You Poetic, Noble Land Mermaid: A Celebration of “Galentine’s Day”

You Poetic, Noble Land Mermaid: A Celebration of “Galentine’s Day”

February heralds the arrival of one of our most cherished holidays. No, we do not mean Valentine’s Day (though any day that practically mandates consumption of dark chocolate has our hearts); we mean Galentine’s Day! What is Galentine’s Day, you ask? As the doggedly determined Leslie Knope of Parks & Recreation puts it: “Oh, it’s only the best day of the year… Ladies, celebrating ladies.  It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst.  Plus frittatas.”[i]  Tyson & Mendes celebrates ladies year round, but we particularly relish Galentine’s Day, so much so that this year, we are welcoming Beth Paretta for an incredibly inspiring internal conversation with our own Cayce Lynch!

As co-chairs of Tyson & Mendes’ Women’s Initiative and strong believers in the power of female friendship, we are excited to share with you some of our favorite lessons learned from Leslie Knope in the spirit of Galentine’s Day.  While she is (sadly) fictional, Leslie is one of our favorite ladies, and not just because she understands the importance of a good breakfast!  Without further ado, here are our top five Leslie Knope lessons for female advancement:

  1. Be unabashed in your enthusiasm and unyielding in your goals. Leslie is the definition of leaning in.  When we were in school, it was considered “uncool” to try.  As it turns out, embracing what you love and care about without apology makes it easier to pursue your goals, and more likely you will reach them.  In other words, trying is cool.  Finally!  And, in a world where the broken rung[i] continues to hamstring women in pursuit of their professional goals, we need the courage to try and the grit to keep trying


  1. Seek out community and cultivate it when you find it. Nearly a decade after Parks and Recreation’s series finale, Leslie Knope and Ann Perkins continue to school us in the value of female friendships.  Their bond is one that propels both to new heights as they navigate professional growth, personal relationships, new goals, and even motherhood.  Being willing to engage intentionally and cultivate relationships allows us to do the same.


  1. Be every woman’s hype woman. Leslie’s compliments are a little strange[iii], but there’s no doubt she believes her best friend can do anything.  We all need that, and we all need to give that to each other.  Even Beyonce and Taylor Swift have exhibited the good that comes from rallying for other women to succeed[iv]!  Let us cheer each other on and mirror to each other the musk ox in all of us – beautiful, talented, brilliant, and powerful.


  1. Bring others through the door with you. Mentorship and sponsorship are incredible gifts that have historically been reserved for a self-perpetuating cycle of middle-aged, white, males.[v]  Formal mentorship programs are critical for women and people of color because of this gap (Tyson & Mendes just launched our Attorney Mentorship Program (AMP) largely in recognition of this immense value), but even informal mentoring offers a growth opportunity for mentees as well as mentors.  Leslie’s persistence in cultivating April’s strengths (even as April seems intent on doing as little as possible) is inspiring, and ultimately results in April recognizing and acknowledging her own capabilities.  What a gift, and one we can offer, too.


  1. Allow yourself to be inspired – by yourself. Leslie once said, “I am big enough to admit I am often inspired by myself.”[vi]  Impostor Syndrome would have us play small, but the best way to shut down a critic (even an inner critic!) is unapologetic authenticity.  It is uncomfortable to express pride in your own accomplishments, and to speak openly about your goals, but giving voice to these things offers others the courage to do the same.


We have a long way to go, but the lessons we learned a decade ago in Pawnee, Indiana are ripe for reexamination on this and every Galentine’s Day.  We hope you will join us in supporting women in the insurance defense industry and beyond!



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[i] Parks and Recreation, “Galentine’s Day.” NBC. February 11, 2010.





[vi] Parks and Recreation, “How a Bill Becomes a Law.” NBC. October 4, 2012.