Women In Leadership
Women are powerful agents of change, and the far-reaching benefits of diversity and gender parity in leadership and decision-making are increasingly recognized in all spheres.
Gender parity in leadership is important because true progress cannot happen without a diversity of perspective in leadership roles.
When women hold more executive leadership positions, their companies are more profitable: companies in the top-quartile for gender diversity on executive teams are 21% more likely to outperform the national average.
When women hold leadership positions, they provide a different set of skills, imaginative perspectives, and, importantly, structural and cultural differences that drive effective solutions. In bringing a creative standpoint, a new sense of awareness will also follow to unplug the finer details that may go unmissed from the naked eye.
Whether guiding a nation with a steady hand or owning a successful business, these leaders offer a glimpse of how to make progress under difficult circumstances, from Jacinda Ardern to Victoria Beckham.
Women & Leadership Feat. Coco Chanel
Inspired and inspiring, Gabrielle Chanel, affectionately nicknamed “Coco“, made her mark on history with her aura and personality.
You can build an empire from scratch, only if you have undying devotion, persistence, and grit. One single idea has the power to change lives and inspire million, only if executed well, and with a burning passion. Her quirky clothing caught everyone’s attention. She did something that was beyond socially acceptable and yet, in the end, she became the object that everyone’s desired.
Coco Chanel redefined womanhood in the 20th century, and through her building of a fashion empire, we can all learn lessons on life and entrepreneurship.
Women & Leadership Feat. Anna Wintour
Anna Wintour is, without a doubt, the most respected, influential, and even feared person in the fashion industry.
She could claim that she’s the mastermind behind contemporary celebrity culture: she invented supermodels at a time when Hollywood wasn’t eager to be related to the fashion industry. She has become a powerful influence in fashion for being the one and true leader of an industry that has found a place in pop culture in the last thirty years.
Anna Wintour is the ultimate boss of the fashion industry.
She’s the eyes, heart, soul, and mind of a way of art that is finally respected in culture, and all thanks to her. You can agree or disagree with her way of doing business, but one thing is for sure: she’s not afraid of being herself and to work hard to get what she wants, which is something we should all do to become a better version of ourselves.
Women & Leadership Feat. Madonna
It’s been more than thirty years since Madonna claimed fame as an international pop-icon, and at 60 years old, she continues to top the charts.
Whether you love or hate her music, Madonna has proven to be more than a singer and dancer. She has a savvy business mind that’s supported a successful career spanning more than 30 years and an empire of music sales and merchandising valued at $500 Million. You have to admit, the Material Girl has had a good run.
While her style is admittedly edgy and, and not for everyone, her courage to be herself and blaze her own trail is undeniable.
Although you may not become the Madonna of your field, the opportunity to grow your talents is not unreachable. All it takes is a little bit of creativity, some courage, and a lot of believing in yourself. Madonna is continually moving forward, evolving, and venturing out of her comfort zone.
Women & Leadership Feat. Mary Barra
Mary Barra is a resilient and an exceptional leader, who does whatever it takes to help her company achieve success.
She embraced the challenges she faced, found solutions, and successfully evaded the glass cliff on her way. Her extensive knowledge of GM’s operations and her ability to deal with people positively helped her remove the company out of the crisis. Overcoming the challenge made her gain much respect from the entire GM team.
An extraordinary example of her leadership skills is how she put GM back on track from filing bankruptcy to regaining its stature of being one of the most important auto companies in the US in just four years.
She did it by bidding farewell to outmoded operations and prioritizing innovation. On her watch, GM invested millions in electric vehicles and self-driving cars to keep the company profitable in today’s agile world. As a result, GM walloped Tesla by rolling out moderately priced, long-range electric vehicle.
Mary Barra is a role model for many. Her leadership style is an inspiration for industry leaders in every sector.
Women & Leadership Feat. Jacinda Ardern
Regardless of whether you are a current leader within your business or an aspiring leader, you can learn from Jacinda Ardern’s style of leadership.
The key ingredient to her popularity and effectiveness is her powerful authenticity. Her coolness under pressure, self-discipline and the decisiveness of her response to the Covid-19 pandemic has led some to call Jacinda Ardern the most effective national leader in the world.
Jacinda Ardern’s authentic and empathetic leadership style is rightly lauded, but the strength of character she shows by revealing weakness, and taking decisive action, is what sets her apart from the rest.
What’s apparent in the outpouring of love and support that Jacinda Ardern has received from around the world, is that our understanding of what makes a powerful and effective leader is changing. Beyond the shores of her country, Jacinda Ardern has inspired people around the world to believe in a style of leadership that relies on efficiency, measured action and kindness to uplift nations.
Women & Leadership Feat. Arianna Huffington
In 2009, Arianna Huffington earned the 12th spot in Forbes’ first-ever list of the Most Influential Women in Media.
As one of the most powerful women leaders and entrepreneurs of our times, Arianna’s life and the lessons she imparts arise from the very real hardships that she has faced on her journey. These are indicators of what it takes to succeed, and how one must prepare to fight the tough battles that life throws in the process.
Change is coming. Be prepared for it and embrace it as a leader.
