — and this ignited a fire in my soul.

I am indebted to these sheroes and delighted to honor them during Women’s History Month.

Originally published at