The Squad Leans In: Reflections on Women on International Women’s Day

The Squad Leans In: Reflections on Women on International Women’s Day

We’re honored to celebrate International Women’s Day at LaunchSquad, where our team is comprised largely of women who bring diverse points of view to the table every day. We’re closing our laptops today and heading into our communities, contributing man- and woman-power to organizations from coast to coast including La Casa de Las Madres, Win NYC, Rosie’s Place, and Women for Women International.

But since we’re also storytellers, and big believers in the power of ideas, we asked a few of our team members to take a moment to dream, reflect, and pay tribute. Who, we asked, is the woman you are most appreciative for today? And what is the change you’d most like to see for women — in the world, in your city, or in your neighborhood — right now?

As is often the case at LaunchSquad, we were surprised and touched by the thoughtfulness with which our co-workers responded. Here, a few of our favorite responses:

Women We Honor:

“Like me, author Jhumpa Lahiri was forced into changing her birth name to something Americans could easily pronounce — a name that was not of her choosing and that carried no meaning. Through Jhumpa’s writings I have learned how to create meaning and make sense out of nothingness. Jhumpa has taught me what it truly means to be a daughter, a sister, a girlfriend, a child of immigrants, a creative thinker, a writer.” – Addy Bhasin, Account Associate

“My best friend Melanie, who knows exactly who she is and has never subscribed to societal norms of where a woman’s worth lies. She’s made me this way, too. She is the definition of an empowering woman. In everything she does, she is fierce, loyal and passionate, makes no apologies, and does it all with just a little snark.” – Sydney Holmes, Account Executive 

“From my wife and family, to friends, to the amazing, talented women I’ve worked with and learned from throughout the years, women played a crucial role in making me who I am. I’ll be celebrating today by realizing that without all of them, without their love, support, friendship, mentoring, and kindness, I would have never become the man I am today.” – Corey Lewis, Vice President

“I will be celebrating Hillary Clinton. There are so many admirable women in government right now — Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris to name a few — who will be a guiding force as we navigate the current administration.” – Emily Leach, Account Associate

“My mom is Arlinda Picasso. Like a lot of our moms, Arlinda is a woman that’s had many lives. She was a teacher, a model, a homemaker, an HR rep, an executive assistant, a business owner. Mom persevered, adapted, made tough choices, sacrificed. I think a lot of times it was never about her. But mom made it happen for us. I will forever admire, respect, and celebrate Arlinda — today and everyday — for being a symbol of all the reasons (both magical and complicated) why it’s amazing to be a woman.” – Lisa Picasso, Senior Vice President

“My older sister, Hallie. She lent me her books and encouraged my love of reading even when I bent the pages, protected me from bullies in middle school, and has offered advice and a kind word at every challenge in my adult life.” – Eric Coffin-Gould, Account Executive

“Michelle Obama. During her eight years as FLOTUS, she worked to effect real change for women. She dedicated herself towards furthering the rights of women and creating opportunities for women.” – Daniel Paul, Senior Vice President

Changes We’d Like to See:

“I hope there will be the same amount of women in the C-suite as there are men. I’m excited for a time when it doesn’t come across as unusual to have a female CEO. I don’t want any woman, in any industry, to have to think twice about whether that’s an achievable goal.” – Lindsay Rand, Account Executive

“I want to live in a society in which women have freedom — the freedom to afford healthcare and housing without going into debt, freedom to make their own choices about their own bodies, freedom to take a job that pays them enough to live a comfortable life, and freedom to pursue whatever future it is they believe in. Freedom is tied to opportunity and until women have the economic power and social structure to pursue any opportunities they want, they will not be free.” – Charlie Rybak, Director of Digital Strategy

“It’s remarkable to see how women of all races, religions, sexual orientations, and geographies have really come together in light of some scary, rights-infringing times. I want us to continue to do that — to open our minds, voice our opinions, and fight back.” – Claire Schillings, Content Strategist

“I want women to be free. Free from discrimination and double standards, and free to express themselves however they please.” – Vera Hanson, Account Associate

Visit our Instagram @LaunchSquad to read more about women who inspire us and the changes we want to see.

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