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March 5, 2021

Inspirational Women – Celebrating Champions of Change for International Women’s Day 2021

Rosie Robinson

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©© GettyImages/LordHenriVoton

Which women do you look up to? Are they successful entrepreneurs, talented performers, or historic activists?

International Women's Day is an opportunity to celebrate the women who have shaped the world. It also highlights inequalities that persist to this day.

In honor of this year's theme #Choosetochallenge, we asked our colleagues at Mind Tools which female challengers they look up to, and what we can learn from them.

What Can We Learn From Influential Women?

Maintaining Composure

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama is best known for her role as first lady of the United States. But her career has spanned decades. And it's involved everything from studying at Harvard Law School to campaigning for equal rights and opportunities for minorities.

Product Manager, Carrie Horvath believes Michelle Obama is a great role model. Carrie says, "she always rises above any politics, remains calm and collected, and leads by example."

Greta Thunberg

Greta Thunberg has already caused quite the stir, aged just 18. Thunberg transformed a one-person protest outside the Swedish Parliament into a global environmental movement. And she did it armed with only a cardboard sign and her own grit. She even addressed the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference when she was just 16 years old.

For Editor, Matthew Hughes, Thunberg's stoicism has long been a source of inspiration: "Her resolve in the face of aggressive critics, and how she's dealt with the pressure of becoming a symbol of the fight against climate change at such a young age – I can't help but marvel."

Defying Expectations

Susie Wolff

Susie Wolff has spent her career breaking up "boys clubs." She was the first woman in 22 years to join a Formula One race weekend. After her retirement, she co-founded "Dare to Be Different," a non-profit organization that helps women to pursue careers in motorsport.

Customer Retention Executive, Jaye O'Farrell-Stevens looks up to Wolff not just for her sporting achievements. "Despite the odds, she has continued to climb the ladder, secure senior roles, and achieve record successes. And all while helping to change the status quo."

Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock

Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock is no stranger to adversity. She's a woman of color working in space science. And she's dyslexic. But through it all, her childhood passion for space has persevered.

Aderin-Pocock’s unwavering positivity has been an inspiration to many. They include Senior Editor, Charlie Swift. "I challenge anyone not to feel happy and inspired after even a brief dose of her energy, enthusiasm, expertise – and passion for life!"

Redefining Women's Work

Chrissie Wellington

There aren't many with as rich and varied a career as Chrissie Wellington. She negotiated on the political world stage for clean water and sustainable development. Then she travelled to Nepal to work in an orphanage. And when she returned to the U.K., she made a name for herself as a successful triathlete.

"She was probably the U.K.'s greatest unsung athlete for years, winning the Ironman World Championships in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2011" says Senior Editor and fellow Ironman enthusiast, Keith Jackson.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (or "AOC," as she's known) has been a changemaker from the start. She is the youngest woman to serve in the U.S. Congress. And she won political office in 2018 while working at a local taco restaurant in New York.

Marketing Executive, Natalie Benfell admires AOC's work ethic and drive: "She's passionate, fearless and works hard to drive real change."

Which women inspire you? Share your female role models in the comments section, below!

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7 comments on “Inspirational Women – Celebrating Champions of Change for International Women’s Day 2021”

  1. There are so many women who deserve recognition for their bravery and drive to create positive changes not just for women.
    Would women have had the vote if it had not been for the suffragette movement? Marie Curie and Rosa Parks and Amelia Earhart
    Princess Ann who works tirelessly for Unicef.
    Every woman who tries to make the world a better place by speaking out, by working quietly in the background to achieve change
    Mothers who raise sons to be respectful to females and who raise daughters to embrace being a woman wholeheartedly and do not engage in trolling other women
    Unsung female heroes from every walk of life

  2. Sue Bird, Point Guard for the Seattle Storm WNBA team. She was a leader in the WNBA's stance against racism last summer and sparked their support for Raphael Warnock in the GA Senate elections. While quietly doing her job as a team athlete, she has used her position to support gender and racial equality.

    Where do I begin? Super talented musician, songwriter & singer... effervesced with never ending philanthropy, kindness, love, intelligence, business savvy, longevity and grace.
    As I said....that’s just for starters!
    She’s simply an inspiration and example to all by demonstrating that the attitude and approach to life which you choose each day is your choice; and it makes ALL the difference to how your life (and that of those around you) unfolds.

    1. She's quite an inspiration - you're right! I think many people look at her as "just another blonde country singer," but as you said she's very business savvy and many other things too. I also think she's true to herself.

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