35 Inspiring Leadership Quotes From Powerful Women

Reviewed by Amanda Heal, Motivational Trainer & Coach Amanda Heal Amanda HealMotivational Trainer & Coach facebook_icontwitter_iconlinkedin_iconyoutube_iconinsta_icon
Written by Sneha Tete
Edited by Shatabdi Bhattacharya
Last Updated on

Women have proven their worth in every discipline, including athletics, astronomy, entertainment, business, politics, and more. Our list of some of the best leadership inspirational quotes by women in power gives a glimpse of their grit and perseverance. Even though the level playing field was far from even, some women defied all odds with their boldness, hard work, and determination. These women are symbols of female empowerment and motivational quotes by them can give us an insight into women’s strength and courage.

Sometimes things may get rough, you may face an existential crisis, and it all becomes too much. So, you have to grab a scoop of inspiration to get on track. Take a moment to absorb and digest these inspirational leadership statements from some very remarkable ladies. Scroll down!

35 Leadership Quotes By Women Of Remarkable Substance

Over several decades, women’s progress across various spaces and industries has been remarkable. And while that opens up a lot of opportunities for women as well as other marginal genders, from a broader perspective, the shift is minimal. However, as many women would agree, only a woman can understand another woman. If you are looking for some inspiration then we have a good dose of women’s wisdom for you. Read on.

  1. “I learned to always take on things I’d never done before. Growth and comfort do not coexist.” – Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM
  2. “Listening to others, especially those with whom we disagree, tests our own ideas and beliefs. It forces us to recognize, with humility, that we don’t have a monopoly on the truth.” – Janet Yellen, Economist
  3. People respond well to those that are sure of what they want.” – Anna Wintour, Editor-in-Chief, Vogue
  4. “Women need to shift from thinking “I’m not ready to do that” to thinking “I want to do that – and I’ll learn by doing it.” ” – Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook
  5. “Give light and people will find the way.” – Ella Baker, Activist
  6. “I am deliberate and afraid of nothing.” – Audre Lorde, Poet, Writer, and Activist
  7. “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 Yousazai, Activist
  8. “On my own, I will just create, and if it works, it works, and if it doesn’t, I’ll create something else. I don’t have any limitations on what I think I could do or be.” – Oprah Winfrey, Media Mogul
  9. “I had to make my own living and my own opportunity! But I made it! Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them.” – Madam C. J. Walker, The first female self-made millionaire in America

  10. “Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.” – J.K. Rowling, Writer
  11. “You may not always have a comfortable life, and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.” – Michelle Obama, Former First Lady of the United States of America
  12. “Buckle up, and know that it’s going to be a tremendous amount of work, but embrace it.” – Tory Burch, Fashion Designer
  13. “An important attribute of success is to be yourself. Never hide what makes you, you.” – Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo
  14. “Fearlessness is like a muscle. I know from my own life that the more I exercise it, the more natural it becomes to not let my fears run me.” – Arianna Huffington, Journalist and Entrepreneur

    Fearless woman flexing her arms and standing strong
    Image: Shutterstock
  1. You cannot live to please everyone else. You have to edify, educate and fulfill your own dreams and destiny.” – Viola Davis, Actress and Producer
  2. “You have to fight because you can’t count on anyone else fighting for you. And you have to fight for people who can’t fight for themselves. To get anything of real value, you have to fight for it.” – Ronda Rousey, Professional Wrestler
  3. “People will say to me, ‘You’ve played so many strong women,’ and I’ll say, ‘Have you ever said to a man, ‘You’ve played so many strong men?’’ No! Because the expectation is men are varied. Why can’t we have that expectation about women?” – Meryl Streep, Actress
  4. “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, TV Producer
  5. “There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.” – Jane Austen, Novelist

    Woman standing tall and strong
    Image: Shutterstock
  1. “Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you’re proud to live.” – Anne Sweeney, Co-chair of Disney Media
  1. “The best way to change it is to do it. Right? And then after a while, you become it and it’s easy.” – Ursula Burns, Former CEO of Xerox
  2. “To me, leadership is about encouraging people. It’s about stimulating them. It’s about enabling them to achieve what they can achieve – and to do that with a purpose.” – Christine Lagarde, Lawyer and Politician
  3. When you can’t find someone to follow, you have to find a way to lead by example.” – Roxane Gay, Writer
  4. “Abandon anything about your life and habits that might be holding you back.” – Sophia Amoruso, Founder of Nasty Gal
  5. “I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.” – Maya Angelou, Writer, Poet and Civil Rights Activist
  6. “We must have ideals and try to live up to them, even if we never quite succeed. Life would be a sorry business without them. With them, it’s grand and great.” – Lucy Maude Montgomery, Writer
  7. “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, Co-founder of Lumi Labs

