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International Women’s Day Special: Paige Parker on being a ‘Momager’

What’s Paige Parker’s proudest achievement? Hint: it’s not the Guinness World Record that she still holds. We chat with the strong-willed Southern belle about the causes closest to her heart.

Paige Parker is many things – GIA certified gemologist, philanthropist, and Guinness World Record holder (yes, really) – but her proudest title would have to be mother-of-two: On her LinkedIn, Paige Parker is a self-proclaimed ‘Momager’.

Take one look at her Instagram feed, and you’ll see just how. There, the American-born Paige Parker is every bit the beaming proud mama, documenting the glamorous minutiae of the lives of her two daughters, Happy and Bee Rogers.

But it wasn’t always family staycations and morning pancakes for the kids. Not too long ago, Paige Parker and her husband, investor Jim Rogers, set out on the road trip of a lifetime – one that spanned 111 countries and three territories – a feat that got them a Guinness World Record for the most countries visited in a continuous journey by car, a title the duo still hold today.

These days, though her swashbuckling days of venturing the globe are over, Paige Parker finds no lack of action in her life here in Singapore. She sits on the executive committee for the Singapore Committee for UN Women, where she works to better the lives of women in Singapore and around the globe, and is also a keen patron of the arts.

SEE ALSO: Ann Mui Ling doesn’t see art as investment

We take five minutes with this fast-moving power mum to find out her hopes for the future of her daughters, as well as the future of women and girls around the globe.

Who are your real life heroes?
My mother, Sandra Parker. I grew up in a small [American] town in the South. My mum was one of the rare career women, working long hours and using her lunch hour to ferry me around. I now realise she was quite a success, which makes her even rarer.

As a child, I recall being so proud of her, and today, she continues to volunteer in her church, where she serves as treasurer – the only female office holder – and as a Guardian ad Litem, where she works with the court to investigate and determine the best interest for children whose family situations fall apart.

What’s the cause that’s closest to your heart, and why?
I support education and the arts – they often are seen as luxuries, but we all need them to be whole. UN Women’s goals for women’s empowerment and gender equality are also paramount to me, especially given my two daughters.

My husband Jim and I are rearing Happy and Bee to know they can go, do and become whatever they want to be. The Singapore Committee for UN Women, of which I serve on the board, supports programmes that offer women and girls access to education, healthcare, economic independence and a life free of abuse.

Our next event is the #HeForShe luncheon on May 4, where we will honour people and organisations actively promoting gender equality in the workplace and in their community.

If you could, what advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
We all know the famous quote, “youth is wasted on the young”, by George Bernard Shaw, and it’s so absolutely true! I’d advise my younger 16-year-old self to ask for help. It doesn’t make you weak. Most are keen to share their wisdom and even failures. Just ask!

If you could have any female in the world round to dinner, who would be on your fantasy invite list, and why?
At this moment, I’m super keen to dine with Reese Witherspoon, who is on fire! A devoted mother, wife, daughter, friend, she’s an acclaimed actress who began a production company, Hello Sunshine, which is dedicated to telling female driven stories (think Big Little Lies).

Her book club [@reesesbookclubxhellowsunshine] has a following of 411k on Instagram [as of today]. She hails from the South, like moi, and her clothing line Draper James offers dresses that feel perfect for modern life, yet remain part gracious Southern belle.

She’s doing so much to help others, and I am proud of her for constantly pushing to make women’s lives better and inspiring countless others to do good too.

As a woman, what’s your greatest asset?
I don’t want to define my greatest asset according to gender. Mine is certainly persistence – I’m nothing if not determined and persistent. Jim and I are teaching our daughters the importance of perseverance too.

Paige Parker

As a mother of two daughters, what’s your greatest joy?
Seeing my daughters develop into thoughtful, smart, interested, interesting, driven human beings is pretty much every mother’s greatest glory. Spending quality time – whether it be a Saturday morning snuggle, dinner at Valentino’s or a walk in the Botanic Gardens with Happy, Bee and Jim – is pretty much my idea of perfection.

And your greatest fear?
Converting miles to kilometres! (laughs) But, seriously – losing my daughters.

What goal did you last set for yourself, and did you meet it?
It’s not the last one I set, but I made a goal a few years ago to have my round-the-world travel memoir published, and it looks like this will come to fruition, so I am absurdly excited and eager to share this with everybody!

Quote a quote that you live by or regard as a truism.
I started an Instagram page called @therealqueenofquotes to share quotes for a good life. I know it’s corny, but I don’t care. I’m kinda corny!

These two are among my fav truisms: ‘Make life epic’, and ‘this too shall pass’.

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