As we celebrate the 90th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment this week, our Woman Making History Robyn Stecher is the perfect example of a woman who proves that gender has no bearings whatsoever on an individuals ability to accomplish anything, whether it’s voting, professional leadership, or parenthood.
An accomplished Entertainment and Talent Executive who had been building a career working with name talent for the last 22 years, Robyn was delivered a blow that many would find devastating when doctors told her that her son Daniel was born with a neurological impairment. Instead of destroying Robyn, this news propelled her to new heights. The single mother dedicated herself to cultivating a “can do” attitude in Daniel from his early years. Her son’s successes over the years provided a unique motivation for Robyn, who used Daniel’s encouraging examples of facing adversity to climb the professional ranks over the years.
Robyn is now not only an executive force to be reckoned with in the professional area, but is also a philanthropist, motivational speaker, and author of the inspiring book about raising her son There’s Something About Daniel.
Today we honor Robyn Stecher as a Woman Making History.
Robyn’s work has inspired many– check out what one reader had to say about There’s Something About Daniel.
I just finished reading your beautiful book and I am absolutely inspired. Inspired by your courage and love, by the faith it must have taken to go through such an incredible adventure; the conviction to fight for your child’s birth and to fight throughout his life to give him the opportunity to live his dreams. I am also greatly inspired that you had the creative spirit to write about it so that people like me could share in the miracle. Thank you for giving me that insight into the power of faith and love.
Robyn was kind enough enough to take a minute to work on a M.I.S.S. survey by hand! Read some fun facts about the author below:
M.I.S.S.: What woman, besides your mom or grandmother, do you find inspirational?
Joyce Gordon was a former president of Screen Actor’s Guild, Actress, Politican, Entrepreneur. She was the first product spokeswoman in commercials and the first woman to voice a television commercial. What amazes me about Joyce is that despite her accomplishments she is down to earth, accessible, always willing to help out anyone in need. Joyce is joyful and graceful. While she is an incredibly independent woman, she was a committed wonderful partner to her husband Bernie, mother—she has unconditionally supported her children well into their adulthood. She is a friend, an inspiration and the work she did for SAG in establishing the pension plan during her reign affected thousands of lives of working actors.
M.I.S.S.: How did you climb the ladder and how would you advise other young women to do so?
Very cautiously and not very carefully. Meaning I saw the dangers, but I yielded to the bigger picture.
M.I.S.S: What has been one of your most important professional achievements to date?
My most important professional achievement was learning resourcefulness and looking past the surface of how things appeared, to discover the satisfactions that could come later—maybe it was learning delayed satisfaction and finding the balance in a business I really enjoyed which was very demanding and living my life to the fullest without losing myself in the process.
I also figured out young that the way I would generate a “name” for myself was to generate revenue for my company. After being beaten down repeatedly and finding little satisfaction in the business I was in, I learned that complaining was a dead end, I had to look within for a solution to make things better. I paid attention to what was going on around me, and over time, noticed a trend… the need for a fairly novel and ground breaking form of representation in voice over for television network promotion.
I told my bosses that I wanted to move into that area of representation, then untapped, and founded a division within my company that was a very new kind of representation. At the time, no other agent –either east or west coast was focusing on the specific needs of the announcers for television networks and while this was far from the glamour associated with movie and tv deals, it was a highly lucrative area which garnered millions of dollars of income for my company within a few short years.
This gave me the self confidence to go on and create other opportunities within my field which would be very successful and always based on growth and vision.
M.I.S.S.: What part of being a female in the entertainment industry is most challenging and how do you get past the challenge?
Early on it was the the demeaning and subjugating attitudes of some of the clients and management. Women in this business must be able to handle hefty amounts of sexual innuendos and remarks, which in other businesses would be taboo. We work without many of the rules that are focused on “acceptable workplace commentary and behavior”.
In the middle years, being a mother was tough because there were so many after hours demands and I was recently divorced and wanted to be home with my young son. There were also demands for late office hours and at the time we did not have blackberry’s. Not easy, but I stayed focused on building my business and remained as conscious as I could of the juggle, trying to be kind to myself along the way, and keeping a good attitude about my progress as I grew my business. I grew my identity eventually as a successful executive and can-do woman and conscientious mother .
M.I.S.S.: Any advice for ladies who are just starting out in a career path similar to yours?
First and foremost associate with women and men in your workplace who IMPRESS YOU, not the ones who are your friends or who you like… there is a difference. Who you associate with and how you present yourself says everything about what you think of yourself. How you express yourself says everything about your level of intelligence and emotional intelligence. Emotion has little place in the office. Stick to the facts. Ask yourself what you want and what you need to get there and who can help you. Avoid telling stories to yourself or others about what’s not working. Do not complain, Think things through before reacting and if you can find a mentor to bounce your ideas of off, this can be very helpful. Think like a race horse, they are rarely distracted. They are trained to win races. You win when you tell yourself don’t need permission to win… Stay the course, it is long and sometimes demeaning but remember, everything you have is based on what you tell yourself… the greatest asset you have is the voice in your head… stick with the truth, nothing but the truth and when you make a mistake or disappoint yourself, learn something from it and don’t haul yesterday’s story into tomorrow.
M.I.S.S.: Lastly, which women in the realm of entertainment do you think are poised to make an impact in 2010?
Oprah Winfrey and Bonnie Hammer in entertainment; Angelina Jolie and Annie Lennox on fundraising and awareness; Heather Armstrong as a Blogger; Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric in tv journalism; and Ariana Huffington in Internet Communications.
Many thanks to Feesh for amazing graphic layout!
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