Who Are The Women That Inspire You? A Note From Our CEO, Ben Herman
Today is the start of Women’s History Month and March 8th is International Women’s Day, so to celebrate and kick off the month (which should be an everyday occurrence), I wanted to highlight five women I admire.
1. My Mum (Mom for the Americans)
My mother, Lorraine, raised me and my sisters largely on her own (my dad and mom separated when I was 12 years old). She’s the glue in our family and was beyond supportive of anything and everything we wanted to do growing up. I really believe her allowing me to fail enabled me to learn and grow as a child. My mum was so caring and loving, and I probably didn’t appreciate it enough back then. However, becoming a parent myself, it’s enabled me to appreciate and understand what goes into being a mother and I will forever be grateful to her and she will continue to be my inspiration for years to come.
2. My Wife
I met my wife, Stacey, in 2011 at the age of 22—you could say back then I was still learning a lot about myself and what it meant to be an adult. Stacey really helped me become a better human and appreciate the smaller things in life whilst staying true to myself and being proud of who I was. I proposed to Stacey 2 years later in 2013 (luckily, she said yes) and we then got married in the UK in 2014. Later that year we decided to move to Los Angeles and start a family, to give our children a life we never had and I was lucky enough to get a Visa to build out my prior business in the US. Having a wife has really allowed me to appreciate how incredibly powerful women are and I can honestly say I would be half the man I am today without my wife. She’s taught me how to love, respect, and understand all people regardless of their background.
Thank you Stacey for everything you do for me and our family, I love you.
3. My Daughters
In 2015 after moving to LA and after being married for just over a year, we found out Stacey was pregnant. We were beyond excited. Being able to experience my wife’s pregnancy from beginning to end enabled me to appreciate what a woman goes through during this time. Unfortunately, we had to terminate the pregnancy at 21 weeks due to Tetralogy of Fallot (a very rare heart condition). It became a very difficult time for us both but especially Stacey. I simply cannot imagine how that would have felt after carrying the baby for all of that time. Things got better when we found Stacey was pregnant a few months later and after a successful pregnancy, we had our first daughter Ariella who’s now 5 years old. 18 months later we had our second daughter Addisen who’s now 3 years old. 18 months after, we had our third daughter Aspen. This pregnancy had complications but we decided to continue with it together and unfortunately, she was born with a genetic disorder and passed away a few days after her 1st birthday. The reason I share all of this is to emphasize how important life is. These experiences have made me the person I am today. My girls are my everything, I will forever remember my daughter Aspen and will always admire and respect all the women who go through so much to bring another human being into this world.
Thuy is the Founder and President of Skyline Group a leadership development company, she’s also my executive coach and most recently an advisor to Canvas for all things people. She’s spent her entire career working to develop leaders and guide them to be the best version of themselves whilst building high-performing teams. Since I started working with Thuy, she’s helped me understand the true meaning of being a CEO. They say in life things are meant to be and I couldn’t be more sure of that after meeting Thuy. She’s not only reminded me how important diversity is in the workplace but she’s also reminded me of the true value of growth, and accountability – two guiding Leadership Values at Canvas.
5. The Women of Canvas
I feel blessed to work with the incredible women of Canvas. They inspire and teach me so much every single day. And I am proud that in an industry dominated by men, 42% of our team and 33% of our executive team are women. We know we can do better. We know we need to get all of those numbers to be more than 50%, but I am proud of the progress we have made and the work we’re doing to promote equity across the company. Because without these amazing women, Canvas simply wouldn’t be the company it is today.
Who are the women that inspire you?