The Ladies of Primary: A Salute to International Women’s Day

2015 was a huge year for feminist concerns and issues, and it looks like 2016 will continue in the same vein. More and more, women are making huge progressions in social, economic, cultural, and political roles all over the world. To celebrate #InternationalWomensDay at Primary, we wanted to know what influential figures inspire our creative and talented colleagues. To do so, we asked the women of Primary to take a selfie and answer the following three questions:

  1. What woman, alive or deceased (but not related to you) has influenced you the most?
  2. What is this woman famous for?
  3. Why has she been an important influence?



Jenny Valencia – Resources Manager

Jackie Kennedy Onassis

Why She’s Famous
For being first lady and a style icon

Why She’s Been An Important Influence
I found it influential how she acted gracefully when tragedy struck her family, and always remained a dedicated mother. She later reinvented herself as a successful book editor and historic preservationist.



Aashruti Patel – Office Coordinator

Angelina Jolie

Why She’s Famous
For being an American actress, filmmaker and humanitarian

Why She’s Been An Important Influence
She’s influenced me because she has dedicated her time to helping those less fortunate than she is. Angelina works with an organization called UNHCR which protects refugees. She donates her time and money to help those less fortunate than she is.



Victoria Tran – Media Planner/Buyer

Artemisia Gentileschi

Why She’s Famous
She was an Italian Baroque painter, famous for illustrating strong women in violent scenes from myths and the bible

Why She’s Been An Important Influence
Gentileschi was an influential figure to me because of her talent and perseverance. During her time, female painters were not easily recognized or accepted. Her work, similar to Caravaggio’s style, challenged painters by defying what women should be painting. Eventually she was the first female accepted into the Academy of the Arts of Drawing. I admire her for not only her resilience, but for her drive to surpass her male contemporaries.



Cat Tersigni – Traffic Manager

Amelia Earhart

Why She’s Famous
She is known as the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean

Why She’s Been An Important Influence
I admire her because she was adventurous, courageous, and a risk-taker that didn’t let anything stand in her way.


Annmarie Guerriero-Lamy – Account Executive

Carol Burnett

Why She’s Famous
She’s a comedian, actress, singer and writer. Best known for the Carol Burnett show.

Why She’s Been An Important Influence
I chose her because she is a joy to watch and has always been an amazing actress/comedian. My mother and sister were always big fans, and Annie was one of my favorite movies as a kid. She is respected by many and seen as an innovator in female comedy, paving the way for the famous faces we see today. She ends every performance with a tug on her ear, paying homage to her late grandmother. She will always hold a place in my heart and make me smile.



Alison Szetela – Graphic Designer

Elsa Schiaparelli

Why She’s Famous
For being an avant-garde fashion designer who combined surrealism, humor and function with couture

Why She’s Been An Important Influence
She influenced me through her successful balance of form and function in design. Some, but not nearly all, of her design credits include jumpsuits, overalls, transparent raincoats, folding glasses, scarf dresses and visible zippers on garments. She was also well known for bringing the trompe I’œil effect and a little humor to fashion; gloves with simulated nail polish, sweaters knit like a sailer uniform. Regardless of being considered appropriate, she designed what the modern woman would appreciate; like her “speakeasy dress” during the prohibition era with a hidden pocket for a flask. Cheers to an influential Elsa Schiaparelli.



Camille Maren – Photographer

Frida Kahlo

Why She’s Famous
As a Mexican artist who overcame extreme physical handicaps to paint, she has become an icon for female creativity and unbreakable spirit. “Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?” She is famous for her self portraits which are an exploration of self that at times are shocking and almost always edgy. There was so much to figure out, and Frida kept at it, breaking rules if necessary but most importantly seeing things with fresh eyes and bravely painting them on canvas.

Why She’s Been An Important Influence
Her toughness, playfulness and drive to create, motivate me to do my own creative work.



Kristin Morgovnik – Account Supervisor

Reese Witherspoon

Why She’s Famous
Movie Star, Mom, Fashionista, Comedian

Why She’s Been An Important Influence
She is a powerhouse! She does it all – she’s a mom, a movie star, a fashionista, a comedian, and an overall class act. She does everything with style, grace, and a smile on her face!



Gina Lane – Media Manager

Joan Rivers

Why She’s Famous
She’s famous for being a comedian who always pushed the envelope

Why She’s Been An Important Influence
She’s influenced me because she was hilarious and is considered to have been a pioneer for women in her industry. No one had done what she did before her. Because of her, women in her industry have more freedom and are at least a little more likely to receive the accolades they deserve. People might not always have liked her humor, but I think she deserves infinite respect for the things she did for women in entertainment.


We’re so lucky to have such a great variety of creative and talented women in our office. We hope this empowers you and reminds you of those who have paved the way in battling gender stereotypes and glass ceilings. As Elizabeth Cady Stanton once said “Woman’s discontent increases in exact proportion to her development.” Happy International Women’s Day from the Primary team.

Feeling inspired? Leave a comment below and tell us about an influential woman you admire.

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