There are women in the world who inspire us for many different reasons. Whether they are accomplished professionals, passionate activists, or simply pillars of their community, these women have demonstrated strength and courage that we can all look up to. In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating 5 amazing women who continue to inspire us today. Read on to learn more about these incredible ladies!
Anna Eleanor Roosevelt is best known as the wife of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. However, Eleanor Roosevelt was a woman who wore many hats. Eleanor was born into the affluent Roosevelt family. President Theodore Roosevelt was her father’s brother. Eleanor’s mother was Anna Hall, who also came from a prominent New York family.
Although Eleanor was born into privilege, tragedy rocked her life at an early age when both her parents and one brother died before she was 10 years old. She later enrolled at Allenwood, a distinguished girls’ boarding school in England. While at the boarding school, Eleanor found a new lease of life when her paths crossed with Marie Souvestre, the French headmistress at the school.
Souvestre had a passion for excellence, travel, and intellectual curiosity, which inspired Eleanor. Once done with school, although reluctant, Eleanor went back to New York, where she had to act as any lady born into high society was expected to. She joined the family tradition of community service by teaching at a settlement house in New York.
In 1905, Eleanor got married to her distant cousin, Franklin Roosevelt, with whom she had six children, although one died at infancy. Franklin Roosevelt was already in politics, and this was how Eleanor got into the political scene.
Some of Eleanor’s Remarkable Contributions and Achievements include
She helped soldiers during World War I
She was heavily involved in the women’s suffrage movement and fought for other women’s rights.
Most notably, Eleanor Roosevelt transformed the role of the First Lady. Previously, first ladies mainly played hostesses. But as the longest-serving first lady, Eleanor used the platform to champion social reforms and represented her husband in many speaking affairs.
She wrote a newspaper column titled My Day, where she highlighted her affairs as First Lady and discussed social issues like race and women.
After the death of her husband, President Franklin, President Truman appointed her as a US delegate to the United Nations, where she became the first chairperson of the Commission of Human Rights. Eleanor Roosevelt played a key role in the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
For a while in the 20th century, Eleanor Roosevelt was the most admired woman. She died in 1962, having lived an exemplary life that touched millions of lives and inspired many more.
For many, Malala Yousafzai is synonymous with courage. She was just a young girl when her world changed, but instead of cowering, she decided to speak up and speak for other girls too. Malala was born in 1997 in Swat Valley, Pakistan. Malala’s father was a teacher who had established a private school for girls in Pakistan. In 2008, when the Taliban took over the region, they ordered the shutdown of all girls’ schools.
Knowing the importance of education to girls, Malala started blogging anonymously for the BBC, but the Taliban found out. She was just 11 years old when the Taliban made her a target, and on her way home from school, they shot her in the head. Malala woke days later in England since the Taliban issued a fatwa against her. Malala’s resolve to fight for the equal right to education for all girls only grew.
Here are some of Malala Yousafzai’s achievements:
In 2011, Malala won Pakistan’s first Youth National Peace Prize.
In 2013, TIME magazine named her one of “The 100 Most Influential People in the World.”
Still, in 2013, Malala published her book I Am Malala which became a bestseller.
Malala addressed the United Nations in a speech that advocated for every girl’s right to education, making her a symbol for the cause.
In 2014, Malala won the Nobel Peace Prize at only age 17.
Malala and her father established the Malala Fund, a charity dedicated to helping girls get an education.
In 2015 she was the first runner-up in TIME’s Person of the Year poll.
Malala achieved all these while in high school. She graduated in 2020 from Oxford University and continues to fight for girls.
Michelle Obama had to be on this list! Being the first African American First Lady will always be in the history books, but Michelle is inspirational for many more achievements. Born in Chicago to a father who worked at the Chicago Water Department and a stay-at-home mother, Michelle grew up in a family that emphasized hard work, community, and education. She attended Princeton University for her bachelor’s degree then went to Harvard Law School.
She then started working at Sidley Austin’s firm, where she met Barack Obama. They got married in 1992 and were blessed with two children in the course of their marriage. Michelle had a passion for public service which she incorporated in her various job positions, including her role as First Lady.
Some of Michelle Obama’s achievements include
She was the founding executive director of the Chicago chapter of Public Allies, a program aimed at preparing young people for public office.
While at the University of Chicago, as associate dean of student services, she created the first community service program at the institution.
