Meet Illiana Raia, lawyer, lecturer and founder of ‘Être’ – a site and movement providing resources to girls helping to build their confidence and futures. Être means “to be” in French. Illiana works to connect young girls with accomplished, professional women who serve as part mentor, part big sister. When Illiana’s daughter was in grade school, Illiana was interested in hosting a one-day wisdom summit in her home for her daughter and her friends before they headed off to high school. The summit did not take place simply due to busy schedules, but instead grew into a new idea to build a power network and forum that would soon become Être. The idea remains the same. Young girls build confidence and gain insight and inspiration from powerful female role models, women playing at the top of their game.

Illiana shares the story of her mission driven organization helping young girls find out who they want to be.


Here are some great tidbits form the Podcast…


  • Illiana discovered that so many younger girls become embarrassed regarding their authentic interest and abilities, so she has become inspired to provide a bridge between those girls and their passions, that they might be both happy and brave.  (6:00-7:27)
  • Illiana references her background which is really how the website came to be – “Knowledge strategy for girls is simply highlighting resources they don’t know exist in order that they may build their interest.” (15:00-16:10)
  • In regards to women contemplating “taking a leap” Illiana says that sometimes breathing room can allow us to make change, “if you continue coming back to something, do it!!” (20:40-21:31)
  • So often nowadays young girls even though they may feel smart deep down, they think it is boasting to say so outloud – this is the reason Illiana thought she would highlight successful women who talk about knowing they were smart early on. (26:50-27:38)
  • Fear can provide such teachable moments… nobody likes to fail and it is certainly hard to watch our children fail.  However, so often success is a lousy teacher and knowing there is value and in taking risk.  (36:30-37:11)






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