To celebrate International Women’s Day 2019, I am pleased to reflect on the positive influence Maisy Dumont has had on my life. I moved to Luxembourg 25 years ago, and Maisy was my boss at Miami University. The two main lessons I learned from her were how I wanted to treat people and how to have balance in my life.
On how to treat people
Maisy was a leader in the workplace, her title was assistant to the director, but she ran the show, thinking of everything and making things run smoothly. I always admired how thoughtful she was, the capacity she had to get things accomplished and how she motivated others to do their work.
I do not ever remember hearing her speak about how to treat people well, but she definitely led by example. Maisy always was thinking of her colleagues--and whether they were a local, a visiting American or someone in-between, Maisy made them feel welcome, answered countless questions and included them in both decision making and celebrations. It was a true experience of being on a team. This is something I have tried to emulate in the workplace, and it is not an easy task!
On finding and maintaining balance
It is my belief that Maisy considered her colleagues as family, and she treated them as such. At the same time, she had her own family, a husband and two daughters at home, plus her parents, in-laws, her sibling and their families. Maisy worked full time and included her family in work events when she could, and she also included her work family into her nuclear family as well, making it look effortless and showing how she cared for all of her families. She raised two wonderful, independent daughters. I continue to be amazed at how easy she made all of this seem, and I continue to strive to be more like Maisy.
What would Maisy do?
When I was in high school there was a Christian youth movement called “What would Jesus Do”, or WWJD. I am not particularly religious person, but many students at my school in America wore rubber bracelets with WWJD printed on them so that every time they saw their wrists they would remember to be kind to people and to remember the Christian way to behave toward others.
I have told Maisy this story and shared with her that while I do not have a “What would Maisy do” or WWMD bracelet, I often think about her and the way she treated her co-workers and how she balanced her work and life. I think to myself, ‘what would Maisy do’ in this situation and in most cases I do exactly what I think she would do in my position.
Maisy has gone from being my boss to my friend, and I have watched her continue to lead by example as she retired, became a grandmother (multiple times) and continue to be good to people in her life while maintaining balance. I have known Maisy for over half of my life, and she continues to be to be an inspiration to me as a leader, caregiver, and an example of how I want to live my life, which is why I chose to write about her to celebrate International Women’s Day 2019.
Stephanie Shaheen is an American who loves living and working in Luxembourg. She is married and has two daughters who attend the local primary school and already speak 2-3 more languages that she does.