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106 Powerful Quotes By Women To Inspire The Boss In You

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Strong women have turned up, broken many stereotypes, and impacted all of us in the corporate world. And to celebrate their brilliant thoughts and successes, I've compiled a collection of 106 inspirational quotes by women whose words will inspire us to hustle a little harder, speak a little louder, and dream bigger.

Talent is perhaps an essential performance factor in the contemporary corporate environment. More women are in leading positions today than in the past and are enthralling corporations throughout the world.

Be it Zia Modi, who continues to reign supreme in the field of corporate law, or Karen Lynch, who leads CVS Health as the highest-ranking CEO according to Fortune, the roster of successful women continues to rise.

Do you know that according to a recent study:

  • Women's presence in senior management is steadily increasing across the world. The number of women in top executive positions worldwide increased to 29% in 2019, the highest ever recorded.
  • In 2020, 87% of global mid-market businesses worldwide had at least one woman in leadership roles.
  • According to a recent EY study, businesses with at least 30% women in leadership roles may boost their net margins by up to 6%. Only five nations, however, possess up to 30% of women in leadership positions.

The actual point to address is why this figure is so low. What is it that prevents women from achieving their full potential?

Women may not understand how pivotal they are for leadership roles, but their abilities and talents are evident.

And it's critical that we acknowledge the accomplishments of women in the workplace and in other areas of their lives. It's also essential that we listen and comprehend what these powerful women have to say.

So here’s a list of some of the most empowering quotes by women to inspire the boss in you!

Leadership quotes by women

Image Source: Pexels

1. Arianna Huffington

'Restore connection' is not just for devices, it is for people too. If we cannot disconnect, we cannot lead.
~ Arianna Huffington

2. Serena Williams

I decided I can't pay a person to rewind time, so I may as well get over it.
~ Serena Williams

3. Dolly Parton

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.
~ Dolly Parton

4. Wangari Maathai

Finally I was able to see that if I had a contribution I wanted to make, I must do it, despite what others said. That I was OK the way I was. That it was all right to be strong.
~ Wangari Maathai

5. Margaret Wheatley

Leadership is a series of behaviors rather than a role for heroes.
~ Margaret Wheatley

Recommended Read: 19 Easy Ways To Honor National Boss's Day

6. Nicki Minaj

I just want women to always feel in control. Because we're capable, we're so capable.
~ Nicki Minaj

7. Iyanla Vanzant

The way to achieve your own success is to be willing to help somebody else get it first.
~ Iyanla Vanzant

8. Billie Jean King

Champions keep playing until they get it right.
~ Billie Jean King

9. Barbara Corcoran

My best successes came on the heels of failures.
~ Barbara Corcoran

10. Assata Shakur

Quotes by Women Assata Shakur

Dreams and reality are opposites. Action synthesizes them.
~ Assata Shakur

11. Marie Curie

We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.
~ Marie Curie

12. Beyoncé

We need to reshape our own perception of how we view ourselves. We have to step up as women and take the lead.
~ Beyoncé

13. Rosalynn Carter

A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don't necessarily want to go, but ought to be.
~ Rosalynn Carter

14. Anais Nin

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.
~ Anais Nin

15. Stephanie S. Mead

Strategic leaders must not get consumed by the operational and tactical side of their work.
~ Stephanie S. Mead

Recommended Read: 25 Leadership Qualities That Makes You A Good Leader

16. Ida B. Wells

The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.
~ Ida B. Wells

17. J. K. Rowling

Destiny is a name often given in retrospect to choices that had dramatic consequences.
~ J. K. Rowling

18. Clare Boothe Luce

Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, She doesn't have what it takes. They will say, Women don't have what it takes.
~ Clare Boothe Luce

19. Faye Wattleton

The only safe ship in a storm is leadership.
~ Faye Wattleton

20. Princess Diana

Quotes by Women Princess Diana

People think at the end of the day that a man is the only answer [to fulfillment]. Actually a job is better for me.
~ Princess Diana

21. Maya Angelou

You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.
~ Maya Angelou

22. Erica Jong

You take your life in your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing, no one to blame.
~ Erica Jong

