57 INSPIRING WOMEN LEADERS:
1. Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan
Queen Consort of Jordan
Photo credit: Twitter @QueenRania (September 13, 2017)
We shouldn’t judge people through the prism of our own stereotypes.
2. Bianca Andreescu
Photo credit: Frank Gunn for The Canadian Press (August 9, 2019)
I think your biggest weapon is to be as prepared as you can.
3. Dr. Maya Angelou (Marguerite Annie Johnson)
Poet, Singer, Memoirist, and Civil Rights Activist
Photo credit: John David Mercer, AP (September 12, 2006)
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
4. Elaine Aron
Photo credit: Shari Dyer (June 29, 2013)
Make good boundaries your goal. They are your right, your responsibility, your greatest source of dignity.
5. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
Photo credit: uChicago News (August 15, 2019)
My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person, be independent.
6. Lidia Bastianich
Photo credit: People (August 24, 2016)
Traditions are our roots, and a profile of who we are as individuals and who we are as a family.
7. Banazir Bhutto
Former Prime Minister of Pakistan and inspiring woman leader
Photo credit: News Laundry (December 27, 2017)
Leadership is to do what is right by educating and inspiring an electorate, empathizing with the moods, needs, wants, and aspirations of humanity.
8. Tara Brach
Psychologist, author, and teacher of meditation, emotional healing, and spiritual awakening
Photo credit: Tara Brach
Imperfection is not our personal problem — it is a natural part of existing.
9. Susan Cain
Writer and Lecturer
Photo credit: Robert Adam Mayer for Harvard Magazine (March-April 2017)
There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.
10. Kim Campbell
Former Prime Minister of Canada and inspiring woman leader
Photo credit: Christopher Ruppel for Getty Images
Canadians want to see real hope restored, not false hopes raised.
11. Jeanne Carbonetti
Photo credit: Crow Hill Gallery (March 24, 2017)
When we create from the unity of body, mind, and spirit, we are one with our muse, and our work is always original, always powerful.
12. Emily Carr
Photo credit: Toronto Star File Photo (October 23, 2016)
I think that one’s art is a growth inside one. I do not think one can explain growth. It is silent and subtle.
Photo credit: Chris Pizzello for Invasion and Associated Press (September 15, 2012)
Sometimes when we are generous in small, barely detectable ways, it can change someone else’s life forever.
14. Pema Chödrön
Tibetan Buddhist Ordained Nun
Photo credit: Udemy (July 2016)
Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals.
15. Amy Chua
Lawyer, Academic, and Writer
Photo credit: CBC News (May 24, 2018)
Everything I’ve ever done that’s valuable is something I was afraid to try.
16. Connie Chung
Photo credit: MAKERS
I wanted to be scared again… I wanted to feel unsure again. That’s the only way I learn, the only way I feel challenged.
17. Hillary Clinton
Politician, Diplomat, Lawyer, Writer, and Public Speaker
Photo credit: Hillary Clinton (April 24, 2019)
When you’re knocked down, get right back up and never listen to anyone who says you can’t or shouldn’t go on.
18. Ellen DeGeneres
Comedian, Television Host, Actress, Writer, and Producer
Photo credit: Walmart
Beauty is about being comfortable in your own skin. It’s about knowing and accepting who you are.
19. Jane Fonda
Actress, Writer, Producer, Political Activist, Fitness Guru, and Former Fashion Model
Photo credit: Arthur Mola for Invision/Associated Press
We’re not meant to be perfect. We’re meant to be whole.
20. Sophie Galvani
Marketing Manager at Unilever
Photo credit: Brand Equity (June 26, 2019)
Beauty is for everyone.
21. Hermine (Miep) Gies
Photo credit: Anne Frank House (January 11, 2010)
We did our duty as human beings: helping people in need.
22. Emma González
Photo credit: Guardian News (March 24, 2018)
In our lifetime, we will fight for and alongside victims of gun violence, and we will prevail.
23. Jane Gooddall
Primatologist and anthropologist
Photo credit: Never Apart
We can have a world of peace. We can move toward a world where we live in harmony with nature.
24. Juliette Gordon Low
Founder of Girl Scouts of the USA
Photo credit: Prabook
Right is right, even if no one else does it.
25. Zaha Hadid
Photo credit: Brigitte Lacombe for Zaha Hadid Architects
Architecture is like writing. You have to edit it over and over so it looks effortless.
26. Mazie Hirono
Politician (Junior United States Senator from Hawaii)
Photo credit: Tom Williams for CQ Roll Call
People will know who I am.
27. Bell Hooks (Gloria Jean Watkins)
Author, Professor, Feminist, and Social Activist
Photo credit: Golden Gate Express (February 21, 2017)
I will not have my life narrowed down. I will not bow down to somebody else’s whim or to someone else’s ignorance.
28. Jane Jacobs
Journalist, Author, and Activist
Photo credit: Ron Bull of the Toronto Star via Getty Images
Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.
29. Alexis Jones
Photo credit: Searchlight Company
Integrity is the most important accessory you’ll ever have, it will never go out of fashion, get old, or fade.
30. Rama Jyoti Vernon
Yoga Teacher and Peace Activist
Photo credit: Kripalu (2019)
Fear is a form of violence and clinging and holding on to the fear is a form of violence.
