Who Is Your Beyoncé?

Right after Michelle Obama gave her speech during the Democratic National Convention, a tweet went out asking “Do you think Michelle Obama is Beyoncé’s Beyoncé?”

Even the most successful and confident women among us has another woman they admire–someone who pushes them to the next level, empowers them on their journey.  “As executive sponsor of Thomson Reuters women’s network and with a day job that keeps me circling the globe, I encounter women every day who inspire me by how they are increasingly stepping up to lead- often times breaking through tough cultural and societal barriers to do so,” says Debra Walton, chief product and content officer, financial & risk for Thomson Reuters. “One of the key motivators for women to do this must be that they see possibilities for women –  that inspires me to try hard every day to be a strong and visible role model for these women.”

In honor of “Queen Bey’s” birthday this weekend, we asked members of our Generation W community to share with us the woman who always sees the possibilities and inspires them to be a “strong and visible role model” for others.  In other words, who is your Beyoncé? TWEET THIS


Donna Deegan: “Deborah Gianoulis Heald is my Beyoncé. From the early days of my journalism career I fell in love with her authenticity, her work ethic and her absolutely fearless approach to finding the truth. All of this and she is relentlessly positive. She has brought those same qualities to her work for children and education. I still want to be Deborah when I grow up.”







Shelley Diamond: “Anne Mulcahy former CEO of Xerox inspired me by her grace under pressure, empathy, intelligence, loyalty and ability to stay true to who she is while climbing to the top of the ladder and bringing along others at the same time.  A remarkable woman who showed me it was possible. ”






Pegine Echevarria: “My daughter. A captain in the Army who constantly pushes herself to achieve another level or surpass a challenge. After I get off the phone with her I always feel pumped, ready to take on a bigger, riskier challenge. She has achieved so much in her short life – world traveler, award winner, highly regarded in her field of expertise. She blows my mind and inspires me.”







Carla Harris: “My mother, Billie J. Harris. She was the master multi-tasker, yet empathetic, strong, determined, decisive and an outstanding executor. She gave me the vision and the reality, that as a woman, you can have and do it all, if you so choose! No excuses!”







Jimeale Jorgensen: “Margaret Thatcher and Coco Chanel.  Both women were strong minded, ambitious, free thinking and broke the mold!  Their drive, passion and strength to focus and continue in a forward direction despite the challenges make them trail blazing, inspiring women. Both very different directions yet very similar.”






Laura Landoll: “There is a woman I know who started her business from nothing, out of her kitchen.  Presently she has started two incubator kitchens to help other start up business’ but most important is her infectious attitude of gratitude.  Hence the name of her business, Grateful Grahams. She inspires people to be the best version of themselves. That is why I look up to and respect her, she is the best version of herself and supports those around her to do the very same. You see, I don’t want to be like Beyonce. I want to be the best version of myself and when I can find inspiration from those close to me, perhaps those who have even shared the path on certain days, weeks or months and have risen up to be successful without losing sight of themselves, that to me, is the best inspiration I can ask for.  And for that I am Grateful.  Rachel is one of the best, coolest, most authentic and inspiring person I know.”




Andrea Mail:  “Sheryl Sandberg. A close college friend, Sheryl continues to inspire me with her wisdom, authenticity and resilience.”





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Audrey Moran: “Helen Lane is one of the most inspiring women I know.  Now in her early 90s, she continues to be engaged in local politics and actively supports work in our community that enhances our quality of life.  She lives her life with strength, grace and integrity.  Most women I know – myself included – want to be Helen Lane when they grow up.”







Shavone Steele:  “My longest running and absolute best friend, Rachel Chewning. Now an attorney, she was a transplant in 8th grade from Houston and when she walked into our US History class, I knew we were going to hit it off. She has been my absolute rock since 1993. We share the same birth month, similar sense of humor, and, in general, allow the other to be EXACTLY who they are. If there is ever a moment I need a boost of confidence – Rachel is there with a boost and a net, just in case.”





Kasia Swierczynska: “Donna Orender is my Beyoncé. She encourages my courage and helps me seek clarity of the dreams that I can’t always see clearly. She makes me think outside of the box that I create for myself and I couldn’t be more grateful for that.”







Debra Walton: “The most inspiring woman I know is Lauren Manning – a former colleague and a very dear friend. Lauren suffered devastating burns during 9-11.  She battled a less than 15 percent chance of survival and years of hundreds of surgeries and thousands of hours of therapy to return to this world as a wife, mother of two, a business woman and a motivational speaker. When I sometimes face what I think is an insurmountable challenge I think of Lauren and I tell myself that I can do anything. Lauren is my Beyoncé! ”





Share with us on social media who your Beyoncé is–Facebook, Twitter, Instagram