This week, we celebrated International Women’s Day, and in the U.S., we celebrate the incredible history of trailblazing, inspirational women for Women’s History Month. From classic heroines like Joan of Arc to courageous abolitionists like Harriet Tubman to unyielding suffragists like Susan B. Anthony, history is anchored by powerful, inspiring women. Over the past few decades, there has also been a strong shift in organizational leadership, with women breaking glass ceilings and taking their rightful spot atop industries.
According to a study, 90% of companies worldwide have at least one female leader in senior management roles, a 31% rise globally over 2019. The study also found that 26% of all CEOs were women in 2021, up from 15% in 2019. Moreover, the Fortune Global 500 reported 23 female CEOs, including six BIPOC women—an all-time high. With a focus on these numbers continuing to trend upward, we want to look back at a few of the giants on which whose shoulders we all stand. Check out a few quotes from history’s most game-changing female leaders.
Susan Wojcicki – Former CEO, YouTube
“Rarely are opportunities presented to you in a perfect way. In a nice little box with a yellow bow on top. ‘Here, open it, it’s perfect. You’ll love it.’ Opportunities – the good ones – are messy, confusing, and hard to recognize. They’re risky. They challenge you.”
Dolly Parton – Award-Winning Recording Artist
“If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, then, you are an excellent leader.”
Oprah Winfrey – Media Conglomerate, Philanthropist
“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”
Sheryl Sandberg – Former COO, Facebook
“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.”
Joan of Arc – Patron Saint of France
“I am not afraid … I was born to do this.”
Ayn Rand – Author and Philosopher
“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me?”
Marie Curie – Pulitzer Prize-Winning Scientist
“We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.”
Harriet Tubman – “Conductor” of the Underground Railroad
“I said to the Lord, ‘I’m going to hold steady on to you, and I know you’ll see me through.’”
“People think that at the end of the day a man is the only answer. Actually, a fulfilling job is better for me.”
Susan B. Anthony – Suffragist
“Independence is happiness.”
What are some of your favorite inspirational quotes from women leaders? How has strong female leadership helped you or your organization reach new heights? Let us know in the comments section below!
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