31. Mindy Kaling
Actress, Comedian, Writer, and Producer
Photo credit: Donna Freydkin for Today (March 2, 2018)
[I’d] rather get my hopes up really high and watch them get dashed to pieces than wisely keep my expectations at bay and hope they are exceeded.
32. Frida Kahlo de Rivera
Photo credit: Quartz (January 13, 2016)
I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration.
33. Helen Keller
Author, political activist, and lecturer
Photo credit: CNN (November 14, 2018)
Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.
34. Kylie Kwong
Photo credit: Qantas (April 24, 2018)
My way of communicating love and interest in people is through cooking. […] Food makes people happy.
35. Cyndi Lauper
Singer, songwriter, actress, and activist
Photo credit: Gavin Bond
I’m not gonna worry about what people think about me. I’m too busy. I don’t give a hoot.
36. Rachel Maddow
Television Host and Liberal Political Commentator
Photo credit: Lloyd Bishop for NBC/NBCU in Photo Bank via Getty Images (July 22, 2015)
Here’s the thing about rights. They’re not actually supposed to be voted on. That’s why they’re called ‘rights’.
37. Natalie Maines
Photo credit: Pop Culture Country (April 26, 2019)
It’s very scary to me that people actually think we should just follow our leaders. If we can’t learn from our history, we’re nowhere.
38. Elizabeth May
Party leader of the Green Party of Canada
Photo credit: Chad Hipolito for the Canadian Press (2016)
I will never shrink from speaking truth.
39. Golda Meir
Former Prime Minister of Israel and inspiring woman leader
Photo credit: History.com (March 15, 2019)
To be or not to be is not a question of compromise. Either you be or you don’t be.
40. Dr. Christiane Northrup
Photo credit: Everipedia
A thought held long enough and repeated often enough becomes a belief. A belief then becomes your biology.
41. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Photo credit: NBC NewsWire/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
If women and gender-expanding people want to run for office we can’t knock on anybody’s doors, we have to build our own house.
42. Rosa Parks
Photo credit: Bettmann/CORBIS (November 14, 1984)
You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right.
43. Nancy Pelosi
Politician (Speaker of the United States House of Representatives)
Photo credit: Politics Now (April 6, 2019)
Don’t underestimate your opponent, but don’t overestimate them, either.
44. Ayn Rand
Writer and Philosopher
Photo credit: Foundation for Economic Education (January 16, 2018)
The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.
45. Sharon Salzberg
Author and Teacher of Buddhist Meditation Practices in the West
Photo credit: Fulfillment Daily
Life is like an ever-shifting kaleidoscope — a slight change, and all patterns alter.
46. Cherilyn Sarkisian (Cher)
Singer, actress, and television host
Photo credit: Jon Kopaloff for FilmMagic and Getty Images
I’ve always taken risks and never worried about what the world might think of me.
47. Suzanne Somers
Actress, author, singer, businesswoman, and health spokesperson
Photo credit: Jordan Strauss for Invision/Associated Press
Visualize your ultimate goal and then do the work to make it happen.
48. Gloria Steinem
Feminist, journalist, and social political activist
Photo credit: Makers (March 3, 2014)
A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.
49. Martha Stewart
Retail Executive Businesswoman, Writer, Television Personality, and Former Model
Photo credit: Getty Images
The more you adapt, the more interesting you are.
50. Hannah Szenes
Poet and Special Operations Executive member
Photo credit: Times of Israel (September 2, 2012)
One needs something to believe in, something for which one can have whole-hearted enthusiasm.
51. Amy Tan
Photo credit: Michael Short (2013)
Chance is the first step you take, luck is what comes afterward.
52. Margaret Thatcher
Former British Prime Minister and inspiring woman leader
Photo credit: Biography (June 25, 2019)
I love argument, I love debate. I don’t expect anyone just to sit there and agree with me, that’s not their job.
53. Greta Thunberg
Photo credit: David Keyton for The Associated Press
Until you start focusing on what needs to be done rather than what is politically possible, there is no hope.
54. Margaret Trudeau
Author, Actress, Photographer, Former Television Talk Show Hostess, and Social Advocate for People with Bipolar Disorder
Photo credit: Kirsten Miccoli for the Chicago Tribune (March 6, 2019)
The kindest thing you can do is listen to people—find in them their good self and encourage it.
55. Elizabeth Warren
Politician and Academic
Photo credit: Daniel Acker for Bloomberg
What I’ve learned is that real change is very, very hard. But I’ve also learned that change is possible – if you fight for it.
56. Oprah Winfrey
Media Executive, Actress, Talk Show Host, Television Producer, and Philanthropist
Photo credit: Pamela Littky for Variety (June 15, 2018)
When you undervalue what you do, the world will undervalue who you are.
57. Kathleen Wynne
Politician (25th Premier of Ontario and Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party)
Photo credit: Debate Post (March 31, 2017)
Social justice is what drives me; it’s why I’m here.
Considering these 57 inspiring women leaders, the sheer volume of individuals who have shaped our world for the better becomes apparent. I now turn this exercise over to you. Which women leaders have inspired you?
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