“A Role Model is a person whose behaviour, example, or success is or can be emulated by others”
I was asked in a recent interview if I considered myself a role model. I answered “no”, going on to clarify it by saying that I am your average person who doesn't go about my daily life saying and doing things with the intention of influencing others - positively or otherwise!
This answer, while it may have been a humble one, is categorically, one hundred percent, incorrect. I am a role model. And although it shouldn’t, it makes me cringe a little to say it.
I am now on a mission to reframe my mindset around the “Role Model” title. I am learning to accept it, embrace it and wear it WITH PRIDE… and I want you to join me!
Making a Difference
“With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility”
To get my head around the acceptance of being a role model, I looked at the ways in which I could currently be deemed as one…
Being a Mum
This is a new role for me. My daughter Paige is only 5 months old and already I have been made starkly aware of just how influential my behaviour and presence is to her. I see her eyes follow me as I cross the room. I see her watch my mouth as I speak. I see her watch me as I eat. I see her smile when I smile. Babies learn predominantly by mimicking and imitating, so while on my hands and knees beside her on the floor, mid crawl demo, I am hit with the realisation that I am not only her Mum, but I am also her biggest role model. This is going to be hands down, THE most important job I will ever do. I need to stand tall, embrace it with confidence and be the role model that my little girl deserves.
I am hugely passionate about coaching, and I aspire to help as many people as possible, hence why I set up Equicoach Online. However, thinking back on the amount of people that I have worked with over the years and how I may have helped them, gives me a huge amount of job satisfaction and I am insanely grateful to be able to do what I do.
What I didn’t anticipate though, was the influence I would have on younger generations, young girls specifically, simply by being their coach. I recently bumped into a previous student who had just completed exams to be a schoolteacher. She declared openly that she attributes a lot of her patience, work ethic and passion for teaching, to her time spent in my yard.
Honestly, it took all I had to keep my composure and not shed a tear. And while I was so proud to hear this, she taught me a valuable lesson that day…being a good role model goes far beyond basic leadership. It is about lifting others and taking them with you as you climb, knowing that their success does not take away from your own. This young woman went out of her way to thank me for the positive effect that my horses and I had on her life.
It is for this reason, that this young woman is already an amazing role model for future generations.
First, The Ripple…
Without doubt, Equitas will bring fundamental and pivotal change for women in the equine industry worldwide. We are rewriting the script for all equestrians, male and female so that they will grow up in an industry where the glass ceilings, still very much present to this day, will be unheard of...
However, the effects of Equitas have the potential to go far beyond the equine industry and here is an example…
My Dad, one of my biggest role models, had listened to mainstream media reports of subsidised childcare and was unsure of his stance. He asked for my opinion on the matter to which I replied, “Women deserve Equity and if they need more support, financial or otherwise, for their careers, they should get it.” I could see it, a lightbulb moment. The difference between Equity and Equality. Proportional fairness. Justice for women.
I had educated him and gave him a point of view which hadn’t been presented to him before.
Later that night, while working in a male dominated environment, a similar discussion arose between him and a male colleague. My Dad in turn educated him on the difference between Equity and Equality. Again, another lightbulb lit.
These two men were discussing Equitas - Justice, Fairness, Equity and not a horse in sight.
Equitas is already changing the views of young and old, past & present, people within the sport and people outside of it. Equitas will break the mould previously set in the past and it will create fundamental change in the people that it reaches. Equitas is limitless.
Then, The Wave…
Stepping into the role of Co-founder and CSO of Equitas has been daunting and has personally taken some adjustment. What we are creating in Equitas, has never been done before. My 3 co-founders and I are in uncharted territory, with the reality being that we actually have no idea where this will take us. However, what we do know is that we will let you, the females of the Equine Industry guide us. We will stand behind you every step of the way. We will give you a platform.
United we are a force to be reckoned with. United, we will be heard.
Every single member of #theequitasgeneration is an inspiration, a change maker, a leader, A ROLE MODEL.
And when a community of empowered role models stand together, we have a movement.
Sarah Elebert x