On this International Women’s Day, it may be natural to thank the obvious female role models in your life like your mom or sister or even to acknowledge your professional female colleagues. I’d encourage you to expand your thinking to recognize the women who are forging paths for the women of the future, not just to celebrate those in prominence today.

Two that have been in the news recently are Patrice Banks and Emily Pilloton who are working to create new career opportunities for women in the trades. Banks runs the Girls Auto Clinic and manages a staff of female mechanics – or SheCANics as she calls them. She couldn’t find a female mechanic for herself so enrolled in tech school to learn how to become one and now is working to expand her service center to other areas.

Emily Pilloton was a high school shop teacher until she launched Girls Garage to provide classes for girls ages 9-17 in subjects such as welding, carpentry and drafting. She employs an all-female staff to help the girls learn how to “fear less and build more,” preparing them for life as well as an in-demand career.

Who would you add to your list? The fearless women who ran for President of the United States certainly qualify. Closer to home, you could add my all-female veterinary clinic, female city administrator, the female electrical engineer who enrolled in my MBA class or the female head of the Boy Scouts chapter.

Look around and pay attention to the trailblazers. A SHEcanic in Pennsylvania may not mean much to you now, but she’s creating new options for the girls of tomorrow.

 

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