March is International Women's Month and there is no better way to celebrate than recognizing women's achievements and praising the female role in society. We are proud to feature powerful women that will inspire anyone with their drive!
To start with, we have selected 5 of Vancouver's most inspiring female influencers that are worth your "follow" on social media. We asked them about finding the balance between the multiple roles they play as women, challenges and advice to other girls that want to "run the world" as they do!
Kama Jones | @kamadawnjones
While Kama has a passport chock full of stamps, things have changed a bit since she became a mom. Her family "thinks globally while acting locally", with their love for small shops and big adventures. Professionally, Kama has over a decade of PR experience with non-profits, businesses and destination marketing.
Early in her career as a teacher, she began working with at-risk youth, which inspired her MA in Community Development & Adult Education. Her travels to Kenya provided her powerful lessons about corporate social responsibility and women’s cooperatives. Kama is grateful for the chance to be creative and share her adventures on her blog: www.ethigalblog.com
I am a proud feminist and yes of COURSE it’s challenging living and working in a patriarchal society. In work, the glass ceiling is real and it’s harder for women – especially mothers – to have the same career opportunities as their male counterparts. I’ve been told that women need to work twice as hard as men to get promotions. I love Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In” and found it had some helpful advice for my career path. I’m encouraged by the international momentum of the #MeToo movement and its ripple effects.
A strong woman who inspires you: "I’ve always admired Frida Kahlo. Her strength and resilience through physical and personal turmoil are inspiring, as well as her passion for social justice and creative expression through art. She was ahead of her time".
An exercise that makes you feel like you can conquer the world: "I love a good HIIT session –High Intensity Interval Training. I walk for 5 minutes, and then do 12 reps of run HARD for 30 seconds, then walk for one minute, with cool down afterwards. I’m a busy working mom so love that I can get a great workout in only half an hour".
Things that motivate you daily: "My family. My students. The urge to be a better person every single day".
The number one pice of advice you would give other women: "Invest in education and training for your career, so you have the financial freedom to make choices for yourself and your kids should you ever need to. I became a single mother to my son, and am grateful I was able to pay our bills by myself".
Favourite quote: “The truth about stories is that’s all we are”- Thomas King.
Erin Danielle | @erin___danielle
Erin is a 37 year old single mom to an incredible 10 year old boy & athlete. She is the head coach at UFC GYM in Richmond and also a public speaker, international level figure competitor AND cancer survivor!
Erin was diagnosed in October 2016 with stage 3 breast cancer. She underwent 3 surgeries, including the removal of a nearly 5cm tumor, double mastectomy and reconstruction besides enduring 16 rounds of intense chemotherapy over the course of 6 months. One year after her very last chemo, she stepped on stage at the Vancouver Pro Show and placed 5th in the category. She plans to compete again in 2020.
Being a single mom is HARD! I have to manage my time to the minute, make good decisions for my son and set an example so that he becomes the most respectful, strong, hardworking young man.
A strong woman that inspires you: "I really can’t choose one woman who inspires me. I am inspired by every single woman who has struggles, who falls and get back up time and time again".
An exercise that makes you feel like you can conquer the world: "SQUATS! Getting under that bar, is a feeling like no other!"
Things that motivate you daily: "My clients motivate me daily. I push them HARD, and they keep going! That’s impressive. Makes me want to push harder. My own comeback after cancer motivates me. If I can conquer cancer, I can do anything!".
The number one pice of advice you would give other women: "Never ever give up! If you want it, go for it, and never ever give up!".
Favourite quote: "You have been assigned this mountain to show others it can be moved" - Unknown.
Sarah Jessica Taylor | @sarahjessicataylor
Sarah is a transformation coach with a passion for changing lives through active living! She is certified through the International Sports Sciences Association as a personal trainer and works out of our Park Royal Sports Club. Sarah is also a former varsity rower, elite figure skater, and competitive runner who currently competes as a national IFBB bikini athlete!
