The world is full of strong, powerful women who are making a difference, leading by example, and standing tall.

Each of these women is a model of inspiration for any female, no matter your goals, dreams, or aspirations.

11 Female Leaders in Politics, Entertainment, Activism, and More to Look Up To

These strong women are leading the charge when it comes to female empowerment, social change, and gender equality.

1. Sandra Day O’Connor

Sandra Day O’Connor was the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States.

Besides this amazing accomplishment, she also promoted women’s interests in her position. She contributed her vote to landmark cases like Planned Parenthood v. Casey, and, after her retirement, went on to advocate for youth involvement in government.

2. Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey famously grew up poor in an abusive household, but she rose above her early trials to become one of the most powerful women in the world. Her talk show, Oprah, was the most successful show of its kind, and from there she went on to build a business empire.

3. Condoleeza Rice

Condoleeza Rice is a diplomat and political scientist. She was the second woman in history to hold the position of national security advisor (under George W. Bush), and the first black woman ever to serve as Secretary of State (under Barack Obama).

Rice has always been ambitious and whip-smart: She started college at the University of Denver at 15, graduated by 19, and won multiple awards during her time as a professor at Stanford.

4. Madeleine Albright

Another famous and powerful female diplomat from the U.S. is Madeleine Albright. She was the first U.S. Secretary of State (under Bill Clinton) and was a force to be reckoned with for many years in American diplomacy.

Surprisingly, Madeleine was an immigrant – she moved to the U.S. with her family in 1948 after leaving Prague to escape the Nazis, then from Czechoslovakia to escape the communists.

5. Gloria Steinem

One of the world’s most famed feminists and activists is Gloria Steinem.

Before she became one of the leaders of the feminist movement in the 1960s and ‘70s, she was a journalist, a founder of New York magazine, and a co-founder of the publication Ms.

6. Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama was First Lady during her husband’s presidency, but she’s known for so much more.

She has degrees from both Princeton and Harvard Law, worked as a successful lawyer in Chicago, was a respected public servant, and used her time as First Lady to raise awareness for causes like poverty and childhood obesity.

7. Tina Fey

Tina Fey may be best known for her roles on Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, and Mean Girls, but she’s also a writer and producer.

She was a writer on SNL and created hit shows like The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and is a powerful female voice in Hollywood. She was also voted as one of the 50 most popular women comedians.

8. Malala Yousafzai

Malala is known for standing up to the Taliban and insisting on a female’s right to an education. She was shot in the head for expressing her views, but survived.

Since her ordeal, she has been a vocal leader for human rights, especially education for women and children. She is the youngest Nobel Prize laureate and continues to use her clout to advocate for important causes in her native Pakistan.

9. Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison is an influential writer, editor, and teacher as well as a celebrated American novelist. Her best-known works include Beloved, The Bluest Eye, and Song of Solomon.

She won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. She also won the Pulitzer Prize and the American Book Award for Beloved in 1998.

10. Shonda Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes is one of the small screen’s most influential black females. She’s a producer, screenwriter, and creator of hit shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. She also wrote a best-selling book, Year of Yes. She also runs her own production company, Shondaland.

11. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Current Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has spent her career advocating for gender equality. As a student at Harvard Law in the 1950s, she experienced gender discrimination and was one of the only females in a mostly-male field.

President Jimmy Carter appointed her to the U.S. Court of Appeals in the 1980s, and President Bill Clinton appointed her to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1993, where she has used her power to advocate for social change.

Powerful Women Are Changing the World

The world’s most powerful women are leading the way for social change. Now it’s not uncommon to see a female in a position of leadership, including ones with political and financial power. Ladies like these are paving the way for the next generation with their ambition, bravery, and intelligence.

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