Charmaine Timothy seems to have it all. A large, close-knit, supportive family with a cheerleader for a sister, a fabulous husband, two adorable little girls and an admirable position at a leading financial services firm that would hurt any of her male counterparts’ egos. Yes, Charmaine really does seem to have everything sorted on the personal and professional front. And what’s more – apart from trying to raise her two daughters to be strong, independent and compassionate women, Charmaine wanted to inspire other women around her to believe in themselves and follow their dreams too – whatever they may be, just like she did. And this is how the ‘Wonder Women World’ would come into being.
The Vision Behind Wonder Women World
Charmaine is the founder and editor of ‘Wonder Women World’: A platform for women from all walks of life to draw inspiration, provide inspiration, celebrate other women’s journeys or just be heard, backed by its very own comprehensive website and a Facebook community with over a whopping 36,000 followers. This wonderful, awe-inspiring community has helped bring together women from different fields and industries, help them broaden their perspectives, encourage learning and empower each other by building an unbreakable network of female powerhouses.
My objective is to recognize women, tell their stories which are sometimes untold or not widely known and help them see themselves and others in a positive light.”
Charmaine loves her profession in the finance sector but felt the need to do something more meaningful with a greater purpose in life. She enjoys writing, meeting new people and felt drawn to tell stories of all the women around her who are so fabulous and sometimes don’t see it!
A combination of passion and progression motivated Charmaine to start her women empowering project. “I am passionate about spreading positivity while keeping it real and relatable.” She was always in awe of the strength women have – especially her mother and other independent, self-motivated and resilient women around her. On the other hand, Charmaine wanted to progress personally, see what she could do with her writing, and explore the opportunities that would open up if she moved out of her comfort zone. She wanted to do something which could make a difference in the lives of the rest of her kind.
One Small Step for Charmaine, One Giant Leap for Womankind
One day, Charmaine was role-playing with her 6-year-old daughter only to discover that this would be her life-changing moment when the idea to start Wonder Women World would hit her. Her daughter, donning a cape, asked her mother to call her “wonder woman” and showed her how she was fighting the pretend villains around her. And that’s when it hit Charmaine. She realized that this is exactly what women do, every single day.
We wear our invisible capes and crowns, get through our daily lives fighting inner and external demons. We all have a ‘Wonder Woman’ inside of us – I wanted the world to see it and more importantly, I wanted the woman I write about to see it!”
Charmaine then started to pay close attention to the conversations she had with women only to realize that each one of them had a unique story to share and there were so many things to learn from them. Most women, according to Charmaine, are dismissive of their achievements or are in denial of how strong they really are. Charmaine wanted to be their guiding light to show the world what women were really capable of. And thus came the dawn of ‘Wonder Women World’.
Balancing conflicting priorities and ensuring no one role overshadows another.”
Challenges Faced During the Journey of Wonder Women World
Looks like finding the right balance between her personal, professional and entrepreneurial life was all in a day’s work for this superwoman. Although a bit challenging at first, Charmaine learned how to incorporate her work on Wonder Women World into her daily routine of looking after the kids, running the house, as well as managing a full-time career. She was so passionate about her project and realized that in order to do justice to her roles as a mother, wife and career woman, she had to keep working on Wonder Women World. She didn’t mind working after her day job ended, late into the night and on weekends because the joy she felt and the difference she was making to the women she wrote about made it feel less like work and more like a hobby! And of course, Charmaine’s extremely supportive family helped her conquer her demons and rise to victory.
Having Second Thoughts…
Charmaine was riddled with many tough questions before she started Wonder Women World – Would she be able to tell engaging stories? Would she be able to manage with an infant and an energetic 6-year-old? Could she build a website? Would she be able to design the creatives? The doubts were endless…But Charmaine silenced all those tiny voices inside her head, and today, with over 36,000 women giving her a thumbs up and reassuring her that this is the need of the hour, she is glad she did. Her success feels surreal at times, she admits humbly.