Expect the best from your team and create an environment and culture which encourages optimal performance and wellbeing. Start with you and lead by example.
Women & Leadership Feat. Sheryl Sandberg
Clearly, Sheryl Sandberg knows a thing or two about leadership.
Certain leadership qualities of Sheryl Sandberg have enabled her to truly distinguish herself, and they are qualities that are worth emulating for any leader. She operates in a truly global enterprise, and is highly adept at leading across cultures and territories.
Today worth an estimated $1.8+ billion, Sheryl Sandberg is one of America’s most influential executives, and was named by Time magazine in 2012 as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Sheryl Sandberg is a great leader who believes in transformation of people. She loves her work, and her people.
She gives encouragement to her people. She is lone fighter who is fighting the world to make it better for women. She encourages women to take lead instead of just going back to the safe heaven called home.
Women & Leadership Feat. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
As a true public servant and motivating girl boss, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has taught people everywhere what it means to be powerful.
Even with what feels like constant criticism from her haters, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stays focused on her goals, representing her people and fighting towards her goals. She’s fighting through a tall glass ceiling, all the while not forgetting where she’s come from.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is challenging the Washington D.C. status quo by being a strong and outspoken woman.
Even if it upsets the other side of the aisle and even fellow Democrats, she continues to fight for what she believes in. While her political beliefs are informed by being a democratic socialist, her approach to leadership feels strongly influenced by being a Millennial.
Women & Leadership Feat. Marissa Mayer
Marissa Mayer was employee number 20 at Google and in 2012 was named CEO of Yahoo, becoming one of the most influential women in Silicon Valley.
Marissa Mayer indeed embodies the spirit of womanhood and female entrepreneurship for many women. Her life, if scrutinized properly, reveals how nothing – absolutely nothing – is impossible if fine-tuned with passion, will, hard work, and diligence.
Though Marissa has been strongly criticized in the past for her rock star image, her hard work, leadership skills, and new programs are a legacy . By acting on leadership lessons from Marissa Mayer, any aspiring leader can learn what it takes to become a better leader.
Whether or not you agree with the choices that the CEO of Yahoo has made while at the helm, there are several leadership lessons that you can learn from her.
Women & Leadership Feat. Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga is the definition of an influencer offline and online.
This iconic American performer, songwriter and actress has been captivating audiences with her unique approach to music and life. With gorgeous, creative concert stages, Oscar-worthy Hollywood acting and dedicated support of the LGBT community and anti-bullying campaigns, she’s not only talented but kind.
Lady Gaga know what she’s doing when it comes to personal branding, and more of us could learn a thing or two if we followed her example. She may not be perfect as a person, and you may even hate her for her being different. But to those who are serious about personal branding, she is more than just a curiosity.
By following Lady Gaga’s lead, you might just be on The Edge of Glory and get noticed!
Women & Leadership Feat. Sara Blakely
In 2012, Forbes named Sara Blakely as the world’s youngest self-made billionaire. Actually, after founding SPANX, Sara Blakely’s net worth is now more than $1 billion.
Sara Blakely launched her company with just $5,000 of personal savings, overcame numerous roadblocks, and stayed true to her personal values and product vision throughout. While it’s difficult to imagine the funny, vibrant, smart, and candid entrepreneur destined for anything but greatness, Sara Blakely’s journey wasn’t a straight shot. In fact, it is one founded in heartache and loss.
Sara Blakely is a hugely impressive entrepreneur.
In the end, Sara Blakely’s story shows us what’s possible when we believe, when we’re resourceful beyond measure, and when our passion and commitment to something outside ourselves brings us to a calling. Get out there and make the decision to go after what you want in life. Momentum breeds momentum.
Women & Leadership Feat. Oprah Winfrey
Experts agree that Oprah is a leader to emulate.
The tremendous challenges she overcame make Oprah’s career especially inspiring.
The fact that she has handled her success so adeptly, despite her impoverished childhood, is astounding. Then, she successfully touched the lives of people with the combination of her wit, impudence and kindness.
She is uniquely able to inspire her team and execute her vision while maintaining mass appeal. She is a remarkable businesswoman.
Her charismatic leadership style is known to draw people towards her vision. As a great leader, Oprah Winfrey never fails to influence people with her inspiring thoughts.
Women & Leadership Feat. Rachel Zoe
Digitally-forward, the fashion empire of Rachel Zoe is decidedly a stylish one — but it’s also built on the know-how of the entrepreneur.
Over the last two decades, Rachel Zoe’s star has risen as she turned red-carpet styling into big business. Now, the celebrity stylist, designer and editor is often regarded as Hollywood’s most powerful fashion player.
She worked as a one woman show and around the clock at the beginning.
It doesn’t matter how good your skills are, you need to show people you are willing to put the hard work in. The rewards will come later. There is no shortcuts in the fashion industry (or any industry for that matter).
I do admire Rachel Zoe so much. She is incredibly stylish and successful and respected by her peers. She’s an excellent example that can guide you toward your own success.
Women & Leadership Feat. Victoria Beckham
Victoria Beckham, former spice girl, now founder and creative director of her own fashion brand is the ultimate business girl.
