106 Powerful Quotes By Women To Inspire The Boss In You
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!
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
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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
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
We need to reshape our own perception of how we view ourselves. We have to step up as women and take the lead.
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
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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
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
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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
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
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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
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
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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
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
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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
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
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
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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
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
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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
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
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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
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
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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!