14 Female Role Models That Will Empower You
July 26, 2019
Female role models can help to supercharge our world and we love celebrating women who are helping to make a difference. As we have all grown up in a patriarchal society, it's essential that we start to diversify when it comes to those we look up to.
Seeing female leaders and great women of history, and celebrating women who have achieved great things is important for gender equality.
By acknowledging and normalizing the idea that females can take great strides, we are teaching our daughters, our sons, and ourselves that anything is possible.
Whether in business, politics, or the arts – women are trailblazing in a million wonderful ways. It’s the 21st century and we are so happy to have a multitude of amazing women to pick from; here are the ladies we are loving every single minute…
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
We love and miss the notorious RBG, the second woman to ever be appointed on the US Supreme Court Justice. Not only did RBG carve out an incredible career for herself in what is heavily considered ‘a man’s world’, but she also used her voice tirelessly fighting for equal rights across the board. Having come up from the lower-income area of Brooklyn, RBG was one of a handful of women in her Harvard law class and she headed the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, alongside helping legalize same-sex marriage and ensuring women can’t be denied by the military. Rest in peace RGB you truly were an incredible role model.
Read more: My Own Words, by Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Watch more: RBG Movie
Learn more: RBG Biography
Standing tall at barely 5ft, Greta Thunberg is a shining beacon of light for young girls and women everywhere. An activist for climate change, the Swedish teenager was recently nominated for the Nobel Prize for Peace. Greta’s penchant for powerful speeches, her inspiring Ted Talks, and her simple sincerity for wanting a better world has been a rallying cry to all that it doesn’t take wealth, weight, or status to use your voice. As someone diagnosed with Asperger’s she is also paving the way for people to think differently about differences.
Read more: No One is Too Small to Make a Difference, by Greta Thunberg
Watch more: I am Greta, a Force of Nature
Learn more: Biography of Greta Thunberg
Janet Mock is making waves in all kinds of ways – all of which are sending positive ripples out into the world and helping bring about a better commitment to diversity. One of the first trans women of color to be hired as a writer for TV, Mock produces films and shows that represent trans women helping to raise awareness and understanding and ultimately reduce stigma. She also launched the #GirlsLikeUs movement, and her memoir ‘Redefining Realness’ is a NY Times bestseller.
Read more: Redefining Realness, by Janet Mock
Watch more: The Out List
Learn more: Biography of Janet Mock
We are still loving Misty Copeland, one of the most beautifully talented ballet dancers in the world. Misty Copeland has long been a fierce advocate of dance for women of color across the world and is the first African American woman to become the principal dancer in the American Ballet Company in 75 years. Misty Copeland is opening doors for women across the world not just for her talent but also for what she represents in terms of body type, breaking boundaries, and pushing back against stereotypes.
Read more: Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina, by Misty Copeland
Watch more: A Ballerina's Tale
Learn more: Biography of Misty Copeland
Dr Mirjana Povic
One of the world’s finest astrophysicists, Dr Mirjana Povic is one of the best female role models for women in STEM. Along with doing groundbreaking work across the universe, Povic is also having a major impact on planet earth. Working for the Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute, she recently won an award for her work with STEM and high-school girls in Ethiopia. In an industry where women are underrepresented, we truly admire Dr Mirjana Povic for using her knowledge and passion to make a difference in both the present and the future.
Read more: Meet the space researcher smoothing the path for women in science across Africa
Learn more: Biography of Dr. Mirjana Pović
Not only is Kamala Harris the first female politician to become vice president-elect, but she is also the second black person elected to the White House too. She is a powerful female role model for both grown and young women everywhere. Oozing self-confidence, Kamala Harris is someone that your daughter or son or anyone can look up to as she is all about breaking the mould and paving the way for future generations to follow.
Read more: The Truths We Hold, by Kamala Harris
Watch more: Vice President Kamala Harris: Chase the Dream
Learn more: Biography of Kamala Harris
The 44th first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama made waves and quickly became everyone's favorite female role model. Her ability to juggle her status as a strong female role model with her position in the white house as being the first African American first lady, her community work, successful lawyer status and being an awesome human rights advocate was a truly an inspiration for every young girl on the planet. Since leaving her post at the white house, she has gone on to become a best-selling author, created a non-profit and launched her Girls Opportunity Alliance which helps girls around the world become empowered through education.
