Julia Fisher Farbman: She’s Our Modern Hero

April 21 - On The Dot
FIRST THOUGHT: A Female Symbol of Defiance

Following the stock-market crash in the late 1980s, an artist erected a bronze sculpture called “Charging Bull,” aka the Wall Street Bull, in the financial district of Manhattan. Recently, State Street Global Advisors, the world’s third-largest asset manager, erected in front of the bull a bronze statue of a defiant little girl with her hands on her hips, ready to take on the bull. Her emboldened demeanor represents the asset manager’s campaign to pressure 3,500 companies to add more women to their boards.

Today, let’s all embrace a defiant attitude and embody that little girl who challenges the bull. Be brave. Be determined. Be an uncompromising woman!


In published photos of this inspiring statue, real little girls can be seen confidently posing next to it, hands on their hips. Role models have long been instrumental in teaching girls they can do whatever they set their minds to, and later in life, many women credit mentorship as a key component of their success.

Research suggests that it is imperative that a girl has at least one strong woman as a role model. A University of Toronto study tested this theory by giving a fictional newspaper article about a person’s career success to both male and female students. The female students who read about a successful woman later rated themselves higher than those who read about a man.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Julia Fisher Farbman, Co-founder of Modern Hero

Speaking of female role models, Julia Fisher Farbman is making sure compelling stories of strong, smart, steadfast women are reaching the masses. When it comes to journalism clout, Julia’s work certainly meets the mark, and she has interviewed some truly incredible people, including the 14th Dalai Lama and former On The Dot Woman to Watch Shiza Shahid, co-founder of the nonprofit Malala Fund.

With a history of producing programs for ABC’s Live Well Network and live productions like the Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Miss America pageant pre-show, Julia has some serious reporting chops. Her expertise in telling people’s stories led Julia to create a remarkable video web series called Modern Hero. The series is a component of Julia’s own production company, Ready Set Productions, which she founded with Emmy Award-winning producer Cindy Connors.

The series celebrates women defying the odds and shattering glass ceilings, both in their careers and in the world, and serves as a vehicle for getting more strong women’s voices heard, from a Soviet Union female refugee to the first woman on Wall Street to receive maternity leave. One particularly touching Modern Hero video features Polly Dolan, whose nonprofit, Nurturing Minds, provides education to more than 200 vulnerable girls in Tanzania each year. She says it isn’t about telling these girls what their lives should be; rather, it’s about providing them with the tools so that they can decide their paths for themselves.

Julia’s laser focus on women’s issues gives her star power, and I dare say she is a wonderful role model herself. Thank you, Julia, for giving inspiring women a chance to be heard and for providing a motivational series through which we can find our next female role models.


Undoubtedly, wise writer and civil-rights activist Maya Angelou is on your list of strong women role models. Let’s finish today’s dose of inspiration with a quote from her. She said:

“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

To learn more about our conversation, check us out at OnTheDotWoman.com and talk to us @OnTheDotWoman on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear your voice.

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