The “Let’s Move” initiative as a First Lady whose aim was to reduce childhood obesity. Michelle planted a White House vegetable garden and encouraged the same across the country. She also worked with elected officials, teachers, spiritual leaders, and parents to provide more nutritious food for children in schools and low-income neighborhoods.
Michelle led the “Reach Higher Initiative”, which helped students understand the job market and education opportunities.
After Barack’s second term, Michelle published her autobiography titled Becoming, which led to the Netflix documentary under the same title in 2020.
Michelle Obama continues to be an influential figure in society even after her husband left active politics. During the campaigning period, Michelle played a crucial role in swaying undecided voters for Barack and for the Democratic Party. Many women, children, and men continue to look up to her as a role model.
Melinda French Gates has earned her stripes as one of the most influential women today. Philanthropist, businesswoman, mother, and wife to now ex-husband Bill Gates, Melinda exemplifies wit, grit, and philanthropy. Born to an aerospace engineer father and a stay-at-home mother, Melinda gained interest in computers at age 14 when her father bought an Apple II computer. She joined Duke University to pursue computer science and later obtained a master’s degree in business from the same institution.
Melinda Gates started working at Microsoft as a marketing manager and was part of developing multimedia products. She met Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, a few months after she started working there, and they got married. Melinda left Microsoft to focus on starting a family. However, besides family, Melinda focused on her charity work and advocacy on education, health, global poverty, inequality, and women through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Some of Melinda Gates’ achievements include:
Melinda has been on several boards, including Duke University, Drugstore.com, and The Washington Post Company.
She co-created Gates Library Foundation, later renamed to Gates Learning Foundation, in 1997, which gave public libraries in the US computers with internet access.
In 2000, Melinda co-founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation after merging Gates Learning Foundation with William H. Gates Foundation. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was the wealthiest charitable foundation at the time of establishment. Through its five core areas, Melinda has partnered with many people and organizations to bring change to many lives globally. Through its divisions, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has made significant contributions to developing vaccines and treatments for TB, HIV/AIDS, COVID-19, education, fighting climate change, women’s rights, and much more.
Melinda Gates was named TIME’S Person of the Year in 2005 alongside Bill Gates.
She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016 and has received many other prestigious awards for her philanthropy efforts.
Melinda published her book The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World in 2019
Melinda Gates continues to make her mark in the world through charitable initiatives that help millions of people from across the globe.
Oprah Winfrey is a household name due to her success as a media leader. Oprah has many titles to her name among them, talk show host, news reporter and anchor, author, actress, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. Born to an unwed mother in her teens, Oprah lived with her grandmother as her mother looked for employment. Later she joined her mother, but her time there was plagued with sexual abuse for several years by relatives and her mother’s male friends. Oprah ran away from home to escape the abuse, only to narrowly escape juvenile detention because of lack of beds. She also gave birth to a boy who died in infancy.
Oprah’s life changed when she went to live with her father, who, although strict, gave her the stability lacking in her life. She went on to become an honor student and excel in performing arts. Winning the Miss Black Tennessee beauty pageant gave her an opportunity to work on a radio station and a scholarship to Tennessee State University, where she pursued a degree in speech communications. After the radio station, she went to work for a local television station and later moved to Boston for a news co-anchor position. It was in Boston that her star as a talk show host began to shine and led her to a 25 years career as the queen of talk shows.
Oprah’s achievements and contributions include:
The Oprah Winfrey Show that dominated the media for 25 years and turned into a business empire. The show has won many awards over the years.
She was an actress in influential movies like The Color Purple and Selma.
She launched Harpo Studios, a production company that has produced many series, films, and even The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Oprah established her cable channel OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network).
She has done a lot of philanthropy work and won many awards, including the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.
Oprah Winfrey’s empathy and interviewing skill has enabled her to have conversations with hundreds of impactful people on TV while changing millions of lives. She’s also dedicated to helping people live spiritual, healthy, and wholesome lives, which is reflected in her content and the brands that she endorses. Oprah has also been an advocate of social reform and sometimes even supported politicians who share her ideologies, such as Barack Obama. She is one of the most inspirational women of our time.
At Flexispot, we are passionate about not only providing the best ergonomic solutions to our customers but also working to improve the lives of women all over the world. While it would be impossible to list every woman who has ever inspired us, we wanted to share just a few of the women who have had an impact on our lives. These five women are examples of strength, courage, and resilience. They have all faced great obstacles in their lives, yet they continue to strive for more. We can all learn from these powerful individuals and be inspired to make a difference in our own lives and the lives of others.