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The Audacity of Authenticity

Updated: Feb 14

If you've attended a Ready Set GC program, you know we kick off our day with an ode to a woman who inspires me—Dolly Parton. I decided to blog about her because she inspires my vision for Ready Set GC - an opportunity to help women lean into their GC roles and lead with authenticity - to be successful by being exactly how they are and are meant to be.

With her unapologetic drive and determination, Dolly has long been a source of strength and admiration. For me, it's not always her music, but her trailblazing journey and never-give-up attitude that earns my deep admiration.


Dolly's recent acceptance into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, after initially claiming that as a country music star, she wasn't worthy, speaks volumes about her humility and self-awareness. In the end, she not only accepted the honor, but showed up with a rhinestone-studded guitar, a matching black leather-studded outfit, and debuted a rock and roll number she’d written specifically for the occasion. Fast forward, and she recently released her own 30-track rock and roll album.


What strikes me most about Dolly is her unwavering commitment to authenticity. In a world adorned with rhinestones, she proudly declares herself a diamond—a symbol of authenticity in a landscape often marred by inauthenticity.


Dolly Parton's influence extends beyond her immediate circle. Countless women, including rising stars like Lainey Wilson, find inspiration in her legacy. Wilson's song, 'WWDD - What Would Dolly Do,' is a testament to the impact of Dolly's wisdom on a new generation. As Wilson sings:



That's the bottom line for me

My go-to compass and my golden rule

When life rings my southern bellI just gotta ask myself, hell

What would Dolly do?


As a fellow bookworm, I'm also drawn to Dolly's passion for literacy. Her efforts, like the Imagination Library, which provides books to children worldwide, reflect a commitment to empowering through education—a cause close to my heart, having spent a decade of my own legal journey in the higher education space.


Reflecting on Dolly Parton's remarkable career, I'm inspired not only by her journey but also by the profound impact she's had on women across generations. Dolly encourages us to break free from the confines of expectation and embrace the authentic core that sets us apart.


In the symphony of life, Dolly's melody echoes loudly—a reminder that being a diamond in a rhinestone world is not just a choice; it's a legacy worth leaving.

Deborah Solmor,

Founder, Ready Set GC



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