Although there were and are far more than just ten inspirational women in our world, let’s take a look at these fantastic female figures who have emboldened so many.
1. Anna May Wong (1905-1961)
Anna May Wong is considered Hollywood’s first Asian-American movie star. She overcame the racism that she faced during her career, going on to earn roles in over 50 domestic and foreign films.
2. Hillary Clinton (1947-present)
Hillary Clinton has accomplished so much in politics; she was the first woman to win a major party’s presidential nomination, and the first First Lady who has won elected office, specifically a seat in the U.S. Senate.
3. Shonda Rhimes (1970-present)
Shonda Rhimes is a highly-regarded American television producer and screenwriter. She has created hit shows like Bridgerton and Grey’s Anatomy. Rhimes is particularly known for the diverse storytelling and representation in her shows, helping take television in a positive direction.
4. Kalpana Chawla (1962-2003)
Kaplana Chawla was the first woman of Indian origin to fly to space when she ventured to space in NASA’s Space Shuttle Columbia in 1997. Chowla’s second (and last) trip to outer space ended up a tragedy, when the entire crew died as their ship disintegrated while returning to Earth’s atmosphere. There is a spacecraft named in her honor.
5. Zelda Fitzgerald (1900-1948)
Zelda Fitzgerald was married to writer F. Scott Fitzgerald, who wrote The Great Gatsby. But what people don’t know is that Zelda was also an extremely talented writer (and dancer). Apparently, F. Scott Fitzgerald betrayed her and stole some of her work from her journal entries, as she exposed in a piece she wrote for The New York Tribune.
6. Rosa Parks (1913-2005)
Rosa Parks was an African-American woman who was a huge part of the civil rights movement in the United States. She really inspired people in 1955, when she refused to give up her seat to a white man on a bus even knowing that she could get arrested. This ignited a boycott that lasted for over 300 days until the city changed its law of racial segregation on public buses. Her brave act earned her the name- ‘the first lady of civil rights.’
7. Amelia Earhart (1897-1937)
Amelia Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 1928, and the 6th woman who was issued a pilot’s license. Tragically, she went missing in 1937 and was never found, when flying over the central Pacific ocean in an attempt to circumnavigate the world.
8. Frida Khalo (1907-1954)
Frida Khalo was an artist who suffered a lot of trauma in her lifetime, including a horrible accident which left her crippled. She used all the emotions from her life to paint honestly and reflect her truth; they held messages of endurance, truth, reality, cruelty, and suffering.
9. Florence Nightingale (1820-1910)
Florence Nightingale went against her parents to pursue her dream of being a nurse. During the start of the Crimean war in 1853, she led 38 nurses to Turkey’s military hospital, which was the first time women had been able to do this. Nightingale was passionate about improving the quality of nursing in military hospitals, and even wrote a book on this subject that is still in print today. She also became the first female member of the Royal Statistical Society in 1858.
10. Emmeline Pankhurst (1858-1928)
Emmeline Pankhurst was an important leader of women’s suffrage. In 1903, she co-founded the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), and focused on getting women the right to vote. Pankhurst was determined to take action rather than just speaking about it. At Holloway Prison that Emmeline Pankhurst started her first hunger strike, withstanding so much violence because of her drive to earn women the right to vote.