Read more: Becoming, by Michelle Obama
Watch more: Becoming
Learn more: Biography of Michelle Obama
One of the most important professional women in sport, Serena Williams is so much more than a tennis player, she is an icon. There are many reasons to celebrate Serena Williams. She has dominated her sport for many years, is outspoken when it comes to racial inequality, and has more grand slam titles under her belt than anyone. She is also an awesome advocate for closing the gender pay gap and fighting gender inequality. Serena also doesn't shy away from the responsibility that comes with being a woman of color in tennis. She knows that she will be looked to for representation and she is vocal about being a positive role model for young people in sports.
Read more: My Life, by Serena Williams
Watch more: Venus and Serena
Learn more: Biography of Serena Williams
When it comes to successful women in business and leadership, Sheryl Sandberg is the first name that springs to mind. Even as a student at Harvard, Sandberg was smashing glass ceilings by forming a group that encouraged women to pursue careers in spaces traditionally considered to be a male-dominated field. From being the chief of staff to the former US treasury secretary during the Clinton era to being a Silicon Valley giant, writing her best-selling book titled ‘Lean In’, and being one of the most powerful women in the world, Sheryl Sandberg has forever been smashing expectations of what it means to be a successful woman.
Read more: Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, by Sheryl Sandberg
Learn more: Biography of Sheryl Sandberg
Dr. Mae Jemison
From Peace Corp Worker providing frontline relief in West Africa to becoming the first African American woman in space, Dr. Mae Jemison always knew she wanted to be a scientist and made that dream come true tenfold. Not only was Mae Jemison a NASA astronaut but since quitting the space program, she has become the leader of her own company focused advancing tech in developing countries and improving medical care in Africa.
Read more: Find Where The Wind Goes: Moments From My Life, by Dr. Mae Jemison
Learn more: Biography of Dr. Mae Jemison
We can't think of a better role model for every young woman out there than the model and actress Ashley Graham. In the age of celebrities, it is forever a breath of fresh air when we get someone using their platform and voice to speak out for issues around size inclusivity and body positivity. As a new mother, Ashley Graham also used her social media platforms to normalize the changes that happen to your body after having children. In a world where advertising and social media contribute to such a negative effect on young women's social psychology and how they see themselves in the world, figures like Ashley Graham are of the utmost importance.
Read more: A New Model, by Ashley Graham and Rebecca Paley
Learn more: Biography of Ashley Graham
Sure the pop star and entrepreneur has caused a few rifts when it comes to the title of role model, but Rih is a great example of reminding us that to be a strong woman doesn't' mean that you have to forever and always be a perfect woman. That's way too much pressure for anyone. With a collection of Grammys and other music awards under her name, she turned her attention to creating a beauty line that was truly inclusive and diverse right down to the core. Her brand Fenty Beauty is truly unique as it breaks the stereotype of the fashion world by putting all kinds of body types and backgrounds on display. Even beyond the world of fashion, Rihanna has two charities under her name and is an outspoken advocate for the LGBQT+ community. As a global personality, she also uses her music to speak out against police brutality and racial inequality.
Learn more: Biography of Rihanna
Photo source: Biography.com
An oldie but a goldie, Amelia Earhart remains one of our favorite influential women that left a positive impact on the world. Most famous for being the first woman to fly across the Atlantic, Amelia had a passion that refused to be grounded, regardless of gender stereotypes. In the mid-1930's it's safe to say that sexism and gender discrimination were the 'norm' for many. But Amelia didn't let that grind her down or restrict her identity. She was determined to become a trailblazer and trailblaze she did. She was the first solo person to fly from Mexico City to Newark, a vocal supporter of the equal rights amendment and was even a columnist. Despite her tragic disappearance in her effort to fly around the world, Amelia has left an incredible legacy and has cemented her place as one of the most successful female role models.
Read more: Last Flight, by Amelia Earhart
Watch more: Amelia
Learn more: Biography of Amelia Earhart
Photo source: New Scientist
The original female powerhouse in the STEM field, Marie Curie is known for her pioneering research on radioactivity. A Polish physician who has provided one of the most landmark discoveries in the cure for Cancer, Curie was awarded the Nobel Prize in both Physics and Chemistry thanks to her dedication and hard work. In one of the most male dominated fields, it is always an inspiration to see Marie Curie as one of the most famed names in the history of STEM subjects and we know she will forever be a beacon for young women who choose to change the world.
Which women make you feel like you can move mountains? Share in the comments.
Read more: Obsessive Genius
Watch more: Radioactive
Learn more: Biography of Marie Curie
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