If you’ve lived in Europe or visited Europe during March, you are probably more more aware of Women’s Day (March 8) that many are here in the U.S. where it is just becoming more well-known.
Dating back to 1908, this holiday is a day to honor and celebrate women and the achievements of women around the world. It’s actually bigger than Valentine’s Day in most European countries. The holiday is marked by the giving of flowers or small gifts to women in your life: wives, mothers, grandmothers, sisters, neighbors or any woman who has a special place in your life. It is a wonderful opportunity to stop and give thanks and appreciation to the women figures in your life who have special importance.
International Women’s Day not only celebrates the women in our lives on a micro scale but honors the achievements women have made globally in society, business, education, athletics and more. We would like to take a moment to point out some pretty awesome Oregon-grown women who have impacted the world around them.
In 1988, at the age of just 29, Stacy didn’t let a failed attempt keep her from achieving her dream and she became the first American woman to summit Mt. Everest. Although this is the feat that made her most famous, she also breaks into the men’s world of construction as the president of her own contracting company in Portland, OR. She continues to inspire others as a mother, author and chairperson of Reach the Summit, a fundraiser for the Oregon Lung Association as well as a motivational speaker for organizations and businesses (learn more about speaking opportunities here)
Elected as Oregon’s first female governor, Roberts broke the political glass ceiling here and made her mark on Oregon’s political system. Her desire to get education for her autistic son first propelled her into the political sphere she was a strong supporter of public education, handicapped rights and services, environmental management and streamlining state government. No matter your political leanings, we can all be proud of her trailblazing role in office.
Kathryn Jones Harrison
Truly an Oregon treasure, Harrison overcame extreme hardships during her youth and young adulthood to be the first American Indian graduate of Lane Community College’s nursing school and continued on to work at Sacred Heart Hospital here in Eugene. Her real legacy, however, is her pivotal role in helping both the Confederated Tribes of Siletz and Grand Ronde regain federal recognition after being terminated in 1954. She has received numerous awards and honorary degrees from throughout Oregon for her dedication and commitment to her community.
What would a blog about inspiring and accomplished women be without noting our very own Shirley Lyons, owner of Dandelions Flowers & Gifts. After leaving the financial business (also a man’s world, especially in the 70’s) she opened Dandelions in 1974 which has grown to become Eugene and Springfield’s largest florist. She has served on numerous committees and logged countless volunteer hours in the community over the years and was honored as the 2012 Woman Business Leader of the Year by the Eugene Chamber of Commerce. She goes to Washington, D.C. annually to speak to Oregon senators and representatives on behalf of the floral industry and small, family businesses. She was also the first woman to serve as president of the Society of American Florists (which represents thousands of florists, floral wholesalers and flower growers) in their 127 year history. We’re so proud of you, Shirley and how you inspire other women to go for their dreams. Way to show ’em how it’s done!