This One’s for the Girls

I am at the gym doing what I always do after exercising – drying my hair, getting ready for the day, thinking about the mocha (and the calories) I am not going to have.

Looking in the mirror, beyond myself, I pause to take in what I see.

To my right is the principal of a local high school and to my left, a fourth grade teacher. Into the locker room walks a local triathalete and over there is a mother of two.

There is a middle school nurse digging in her gym bag, an auto parts service manager recording her calories and a college student, a volleyball player, a medical office scheduler, and a trainer from the orthopedic sports center moving about.

They are employed, unemployed and retired. They are in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and beyond, each with a different reason for being there that morning. They are leaders in their families, their organizations and in their lives.

They are you, me and they are us. They are women, each with a story of their own. They offer words of support, motivation, laughter and a swift kick in the pants. At 5am on a dark winter morning, they offer community.

So girls, tell me. If I was looking into the mirror of the Women of HR, who would I see?

About the Author

Lisa Rosendahl

Lisa is an astute Human Resources leader with more than 18 years of professional human resources experience with expertise in leading people, inspiring commitment and managing change. A former Army officer, Lisa is also a wife, mother, speaker and writer and authors a personal blog at


Lois Melbourne

Lisa this is such a beautiful piece. It makes me think about so many situations I find myself in every day, week, month and the richness of the diversity afforded me. Even though many of us might think – I am a real outlier in this Women Of HR community – it is exactly that diversity tha makes the web so rich.

If you think of each of us that might think we are an outlier on the Women of HR spectrum and place us as a point on the web, we create a beautiful and intricate huge network. This ‘spider web’ allows us to catch thoughts while they vibrate around all of the fibers of the web. Each vibration that catches our attention allows each unique individual to gather strength and knowledge.

This web is vibrant, beautiful and so very valuable to all that participate. So I will help anchor the mother, wife, CEO, GPHR, music lover, enthusiastic point on the Women of HR web.

Diane Prince Johnston


You would see mothers, you would see students and you would see writers. You would see teachers, you would see artists and you would see daughters. At 5 a.m. on a winter morning, offering a community of thought sharing, inspiration and support.

Lisa Rosendahl

Hello Heena, it is so great to hear from you. The one thing you pointed out so well that captures so much of what we are working to do here is that it’s universal. it’s all universal – the potential, the sucess, the craziness, the challenges. Thank you for contributing and being part of the community.

Heena Gandhi

Hi Lisa,

Although i belong to a very different region , yet this article i shud specify is indeed universal, day in and day out i find so many women with great potentials, success stories in different phases from life yet so calm on the face, i myself feel the content when i realize m moving ahead…and somehow i believe HR is one great place where women lead the way coz we have the skill to deal and balance across life…when i look in to the mirror this time i cud see women from all areas of life and work be it technical, managerial, corporate, government agencies etc…name them all…..this article just enlightened me up and thanks for the big smile i wud carry on my face all day long…have been following ur blog since some time now n it feels great to be a part of it….thanks alot

Alison Nolan

This one really hit home. We’re everywhere in every profession and we make such a difference! How many times a month do I hear “There is no way I would do what you do everyday” and I think to myself “There is no way I would want to do anything else than HR!” What a wonderful short glimpse you had with those women – and that we have through the moments in every day we experience. I meet Women in HR everyday that don’t realize even a small amount of their potential or how amazing they really are – but I remind them and I try to bring that out with those I meet. I stumbled across your blog just today and I can already tell that it’s going to be one of my favorites!

Lisa Rosendahl

China, thank you for the amazing, inspirational comment that (as always) gets right to the core of the message.Yes, absolutely, women leading women, men . . .the whole lot. When I think of my daughter and role models and strength, I know I am so fortunate to have people in my sphere like you and the Women of HR that I can point out her to and say, “See, this is what doing and being your best looks like. Now don’t stop there, make it your own.”


Lisa, I love the way you write! So, if the women of HR were looking back at you from the other side of the mirror you’d see business leaders, strategic thinkers, caring butt kickers, people focused on others, leaders changing their organizations for the better, innovators, managers, executives, PHRs, SPHRs, GPHRS, college grads, grads of the school of hard knocks, collaborators, comedians, truth talkers, role models. In short, you’d see the backbone of our society, our organizations, our communities. You know the old chestnut, “teach a man to fish and he can feed himself for the rest of his life”? I’m thinking, “teach a girl to read and do math and she can lead her community/nation/the world to peace and prosperity.”


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