If you’re a woman, then you don’t need us to tell you that being a female leader comes with a slew of unique challenges that her male counterparts don’t face. And while these challenges are frustrating at best, they also make lady leaders that much stronger and more equipped to overcome any obstacle that comes their way.
Still, when it feels like you’re facing an endless stream of obstacles, it’s helpful to look for some additional motivation. The following TED Talks, delivered by some of the most bad ass women around, are sure to give you all the motivation and inspiration you need to keep grinding, no matter the obstacles you’re facing.
Sheryl Sandberg – Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders
In this moving talk, Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of a little company called Facebook, examines why such a small percentage of leaders are women. Spoiler alert: It has nothing to do with their abilities. She delves into the topics of the unique guilt and challenges mothers face, the disproportionate degree to which women doubt themselves compared to men, and the ways in which women struggle to take credit for their own work.
Courtney E. Martin – This Isn’t Your Mother’s Feminism
The term “feminist” is thrown around a lot these days. Sometimes it’s used as an empowering title and other times it’s used derogatorily to describe some mythological bra-burning radical. In her talk, blogger, Courtney Martin, digs into what feminism really means and the various paradoxes women face when navigating it. She examines issues of intersectionality, personal failure, social justice, and what it means to be a feminist in contemporary society.
Leymah Gbowee: Unlock the Intelligence, Passion, Greatness of Girls
If anyone knows the unparalleled greatness of girls, it’s Nobel Peace Prize winner, Leymah Gbowee. In her powerful speech, Gbowee takes what she learned from leading a women’s movement that helped to end the Second Liberian Civil War, and uses it to convey the unique strength, passion, and intelligence young girls have. She discusses ways that we as a community can work together to ensure those attributes are given more light and power in global cultures.
Angela Patton – A Father-Daughter Dance… in Prison
Angela Patton is a longtime girls’ advocate and innovator who’s devoted a large portion of her life to helping “at-promise” (a term she prefers to “at-risk”) girls realize their dreams and ambitions. In her inspiring talk, Patton discusses the challenge she faced when the girls she works with wanted to have a father-daughter dance but some girls in the group had fathers in prison. She goes on to share how she overcame that problem and it’s nothing short of heartwarming and inspiring.
Shonda Rhimes – My Year of Saying Yes to Everything
Creator of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away With Murder, Shonda Rimes, knows a little something about success. In her killer speech, Rimes shares what she learned from the year that she decided to say yes to everything. She examines the ways in which ii expanded her horizons, both personally and professionally, while explaining how a commitment to playing with her children allowed her to get her flow back at work—a phenomenon she dubs as “the hum.”
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