The future is female. That’s more than just a cool t-shirt saying, it’s a fact. Join us as we celebrate the inspiring achievement of women all around the globe on this illustrious day!
This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #BeBoldForChange – helping to forge a better working, gender inclusive world. Women have come a long way in their struggle to kick through that glass ceiling to become political powerhouses, billionaires on the rise, trending entrepreneurs, corner office bosses and the list goes on.
Just because we celebrate women in all their glory the entire month of March, you don’t have to be female to take groundbreaking action that truly drives the greatest change for women. Be a part of the movement that starts the conversation. Be the driving force in moving this celebration to progression. To encourage women to be bolder, stronger and more powerful, we made a list of the top 10 most inspiring women to VILLA. Take a look:
1. Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States
Let’s start things off with a woman who, clearly, needs no introduction. With such poise, beauty and professionalism throughout her tenure as FLOTUS, Mama Michelle worked tirelessly in the interest of women and girls throughout the globe. From hosting the United States of Women Summit, to the Let Girls Learn initiative, she used her platform to let everybody know that girls really do run the world. And it also helps that she is an amazing mother and wife.
Michelle Obama will forever be our first lady.
2. Misty Copeland, Ballet Dancer
May her limbs stretch as long as her opportunities. Misty Copeland made history by becoming the first African-American principal dancer of the American Ballet Theatre. It’s probably easy to think of a ballerina in the most precious of ways, fluttering around in a delicate tutu, but Misty Copeland is all about capsizing that illustration. As she continued to defy the narrow conventions of the dance world as being the nontraditional type of dancer, girls and women everywhere become inspired to be different and unique.
3. Viola Davis, Actor
Hollywood’s most popular and well-deserved actor is none other than Viola Davis. She shattered the screens with her most recent groundbreaking performance in Fences, which scored her big props and also earned something called an Oscar. Not to mention her role of Annalise Keating, a high-profile defense attorney and law professor, in the ABC legal-drama series “How to Get Away with Murder.” Despite her very difficult past in life and in the entertainment industry, Davis continues to inspire us with these memorable marginalized characters by giving young women a chance to see themselves on screen.
4. Elizabeth Warren, Senator (D)
Elizabeth Warren is no stranger to speaking out for education and women’s rights, so it’s only fitting that she be on our list of bold and inspiring women. To the woman who speaks her mind and stands up for what is right, we celebrate you Elizabeth Warren.
5. Serena Williams, Tennis Player
Who doesn’t LOVE Serena Williams? She is not only the most dominant figure in sports, but her dominance has been fueled by being her own person on and off the court. Her joy for the sport brings everyone to their feet. Serena’s excellence comes with the ability to imagine herself achieving a new kind of history for all of us.
6. Hillary Clinton, Politician (D)
Need we remind you of that glass ceiling? Well, this woman completely destroyed it. Granted, she did not win the seat in the oval office, but she came closer than any other woman in Presidential history. Let’s just say that young girls everywhere are following in her footsteps right now.
7. Elaine Welteroth, Teen Vogue Editor-in-Chief
Who said print was dead? When Condé Nast hired the youngest person to be appointed editor-in-chief of a magazine, flowers bloomed in vibrant colors with happiness. At only 29-years-old, she remains the forefront, inspiring young trendsetters with their sophisticated take on emerging fashion, beauty and pop culture, and they will lead Teen Vogue to the next phase of its success.
8. Angela Rye, CNN Political Commentator
Have you watched the news in the past year? If so, then you should be familiar with this woman. If not, then her voice should ring a bell. Angela Rye is an instrumental voice in political topics on the CNN discussion panel and boy, does she know how to tell it like it is. She constantly speaks up for African Americans and women and is quick to shut down Trump surrogates with facts and figures. Her candor has made her unforgettable and intriguing to watch.
9. Ursula Burns, Xerox CEO
The only African American female CEO of any fortune 500 company…ever! According to Forbes.com, Burns has served as Xerox CEO, managing to return a company once only known for paper copies to a viable and profitable business since 2010. Ursula Burns, we celebrate you for your hard work and completely shattering that glass ceiling. The next black, female CEO is right behind you.
10. Beyoncè, Singer (Duh!)
When it comes to strong, empowering and bold women in the music industry, there is only one name that comes to mind… Queen Bey! