Mothers are the unsung heroes of many households. Every day they selflessly devote time and energy to take care of everyone else and their work is often never done.
To celebrate her mother, CEO and founder of Womensphere Analisa Balares took time to pen an article "Our Mothers, Our Heroines" on Mother’s Day with the help of her friends and fellow young leaders.
For her efforts, Balares has been recognized by the World Economic Forum. She's been included on lists such as 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the World, 30 Outstanding Women Leaders by the National Council for Research on Women, and 40 Under 40 New Leaders in America by The New Leaders Council. In 2008, she founded Womensphere with the sole purpose of "unleashing women's potential, and advancing the evolution of women as leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs, and creators all over the world." Under the independent media organization, Balares has directed and produced over 100 conferences and forums to continue the conversation on women’s leadership development, sustainable development, entrepreneurship, innovation, and education, among others.
Read an excerpt of Balares' story below:
"My mother was 14 when she quit high school to work as a nanny then as a household maid. She took on these jobs so that she could help send her older sister Julia to college, and so that she could help my grandmother, who was a widow and a single mother in rural Philippines. She did her job with pride, joy, and even with a sense of adventure.
"While my mother stopped her formal education in her teens, she was the best teacher I ever had. With her reading to me every day since I was born, I had memorized (and could recite word for word) my childhood storybooks by the age of 2. She instilled in me the importance of faith, kindness, and love. I was three when she taught me to pray and converse with God. She inspired in me a strong work ethic, creativity, and passion for learning and building that ultimately led me to achieve many gold and silver medals from elementary through high school, full scholarships to my top choice colleges like my alma mater Mount Holyoke, an Ivy League education at Harvard Business School.
"When I ask my mother about her dreams, she shares that her dreams are not for herself, but for the happiness and well-being of everyone she loves."
The Balares family
Balares was born to Mely who endured poverty and hardship to make sure her children had all the opportunities she didn’t. Her inspiring story is followed by the stories of social entrepreneur and a senior marketing executive Alex Dan Tacderas; international program manager for Womensphere Mark Ronald Eborde; entrepreneur, technologist, and CEO of Amihan Global Strategies Winston Damarillo; award-winning journalist and TOYM awardee Doris Dumlao-Abadilla; vice president for external relations at First Circle and World Economic Forum honoree Benedict Carandang; technology strategy leader for Dell, founder and founding president of IdeaSpace Foundation, and TOYM and World Economic Forum awardee Earl Martin Valencia; CEO and co-founder of Advancement for Rural Kids and World Economic Forum honoree Ayesha Vera-Yu; and learning and organizational development consultant for the Toronto Community Housing in Canada Jennifer Perez-Dombrovskis.