23. Elizabeth Gilbert

Stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be.
~ Elizabeth Gilbert

24. Brené Brown

Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.
~ Brené Brown

25. Rosa Parks

I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.
~ Rosa Parks

Recommended Read: Best Leadership Quotes To Inspire The Leader Within You

26. Padmasree Warrior

The ability to learn is the most important quality a leader can have.
~ Padmasree Warrior

27. Jacinda Ardern

One of the criticisms I’ve faced over the years is that I’m not aggressive enough or assertive enough or maybe somehow, because I’m empathetic, it means I’m weak. I totally rebel against that. I refuse to believe that you cannot be both compassionate and strong.
~ Jacinda Ardern

28. Muriel Strode

Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
~ Muriel Strode

29. Joanne Ciulla

Leadership is not a person or a position. It is a complex moral relationship between people based on trust, obligation, commitment, emotion, and a shared vision of the good.
~ Joanne Ciulla

30. Greta Thunberg

Quotes by Women Greta Thunberg

You are never too small to make a difference.
~ Greta Thunberg

31. Marianne Williamson

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
~ Marianne Williamson

32. Sallie Krawcheck

If you’re not making some notable mistakes along the way, you’re certainly not taking enough business and career chances.
~ Sallie Krawcheck

33. Margaret Mead

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
~ Margaret Mead

34. Susan Wojcicki

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.
~ Susan Wojcicki

35. Oprah Winfrey

Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.
~ Oprah Winfrey

Recommended Read: Epic Goal Setting Quotes For A Successful Year

36. Ginni Rometty

I learned to always take on things I’d never done before. Growth and comfort do not coexist.
~ Ginni Rometty

37. Marissa Mayer

I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.
~ Marissa Mayer

38. Eleanor Roosevelt

Do what you feel in your heart to be right for you’ll be criticized anyway.
~ Eleanor Roosevelt

39. Vicky Saunders

Who you are surrounded by often determines who you become.
~ Vicky Saunders

40. Indra Nooyi

Quotes by Women Indra Nooyi

Leadership is hard to define, and good leadership even harder. But if you can get people to follow you to the ends of the earth, you are a great leader.
~ Indra Nooyi

41. Susan Macpherson

Magic happens when you connect people. I credit much of my success to always making it a point to truly get to know people and help them whenever I can. It’s become the backbone of our firm’s success. Women founders in particular are often highly skilled at making connections that can help advance their businesses.
~ Susan Macpherson

42. Dianne Feinstein

Ninety percent of leadership is the ability to communicate something people want.
~ Dianne Feinstein

43. Annie McKee

Emotional intelligence is the ability to use emotion to increase your own and others’ success.
~ Annie McKee

44. Sheryl Sandberg

Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence, and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.
~ Sheryl Sandberg

45. Mary Barra

It’s okay to admit what you don’t know. It’s okay to ask for help. And it’s more than okay to listen to the people you lead – in fact, it’s essential.
~ Mary Barra

Recommended Read: Truly Inspirational Success Quotes From Great Leaders

46. Mary D. Poole

Leadership should be more participative than directive, more enabling than performing.
~ Mary D. Poole

47. Ellen J. Kullman

With kids, they don’t do what you want them to do when you want them to do it. Organizations don’t necessarily, either. You’ve got to listen. You’ve got to learn how to influence.
~ Ellen J. Kullman

48. Anna Wintour

People respond well to those that are sure of what they want.
~ Anna Wintour

49. Hillary Clinton

Take criticism seriously, but not personally. If there is truth or merit in the criticism, try to learn from it. Otherwise, let it roll right off you.
~ Hillary Clinton

50. Sara Blakely

Quotes by Women Sara Blakely

Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.
~ Sara Blakely

51. Dr. Ingrid Mattson

Part of leadership is knowing when to go ahead with a decision that’s within your authority because you’re really convinced it’s the right thing, even if other people don’t understand it at that point.
~ Dr. Ingrid Mattson

52. Candice Carpenter Olson

If you are committed to creating value and if you aren’t afraid of hard times; obstacles become utterly unimportant. A nuisance perhaps; but with no real power. The world respects creation; people will get out of your way.
~ Candice Carpenter Olson

53. Joanna Horsnail

You have to look at your career and personal life at the big-picture level: it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Doing that helps me feel OK during the weeks when one part of my life overwhelms the other.
~ Joanna Horsnail

