Women all over carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. They work hard, hustle, empower, and encourage everyone around them. In honor of International Women’s Day, here are five inspirational women that keep me motivated and proud:
Megan Smith, CTO of the White House
Megan Smith is a pioneer in so many regards. She’s started companies, empowered entrepreneurs, and inspired tons of women. She got her degree in Mechanical Engineering at MIT, started a company focused on the LGBT community, and served as a VP at Google for more than 10 years. She was the first female assigned to the Chief Technology Officer position and is already showing signs of a positive influence. I’ve had the good fortune of spending time with her and the one thing that always stands out is her ability to inspire others to succeed. This project is a good example of something she initiated.
Tina Fey, comedian/actress
Tina Fey was under the radar for a long time before she made it big. She worked hard, she focused on what she loved, and she stayed as positive as possible. Her book, Bossypants, struck me as one of the most honest, hilarious, and encouraging books I’d read in a long time. I listened to it as an audio book while I trained for my first half marathon and it was the exact type of encouragement I needed. She’s hardcore, she’s a mom, and she’s a damn good friend to her people (so many other comedian’s books mention her as their best friend).
Mindy Kaling, comedian/actress
Minda Kaling is potentially one of the funniest people on TV. She’s got a direct type of humor that cuts to the core of the average woman and she’s an entrepreneur in her own right. She’s not the perfect image of what is defined as Hollywood beauty and she doesn’t care. She is who she is, she owns her culture, her background, her weight on the scale and then some. She’s the picture of young women looking to move past adversity to kick some butt.
Jackie Zehner, funder, blogger, speaker
I first learned about Jackie through a talk she gave at work. I was totally blown away by her ability to speak directly to the crowd as though it were just she and another person in the room. Her stories from her time as a Goldman Sachs partner were outrageous and amazing, and her dedication to making the lives of women and girls better is flooring. She’s a humble picture of what it means to be a strong woman with power while still appealing to the masses. Check her cool site out and get inspired.
Debbie Sterling, entrepreneur
Debbie Sterling started a little company called Goldieblox a few years back and changed the way we think about toys for girls. She envisioned a company that aimed to help girls learn how to build stuff, learn science, and increase their self esteem. I love that Debbie and her team skip the long held beliefs of what girls received, and instead create things that make a real difference. Progress in women’s rights and equal treatment starts with educating girls all around the world.
So there you have it – five women who inspire in their own creative ways. The really amazing thing about each of them is that they all create and contribute to women’s rights by using their unique skills. They don’t try to walk the same path as those before them, but rather do what feels best. They are who they are no matter what. Be a strong, impactful woman by being yourself – you’re amazing!
p.s. in case you need extra reading on being yourself, Sophie’s latest advice on being you.