There has been so much talk about how women are still being pushed down. So I decided that I would do what little I could, and that is to highlight women who inspire me.
I have never been one to think about owning a business or even trying to launch one. I have always thought businesses were started by those who had the money or were made from some kind of different materials. However, after my first legal job my entire thought process was shot out of the water.
I worked in a one lawyer legal office for…. a woman. She was my first woman boss and a fresh change. Her name is Donna Shioya, an estate planning attorney from Sacramento, California.
Unknowingly she inspired me a great deal. Donna had displayed to me something I had never seen in a woman before. Drive. Sure I had heard of other high executive females, such as movie producer Kathleen Kennedy.
But I had assumed someone like Ms. Kennedy was someone who came from a well to do family and went to a prestigious school. I knew I was not any of those things. (I now know that neither is Ms. Kennedy.)
Donna also didn’t come from a prestigious background. Her family immigrated to the United States from Japan before she was born. They settled in the Bay Area, where she grew up and attended public school. Donna later worked her way into UC Davis and then into law school in Southern California. From there Donna created her practice LifePath Law.
She has the ability to be a hard-nosed business woman and to be a compassionate person. I watched her countless times while working with a client as she went over their plans for the rest of their lives. She gave them dignity and respect by doing her research. Donna put in so many hours for her clients that I often wondered how she had time to do anything else.
Donna taught me a great deal of many things. Such as a woman can do just about anything. Sure I heard that growing up but with Donna, I saw it in action. Donna taught me that a woman doesn’t need to put down other women in order to succeed. She also taught me hard work will truly get you to where you want to go.
She didn’t preach to me, no Donna showed me through her actions. I was envious of the way she was able to network herself. Truly she is a natural at getting out there and selling her brand.
Donna may have a small business but she does something so much more than small. Donna is passionate about what she does, she believes in what she does and she does it well. So well in fact that even I, who is not comfortable with death, was able to get my nose to the grind and want to work hard not just for her, but myself. I firmly believe that it is because of Donna that I now have the drive to do something more.
Who has inspired you and why? I challenge you to think about that!