My biggest challenge as a woman is to juggle wearing all the hats and doing it with a smile. I think there is a lot of pressure right now on everyone, but women in particular, to do everything and be everything to everyone while holding it all together. The best way that I’ve been able to deal with this is to set boundaries and pick my battles. I commit fully to a handful of things that I know I can do well and have learned to say ‘no’ or let go of things that just aren’t right for me. It’s very liberating.
A strong woman that inspires you: "There are far too many inspiring women to name just one but with my deepest respects: Coco Chanel, Michelle Obama, Angelina Jolie, Emma Watson, Lady Gaga, and always, my mum".
An exercise that makes you feel like you can conquer the world: "My favourite exercise by far is the barbell hip thrust but nothing makes me feel more confident than deadlifts. There is something almost meditative about the deadlift because no matter what kind of day you are having, when you pick up 225lb you are paying attention to every detail of the moment".
Things that motivate you daily: "The opportunity to get it right today; to be better, stronger, nicer, more patient – whatever it is, every day I get another chance!".
The number one pice of advice you would give other women: "Believe in yourself. Quite simply, we put so much faith in others, why not invest in ourselves? You can do hard things, you are capable".
Favourite quote: “Wanting to be someone else is a waste of who you are.” - Kurt Cobain.
Reg Lok Von | @reglokv
Reg is a mom of two, kinesiologist, writer and ranked one of Vancouver's Top 30 Mom Bloggers! She started her blog while on maternity leave in 2009. Through her content, Reg helps parents and busy individuals to live a healthy and active lifestyle. She also advocates for the importance of inclusivity amongst the fitness industry. At reglok.ca, Reg explains:
I document my adventures as a kinesiologist, rekindle my old love for DIY and style and continue to find nourishment through movement, while integrating it all with motherhood, family and all the other curveballs that life decides to throw over.
A strong woman that inspires you: "The first name that popped into my head was Oprah - who doesn't she inspire? In all honesty though, this is a tough question to answer. For me, this inspirational person can change from day to day, month to month, depending on where I am in life. I see inspiration everywhere and also when I least expect it. She can be the lady who I see at every Friday morning GT12 class or the cashier who shares stories about her kids as she scans my groceries. I absorb the energy of those who make me feel like me and that is how I get inspired".
An exercise that makes you feel like you can conquer the world: "Salamba Sirasana, an inversion pose in yoga, also known as the headstand".
Things that motivate you daily: "The opportunity for connection".
The number one pice of advice you would give other women: "Life isn’t linear. It's ok to jump forward, lean back and fall down, as many times as you need".
Favourite quote: "Having joy does not devalue the struggle” -B. Oakman.
Salma Dinani | @salmadinani
After having her second child, Salma struggled to find balance as a mom and a woman. Even though she was passionate about her career as a television producer, she wanted to be more present in her children's lives and be able to raise them her way. That was when Salma decided to start working from home and created her first blog!
Through The Write Balance, Salma shares content on fitness, healthy living, food, parenting and lifestyle. The blog is all about finding balance in life and the journey to find wellness, inside and out.
As we grow and change, the challenges change along with us. In university, it was figuring out what to do with my life. After becoming a mother it was trying not to lose the woman who I was as I tried to navigate motherhood. At this time in my life, it trying to figure out and embrace that things are changing.
A strong woman that inspires you: "I'm so lucky that I'm surrounded by strong women that inspire me everyday! I would have to say the women in my tribes are the ones that inspire me, and they know who they are".
An exercise that makes you feel like you can conquer the world: "A heavy deadlift makes me feel great!!".
Things that motivate you daily: "My family, hitting the gym, podcasts, being productive, music...".
The number one pice of advice you would give other women: "Try and be present. If we are either hanging on to the past or worrying about the future, we are missing out on the present moment".
Favourite quote: "Each morning when I walk into the locker room at Steve Nash, I love seeing the sign, 'Today I get to workout'. It actually says, 'Today I have to workout', then the have is crossed out and it says get. I love that!".