Pop culture figure Victoria Beckham has build a colossal fashion empire in barely 10 years, which now has its own makeup line too. In the past decade, she has become an internationally recognized style icon and fashion designer.
Victoria Beckham is the perfect example for entrepreneurs who have no experience, but are willing to work hard and are open to learn and embrace all things new.
She has successfully managed to carve a niche for herself in the big, bad world of fashion by her sheer passion for all things fashion and style. Her ability to learn from criticism and failure has enabled her to build an empire.
Regardless of where we are in life, we are going to continue to face situations that make us second guess our worth. You can cower and hide, or you can look back on what you’ve already achieved so far and know that you’ll persevere.
Women & Leadership Feat. Tina Fey
Because of the way she handles situations and her “be a boss” attitude, Tina Fey is an inspiring example of “girl power.”
Whether you know her from 30 Rock or her spot-on Saturday Night Live impersonations, it’s obvious: Tina Fey has it all. The actress, writer, and producer has the ability to make us laugh until our sides ache. But she also has the smarts to know her limits in order to keep everyone comfortable. Her easy going nature, compassion, and experience has not only entertained us for years, but taught us some solid life lessons to live by.
Tina is a shining example of how talent, hard work and supporting your friends can make your dreams come true.
Tina Fey didn’t become the first female head writer at Saturday Night Live by following the pack. She vehemently rejects the notion that “women aren’t funny” and tells girls to follow their dreams, glass ceiling be damned. It’s an unfair reality that gaining power is more difficult to come by as women, but maybe for that reason it’s also that much more important to learn how to use it.
Women & Leadership Feat. Melanie Perkins
Running a startup has taught Melanie Perkins a lot about running a business, human resources and what good product design entails.
Canva was launched in 2013, and Melanie Perkins has led the Sydney-based company’s growth and now has 55 million monthly users ranging from just individual creators to SMBs to even Fortune 500 companies. With the success of Canva, Melanie Perkins has shared some of the things she did to make Canva as successful as it is now.
She wasn’t connected to the Silicon Valley crowd, didn’t gain notoriety through massive self-promotion online.
But she had a compelling idea: professional quality graphic design shouldn’t be difficult for the average person. She spun that idea into a grand vision: Everybody should be able to publish their own graphic designs simply and elegantly. She created a company around that vision. Now she’s on her way to unicorn status. You can do the same.
Women & Leadership Feat. Kim Kardashian
Love her or hate her, there is no denying that Kim Kardashian is a force to be reckoned with and the ultimate brand powerhouse.
She was first famous and only then worked as a model. Kim also worked as an actress in some movies, never having taken acting classes in her life. She has been the cover model for the most prestigious cover magazines like Elle, Vogue and Glamour, among others. Many criticize the fact that she is taking the place of a model, but the truth is that it does not matter, since she substitutes the talent with charisma.
Whether you’re a fan or completely indifferent, you can’t deny that Kim is a successful businesswoman who is able to turn her hand to anything.
You can learn a lot from her drive to succeed — if everyone took notice, we’d all have happier businesses. The basis to the foundation of the whole Kardashian family is how they stack their successes. All through Kim’s career, she leveraged each success that came her way and double downed on it. This gave her family the ability to double down on their successes as well. Then the whole family grew together.
Women & Leadership Feat. Michelle Obama
She’s one of the most well-liked First Ladies of modern times, but that’s just breaking the surface when it comes to Michelle Obama.
Through her four main initiatives, she has become a role model for women and an advocate for healthy families, service members and their families, higher education, and international adolescent girls education. She stood out as one of the most passionate and accomplished First Ladies in history because of her charisma, compassion and powerful speech-making.
Michelle Obama is a new type of authentic leader; one whose sense of responsibility goes much further than herself or her direct environment.
Unlike many others, Michelle Obama’s achievements go beyond just being the wife of Barack Obama. She has broken out of that mold and works for the social issues that require her concern. The first lady of America didn’t shy away from raising her voice for a cause. Being a mother of two, Michelle’s strength shows from the fact that she maintains her family, lives up to the duties of being the first lady and an iconic figure all too well.
Regardless of your political beliefs, it’s hard not to feel inspired by Michelle’s achievements.
Women & Leadership Feat. Charlize Theron
Charlize Theron is one of Hollywood’s most down to earth actresses, she is funny, absolutely beautiful, not afraid to share what she thinks and is a feminist by heart.
Like many disadvantaged women, Charlize Theron came from a background that left deep emotional scars. But she’s risen above it all to become one of the most successful actresses of her generation. Charlize Theron overcame tragedy and became an inspiration to millions of women. She’s empowered, intelligent, and one of the most driven people in Hollywood.
Charlize Theron has an impressive acting career, which all started when she moved to America with nothing more than 400 dollars, a suitcase, and a very big dream!
Her talent and prowess pushed her to seventh in the Hollywood Reporter’s 2006 list of the highest paid Hollywood actresses, and she went on to earn $10 million for each of her following two films, the kind of financial rewards for her work that most young African actresses could only dream of. In 2008, Charlize was asked to be an UN Messenger of Peace, a culmination of her dedicated work to give back to the community she grew from.
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