Today, Charmaine makes sure that every article she writes is original and does justice to the powerful, inspiring women that she shines the spotlight on. She understands and respects each woman’s personality and background, making sure that she is never unconsciously biased. For Charmaine, it’s not about the money or winning the race to be the best but to enjoy the journey and grow Wonder Women World on her own terms.
The Wonder Women World is a non-profit initiative fueled by sheer passion and a need to do something with a greater purpose in life.”
It’s Not Easy Being a Superhero
Not only does Charmaine help showcase women in all their strength and glory, she has helped rescue a few of them too. Many women have confided their toughest and most personal moments with her, including those that have broken them, built them and that have molded them into what they are today. Charmaine has read some harrowing experiences that these women have been through and has listened to them pour their hearts out to her. She feels for them very strongly and empathizes with them. But to see them come out of it all with a brave face and manage to remain so positive and happy is truly remarkable and only makes Charmaine appreciate and love what she does all the more.
Charmaine wants the Wonder Women World to be a natural outlet for women to reach out to the world and share their inspiring stories. She encourages them to identify other “wonder women” in their lives thereby fostering a culture of women cheering for and encouraging other women as well. This is what makes this noble cause so unconventional as it promotes a culture of sisterhood and cuts out the unhealthy competition. Word of mouth, social media and Charmaine have helped bring together women from all around the world together as one.
Charmaine draws inspiration from different members of her family. She admires her mother for the strong, kind, selfless person that she is and reaches out to her for strength, motivation and comfort on those especially trying days. She seeks the approval of her dad and always aims to make him proud. Her best friend? None other than her doting husband, her life partner, her soul mate. Charmaine says that she would be incomplete without him. We’re sure that right now, somewhere, there’s a very happy husband who can’t contain his glee.
Charmaine says that she wouldn’t have been able to do it without the support of her family, especially her husband – who not once has tried to take the reins from her or interfere in the way she grows her initiative. Instead, he listens patiently to her bouncing off her ideas, gladly gives her a fresh perspective on things and respects her space. To allow her to work on her project, he even pitches in with the kids after work so that his wife can get some downtime to devote to her writing and interviewing women. If this isn’t every woman’s dream husband, then we wouldn’t know what is!
What’s Next for The Wonder Woman and for Wonder Women World?
Charmaine has many other exciting ideas up her sleeve but says she will implement them in a phased manner. To kick start anything requires time, resources and funding. She welcomes new ideas and sponsors as well as those who are interested in collaborating to take Wonder Woman World to the next level. But for now, Charmaine simply enjoys seeing the smiles that come along this journey of female empowerment.
At the end of the day, I hope to touch as many women’s lives by sharing their stories, inspiring them and giving them the required motivation to pursue their dreams.”
Charmaine’s end goal for Wonder Women World is to build a robust network of women and foster a culture of mentoring, knowledge sharing and women empowering other women.
“I find that it takes a lot of discipline, sacrifices, determination, and dedication.” That’s the only way Charmaine has managed to showcase her superpowers while managing a fulltime job and a family. And the returns are priceless – meeting new people, making new friends and learning new things every day. She says gratefully, “I get so much love in return just for giving women their moment in the sun!”
Charmaine leaves us with some bold words of wisdom that she says comes straight from the heart…“Remind yourself every day that you are phenomenal and you have what it takes to make your dreams come true.” Dreams aren’t meant to be hidden in the back of our minds but brought to life. And making the dreams of women come true might be a little harder given that they are constantly pushed and pulled in different directions, beaten down or hushed when voicing their opinions. Suppressed, discriminated, ill-treated even – both at the home as well as the work front. But with a fairy godmother like Charmaine boldly rooting for their cause and empowering them with a voice, nothing seems impossible for the socially tagged ‘weaker sex’, but in fact, and in all actuality, the much ‘stronger sex’. After all, …“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”
Seems like the world could use a lot more people like Charmaine to make it a better place for all of us.