Lessons from a True #LadyBoss

Written By: Erin Bach

Last week, I stood in a line that wrapped around the outside of a movie theater. It wasn’t a line for a blockbuster hit or a superhero movie. Well, I suppose in a way the movie was about a superhero—a female superhero who has literally changed the lives of the American people. Who is this real life wonder woman? None other than the Notorious RBG, aka Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.


It’s no surprise to me that this documentary is a box office hit, pulling in about $1 million over the weekend. For a documentary, that’s almost unheard of. I’m thrilled that RBG and this doc are getting the recognition they deserve because I think women of all ages can learn some lessons from this bonafide lady boss.


Lesson #1: Stand up for what you believe in

After overcoming many obstacles (like law firms refusing to hire a woman), RBG took matters into her own hands, and in 1972 co-founded the Women's Rights Project at the ACLU. This allowed her to pursue what she believed in: equality.

Between 1973-1976 she argued six gender discrimination cases in front of the Supreme Court, and won five of them. Talk about a badass!


Lesson #2: Make your mark  

As if being the second woman to ever serve on the Supreme Court wasn’t enough, RBG has turned into a pop culture celebrity through just being herself. Her tenacity, strength, voice, and signature collars (she has a whole collection, including a special one she wears when presenting dissenting opinions!) has made her an icon for women of all generations and earned her the nickname Notorious RBG.


Lesson #3: Pick your partner wisely

RBG is proof that a strong, independent woman can be part of a marriage without losing herself in her partner. She and her husband, Marty, met in college and supported each other through law school, marriage, family, illness, job changes, etc. In fact, Marty (a lawyer himself), was known for cooking dinner for Ruth and bringing it to the courthouse when she was working late.  

Hearing Ruth and Marty talk about each other and their relationship was one of my favorite parts of the documentary. Sadly, Marty passed away in 2010, but the photos and footage used in the film make your heart want to burst. He saw how intelligent and courageous his wife was and supported her unconditionally in pursuing her dreams. We need more men like him in the world!


Lesson #4: Don’t let anything hold you back

RBG has had many setbacks in her life, but she never let anything slow her down. For example, in the last 20 years, she’s had colon cancer and pancreatic cancer, but survived both and continues to thrive. She felt physically weaker after her first fight against cancer so she got a personal trainer and has made her health a priority. She works out regularly and is rumored to do 20 push ups a day! She’s got me beat, for sure!


Whether you’re 18, 85, or any age in between, RBG is an inspiration. She is a testament to how impactful a powerful woman can be and serves as a reminder that believing in ourselves—seeing ourselves as equal and worthy is the key to making change and achieving our dreams.