    Woman wearing a cape
    Image: Shutterstock
  8. “A good leader inspires people to have confidence in the leader, a great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves.” Eleanor Roosevelt, Author, Politician and Diplomat
  9. “You have got to do the right thing even if it is painful. Don’t trim or track all over the place. Set your course and take the difficult decisions – because that is what needs to be done.” – Margaret Thatcher, Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
  10. “The path from dreams to success does exist.” – Kalpana Chawla, Astronaut and Aeronautical Engineer
  1. “The difference between successful people and others is how long they spend time feeling sorry for themselves.” – Barbara Corcoran, Founder of The Corcoran Group

    Women enjoying good time together
    Image: Shutterstock
  1. 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, Politician
  2. “Champions keep playing until they get it right.” – Billie Jean King, Former World No. 1 Professional Tennis Player
  3. “Don’t you ever let a soul in the world tell you that you can’t be exactly who you are.” – Lady Gaga, Singer, Songwriter, and Actress
  4. “Every twist and turn in life is an opportunity to learn something new about yourself, your interests, your talents, and how to set and then achieve goals.” – Jameela Jamil, Actress and Activist

Infographic: 10 Empowering Quotes From Exceptional Women

Women have been pioneers, leaders, and agents of change throughout history. They have left their mark in every field, from art and science to politics. We have compiled 10 inspiring quotes from some of the most exceptional women who lived lives that have become examples for others to follow. Check out the infographic below and be inspired by their thoughts on success and leadership.

10 empowering quotes from exceptional women (infographic)

Illustration: The Bridal Box Design Team

Women have proven their leadership mettle in almost every field and are leading by example. Women’s contribution towards redefining gender equality is significant. However, there is still an under-representation of women in leadership roles, which has to change. Every woman faces some ups and downs in her career and may lack the motivation to lead when she is constantly battling imposter syndrome. The leadership quotes by the powerful women listed above can certainly boost your morale and confidence and rejuvenate your perseverance and grit with new vigor. These women’s voices can help you reflect on your own journey and offer you a fresh perspective and approach towards your struggles. If you are going through this phase, take a look at these quotes to draw some inspiration to stand tall against all odds.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is leadership as a woman?

Apart from the courage, will, wisdom, and sense of responsibility that is necessary for a leader, women’s leadership also brings compassion to the table. Women who lead can be brutally fierce, but they also know that their softness can be powerful too. They have broken down societal barriers and embraced leadership roles after having embraced their own selves.

Why is women’s leadership important?

Women’s leadership is important because first and foremost, it opens up a platform for discussions on women’s rights. Additionally, it challenges gender disparity in the given social structure and encourages reformations. For the leader’s themselves, the journey to the top comes with many lessons that many women do not get the opportunity to experience. All of this could contribute greatly to women’s empowerment.

What is a female leader called?

A female who is a leader can be called, simply, a leader.

What is female inspiration?

Women’s achievements and its impact on our current society offer a treasure trove of inspiration to young girls with untapped potential. However, a woman’s story can inspire another is a personal journey. In the end, an inspiring female is one who has invested a lot of time, energy, and resources in herself to make informed decisions about the trajectory of her life. As many women in our societies are not given a right to choose for themselves, it is paramount to inspire them in that direction. Whether a woman has carved her own path, or trodden along a well-beaten one, as long as her choice is hers alone, she is a female inspiration.

Are women in leadership more effective?

Both men and women are effective leaders depending on various factors, such as their experience, the nature of work, the team, and the individual’s skills and characteristics. There are certain areas in leadership roles where women can be more effective than men; for example, women are often better at providing emotional support than men.

Which leadership style is preferred by females?

Women don’t have a particular preferred leadership style. Like men, women can use a variety of leadership stances depending on the circumstances and demands of the team. However, women may be more likely to strongly emphasize inspiration, collaboration, communication, employee commitment, motivation, and satisfaction. Women also favor work-life harmony and foster inclusive workplaces.

Are women more successful leaders than men?

Women may outperform men in tasks like managing conflict, fostering a positive work environment, and engaging employees however, men continue to dominate leadership roles in the majority of industries, indicating that there are still obstacles standing in the way of women achieving positions of power, especially in terms of salary and positions.

How many women work in leadership roles?

The number of women in leadership roles varies significantly by industry and country. Despite recent improvements, women are still underrepresented in positions of leadership and there is still a long way to go in achieving gender parity in leadership roles.

Are there any famous female leaders who have said inspiring things about leadership?

Here are some inspiring quotes about leadership by famous female leaders.
“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
“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
“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” – Alice Walker

Key Takeaways

  • Taking on new challenges and going outside one’s comfort zone is essential for success.
  • Consistently and persistently working hard every day can help one achieve their dreams.
  • Letting go of bad habits and people is fundamental to your personal growth.
leadership quotes by women

Image: Stable Diffusion/The Bridal Box Design Team

Discover the power of female leadership through the most inspiring quotes from remarkable women in the video below. This one is a must-watch for aspiring trailblazers!

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Amanda Heal
Amanda HealAuthor, Motivational speaker
Amanda Heal is a motivational speaker, resilience expert, author, and voice actor. Her life itself is a story of resilience and inspiration. She was born prematurely and needed oxygen support for several weeks. While this oxygen saved her life, it caused total blindness.

Read full bio of Amanda Heal
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