54. Tara Mohr

No one else is going to build the life you want for you. No one else will even be able to completely understand it. The most amazing souls will show up to cheer you along the way, but this is your game. Make a pact to be in it with yourself for the long haul, as your own supportive friend at every step along the way.
~ Tara Mohr

55. Martha Stewart

I’m a maniacal perfectionist. And if I weren’t, I wouldn’t have this company.
~ Martha Stewart

Recommended Read: Famous Work Ethic Quotes To Boost Employee Morale

56. Michelle Obama

Success isn’t about how much money you make; it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.
~ Michelle Obama

57. Anne Sweeney

Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you’re proud to live.
~ Anne Sweeney

58. Kelly Manthey

Without being willing to fail and continually get back up again, I would never have been able to find the right market and establish my product within it.
~ Kelly Manthey

59. Rosalynn Carter

A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.
~ Rosalynn Carter

60. Ayn Rand

Quotes by Women Ayn Rand

The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me?
~ Ayn Rand

61. Stephanie Courtillier

I’ve always subscribed to the belief that the best leader is not one who has the most followers, but one who creates the most leaders. I strive every day — and in every program and offering we have at Integrous Women — to create more conscious, confident, and soulful leaders who, in return, will build a better world for all.
~ Stephanie Courtillier

62. Amy Schulman

You need to spend political capital ~ be unafraid to introduce people, compliment somebody when it’s deserved and stand up for something you really believe in, rather than just go with the flow.
~ Amy Schulman

63. Kat Cole

Leadership is about the team ~ the culture they keep and embrace, it’s about empathy for your customers, clients, employees and the communities where you do business, it’s about doing the right thing for the right reasons, being confident enough to take risks and responsible enough to think of those who your decisions and risks may affect.
~ Kat Cole

64. Carly Fiorina

Do not be afraid to make decisions. Do not be afraid to make mistakes.
~ Carly Fiorina

65. Amelia Earhart

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.
~ Amelia Earhart

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66. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

The size of your dreams must always exceed your current capacity to achieve them. If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.
~ Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

67. Ishita Gupta

Making the decision to not follow a system, or someone else’s rules has allowed me to really dig into what my own strengths and gifts are without spending time feeling jaded or wasteful.
~ Ishita Gupta

68. Malti Bhojwani

Success is an exception, so be exceptional.
~ Malti Bhojwani

69. Tamra Ryan

A good leader is able to paint a picture of a vision for the future and then enlist others to go on the journey with her. A truly conscious leader recognizes that it is not about her, but that the team is looking to her for inspiration and direction. Keeping her ego in check is essential.
~ Tamra Ryan

70. Helen Clark

Quotes by Women Helen Clark

I have broken many glass ceilings - so I know it can be done.
~ Helen Clark

71. Rosalind Brewer

You can and should set your own limits and clearly articulate them. This takes courage, but it is also liberating and empowering, and often earns you new respect.
~ Rosalind Brewer

72. Katelyn Gleason

I think it’s a combination of personality traits that have helped me to succeed. Not only hard work ~ but patience, sacrifice and choosing my battles have all helped me to reach the point in my career to which I aspired, in a company I admired.
~ Katelyn Gleason

73. Maria Castañón Moats

Cultivate a network of trusted mentors and colleagues. Other people can give us the best insight into ourselves—and our own limitations. We must have the courage to ask for help and to request feedback to expand our vision of what's possible.
~ Maria Castañón Moats

74. Pamela Gill Alabaster

Continuous learning leads to continuous improvement. Commit yourself to advancing your knowledge, skills, and expertise. The business environment is quickly changing, and your understanding of the leading practices, thinking, and emerging tools will help you manage for better results. Be a lifelong student.
~ Pamela Gill Alabaster

75. Helen Keller

Security is mostly a superstition. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
~ Helen Keller

Related Article: Top Work-Life Balance Quotes You Must Read Right Now

76. Florence Nightingale

I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took any excuse.
~ Florence Nightingale

77. Alice Walker

The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any.
~ Alice Walker

78. Emily Dickinson

Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough.
~ Emily Dickinson

79. Betty Eadie

If we understood the power of our thoughts, we would guard them more closely. If we understood the awesome power of our words, we would prefer silence to almost anything negative. In our thoughts and words, we create our own weaknesses and our own strengths. Our limitations and joys begin in our hearts. We can always replace negative with positive.
~ Betty Eadie

