About the blog
Since moving to Houston in 2007, I have met many amazing women. Some were born in Houston, some chose Houston, and some were dragged here kicking and screaming. But all of them now love this city and recognize it for the special part it plays in their lives.
These women may have successful careers, wonderful families, strong passions, wild ambitions, creative gifts or deeply held beliefs, but what they share is a commitment to making life better for the people around them – at home, at work and in their community. They recognize Houston as an inspiration in itself so I wanted to give the city a chance to recognize some of its own Inspiring Houston Women.
Through this blog, you will not only hear these women talk, but each one will also tell us of another Houston woman who has mentored, motivated, challenged, led, befriended or supported her.* From one woman to the next we shall try to form a web of inspiration linking the women of this city.
I am Caroline Leech and I am proud to be a Houstonian by choice though not by birth. I am a writer, a wife and a mother. I arrived in Houston from the United Kingdom in 2007, brought here by my husband’s work when my children were all elementary school age. The people of Houston opened their arms to us as a family and made us feel welcome from our very first day, which is something that makes Houston a very special city. Even now, I couldn’t claim to know this city well, but I can say I love this city and want to get to know it better each day.
Over the last few years, I have met lots of wonderfully impressive men, but it has been the women who have really spoken to me – either personally or through hearing of their stories from other women. The examples they have set have inspired me to stretch myself further, to value myself more, to enjoy my life, to give something back and to try to inspire others.
How did I choose which women to feature?
I started small. I filled a couple of pages of my notebook with names of women I knew personally or knew of, women who do something which I find inspires me to think deeper about my life or look at how I can do things differently. I approached a handful of these women and invited them to take part in the blog’s launch by telling me their story and I asked each one to suggest someone else who had inspired them.*
From there, my list developed beyond my own very limited circle of knowledge into industries and communities I would never personally have had any lead into. At first, I deliberately tried to avoid the most obvious names – those women already regularly honored for major achievements or for their generous philanthropy. I also tried to find a balance between industries, communities, natives/incomers and cultural backgrounds. As the project develops, I know I will not have to work so hard to find that balance because the women I interview will do that job for me. In fact, I have noticed that they often they cite someone from outside their own field/community as their inspiration.
This list of Inspiring Houston Women is certainly not perfect, it is not all-inclusive and it is entirely subjective. For every woman that is included, there are hundreds who are not but might have been. I wish I had the time, energy and contacts to celebrate every inspirational woman in this city, but sadly I don’t. What I have tried to do, however, is offer a sense of the wealth of spirit, passion, intellect, creativity and determination which exists among the women of this city by spotlighting just a few Inspiring Houston Women in the hope that you might find inspiration from them too.
What questions did I ask?
The questions below formed a basic structure to the interviews I did. Some women answered them all, some went off on such fascinating tangents that some questions were missed. But that was okay, I happily followed them wherever they chose to take me as they talked.
· Tell us a little about yourself – work, family, background
· Houston native or incomer - what is your Houston story?
· Who or what has been the greatest influence on your life – personal or professional?
· If you met a young person who was new to your industry/community, what advice would you give them?
· What does Houston mean to you?
· Where’s your favorite place in Houston?
· Where’s your favorite place to eat/drink in Houston?
· What’s your favorite Houston secret? (It could be a place, a person, a piece of art, a view, a recipe, an event)
· If you could change one thing about Houston, what would it be?
· Will you tell me about another Houston woman who inspires you? (who is she, do you know her, why does she inspire you?) *
* In order to protect their privacy, I will only post the citations at the foot of each interview once the women nominated have given their permission