Are you making your life count? In light of our 2016 Girls Night Out events entitled “Make it Count,” we are highlighting a few women who are making their lives count. Let the inspiration begin!

“One of my favorite things is to mentor and coach people. I also learn from the people I’ve mentored and coached and have enjoyed the friendships that we’ve built. I was fortunate to have been honored as one of SV Business Journal’s Women of Influence in 2013 but I was even more delighted that two years later, three of the women that I had been mentoring/coaching at eBay were all given the same honor.

Ten years ago, I co-founded a group with six women attorneys who were all chief intellectual property (IP) counsels at technology companies in Silicon Valley. Initially, we met to have lunches together and get to know one another. Soon, we realized that we had common stories of how difficult it was to rise up in our profession and we wanted to help women in our profession to succeed. We realized that our group and our companies were powerful and influential and we could do a lot of good. So we started working with law firms to host events in the Bay Area to inspire, train, and advance women in technology and intellectual property.

These events grew over time to now where our group, ChIPs, has a membership of over 1200 women and hosts an annual global event in Washington, DC where we have over 400 judges, government officials, agency heads, academics, corporate counsel and law firm attorneys in attendance.

God has definitely blessed my career more than I could have imagined. I love that we have helped a lot of women advance and grow in their careers. Most of all, I’ve enjoyed the friendships that my Chipster friends and I have built with each other.

In my life I’ve seen over and over how God turns obstacles into opportunities. Everything from failures and difficulties in my career, loneliness when I was single and the right guy was nowhere in sight, to health challenges.

Even before we married and before we had met, Victor and I wanted to adopt an orphan. It seems terribly sad for a child to grow up without a family or having parents to love and protect him or her. After we got married, we tried for many years to get pregnant, assuming that we would be able to do that and also adopt. Not being able to bear a child was very painful and I grieved on the inside. However, when we eventually adopted our son, Joshua Jackson, after five or six years in the adoption process, the joy we experienced more than made up for all of the pain and grief.

I prayed a lot for God’s guidance and scriptures like the one below have been my guiding North Star:

[27] Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

James 1:27 NLT

If it had been easy for me to get pregnant, there’s a real possibility that despite best intentions, we might not have kept pursuing adoption. Joshua is the perfect little boy for our family — happy, loving and full of mischief and fun. Our home is always messy but there’s a lot of laughter (and occasionally some yelling).

It is hugely encouraging to see God using our lives to help other people.”

-Emily Ward

To learn more about making your life count, be sure to join us for one of our Girls Night Out events, happening around the Bay Area in the month of March.