While society is far from perfection when it comes to gender equality, we’ve taken the chance to acknowledge some of the most inspiring and influential females in the world today.
“At a relatively early age, I began to believe that building a business was perhaps the greatest opportunity for making an impact, because it’s a tool for making a change in the world.”
Elizabeth Holmes, at just 31 years old, tops Forbes’ list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women. She is the CEO of Theranos, a blood testing company, which she founded at the young age of 19. Her aim was to find a solution for making blood testing faster and cheaper, and with an estimated net worth of $4.5 billion, she is truly the definition of an inspirationally successful businesswoman.
“We can each define ambition and progress for ourselves. The goal is to work toward a world where expectations are not set by the stereotypes that hold us back, but by our personal passion, talents and interests.”
Sheryl Sandberg is currently the Chief Operating Officer at one of the most renowned and successful companies in the world – Facebook. She became the first woman on Facebook’s board when she joined, but before that she also held a top position at Google. Her estimated net worth is over $1.1 billion, and she has previously been named to be one of the Top 100 most influential people in the world – talk about female empowerment!
“It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”/” It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.”
She’s the author of the magical books we all know and love – J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series launched her from living on state benefits, to becoming a multi-millionaire within just five years. As the author of the best-selling book series in history and one of Britain’s most influential women, Rowling has experienced the height of success, and has used it to serve as inspiration for young women to aim higher and achieve greater.
“We need to accept the understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.”
Arianna Huffington is the Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post. Being raised in Greece, studying in Cambridge, then moving to New York, she has a wealth of experience and is known for having voiced her controversial opinions in the past. As one of the most influential women in media, Arianna is an inspirational figure for women attempting to be successful in the industry, because she has absolutely nailed it.
“Every one of us needs to be part of the solution. Each of us must truly be a Woman in the World. We need to be as fearless as the women whose stories you have applauded, as committed as the dissidents and the activists you have heard from, as audacious as those who start movements for peace when all seems lost.”
Hillary Clinton has had a long career in politics. Initially thrust into the public eye as the First Lady during her husband’s presidency, she has since made a name for herself, on her own terms, in the world of politics. She has held powerful positions, such as Senator of New York and the United States Secretary of State, and has also written five influential books in recent years. She continues her climb to higher success, with her ambitious nature leading her to announce her second run for the Democratic nomination in the 2016 presidential election – perhaps we will be seeing the first female president of the USA very soon?
“Whether you come from a council estate or a country estate, your success will be determined by your own confidence and fortitude.”
Michelle Obama is the current First Lady, married to the US president Barack Obama. She is a professional lawyer and writer, but due to her status has also become an icon and role model for women. Using her influential position in the most productive way, she is an energetic advocate for poverty awareness, and nutrition and healthy eating. Her public advocacy of same-sex marriage has also proved hugely important for the LGBTQ community of America, allowing the changes of legislations and moving the country forward in a positive and more open direction.
“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.”
According to Forbes, Oprah Winfrey has become the highest paid television personality in the world with her own show that is the highest-rated talk show in American TV history. With the show being hugely influential, Oprah has used it as an educational platform to talk about serious and important issues affecting the people of the world, as well as less frivolous – but often controversial – debates. A Queen, indeed.
“Make bold choices and make mistakes. It’s all those things that add up to the person you become.”
Angelina Jolie is a world famous actress, with an Oscar and three Golden Globe awards to her name. Arguably more importantly, she has been able to use her position of influence and power to address humanitarian issues. Her role as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has placed her at the forefront of the humanitarian movement and discussion, and she promotes a number of other causes, including conservation, education, and women’s rights.
“Don’t let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do or achieve. Do what you want to do and be who you want to be. Just encourage and include each other, don’t ostracize the gender in front of you.”
Initially rising to fame as a childhood star in the Harry Potter films, appearing as a model, and helping create a fashion line, Emma Watson has now blossomed into a young woman with a passion for tackling the issues of equality. Recently she has been appointed as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, and has most notably championed the launch of the HeForShe campaign, inviting men to have a voice in the battle towards gender equality. At the young age of 25, Emma has recognised her status as a role model for young women and uses it to highlight and promote the issue of equality worldwide.
So there are our picks for some of the most inspirational females out there – girl power!