80. Sarah Louise Delany

Quotes by Women Sarah Louise Delany

Life is short, and it is up to you to make it sweet.
~ Sarah Louise Delany

81. Mary Anne Radmacher

Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow.
~ Mary Anne Radmacher

82. Harriet Beecher Stowe

When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.
~ Harriet Beecher Stowe

83. Wilma Rudolph

Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.
~ Wilma Rudolph

84. Helena Rubinstein.

Hard work keeps the wrinkles out of the mind and spirit.
~ Helena Rubinstein.

85. Ella Fitzgerald

Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong.
~ Ella Fitzgerald

Related Article: Inspiring Management Quotes To Fuel Your Fire

86. Katie Beauchamp

Whatever it is that you think you want to do — and whatever it is that you think stands between you and that — stop making excuses. You can do anything.
~ Katie Beauchamp

87. Michelle Peluso

Grace is meeting those moments on the journey, then picking yourself back up, being humble enough to learn, and not being too hard on yourself.
~ Michelle Peluso

88. Donna Karan

Delete the negative; accentuate the positive.
~ Donna Karan

89. Estée Lauder

I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.
~ Estée Lauder

90. Malala Yousafzai

Quotes by Women Malala Yousafzai

I raise up my voice not so I can shout but so that those without a voice can be heard... We cannot succeed when half of us are held back.
~ Malala Yousafzai

91. Diane von Furstenberg

I didn't know what I wanted to do, but I always knew the woman I wanted to be.
~ Diane von Furstenberg

92. Shonda Rhimes

Dreams are lovely but they are just dreams. Fleeting, ephemeral, pretty. But dreams do not come true just because you dream them. It's hard work that makes things happen. It's hard work that creates change.
~ Shonda Rhimes

93. Lisa Sugar

Do something you love.
~ Lisa Sugar

94. Alicia Vikander

The mere fact of being able to call your job your passion is success in my eyes.
~ Alicia Vikander

95. Condoleezza Rice

I think the truth of the matter is, people who end up as ‘first’ don’t actually set out to be first. They set out to do something they love and it just so happens that they are the first to do it.
~ Condoleezza Rice

Recommended Read: Funny Work Quotes To Jazz Up Your Workplace

96. Sarah Michelle Gellar

If you have an idea, you have to believe in yourself or no one else will.
~ Sarah Michelle Gellar

97. Amy Cuddy

The way you tell your story to yourself matters.
~ Amy Cuddy

98. Melinda Gates

I tell my daughters to have their voice in this world, and it became clear I needed to role-model that.
~ Melinda Gates

99. Guo Pei

I don’t follow trends or try to compete with anyone. Everything I do stems from following my passion and my love for design.
~ Guo Pei

100. Abigail Johnson

Quotes by Women Abigail Johnson

No matter how senior you get in an organization, no matter how well you’re perceived to be doing, your job is never done.
~ Abigail Johnson

101. Audrey Hepburn

Nothing is impossible, the word itself is, ‘I’m possible!’
~ Audrey Hepburn

102. Gloria Steinem

Power can be taken, but not given. The process of the taking is empowerment in itself.
~ Gloria Steinem

103. Audre Lorde

When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.
~ Audre Lorde

104. Tory Burch

If it doesn’t scare you, you’re probably not dreaming big enough.
~ Tory Burch

105. Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Fight for the things that you care about. But do it in a way that will lead others to join you.
~ Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Recommended Read: Greatest Motivational Quotes for Work

106. Madeleine Albright

It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent.
~ Madeleine Albright

Wrapping it up

Inspiring women continue to change the world via their leadership. From leading governments to fighting for human rights and leading the world's most significant establishments, they do it all.

And perhaps reading these encouraging words from some of the most outstanding women will inspire you to become a person who takes on every challenge with gusto.

Would you like to empower someone today? Consider sending them this list of the best leadership quotes by women!

Bhaswati Roy

This article is written by Bhaswati Roy who is a Content Marketer at Vantage Circle. In her spare time, she can be found reading crime thrillers or scrolling through food apps, unable to pick what to eat next. For any related queries, contact editor@vantagecircle.com.

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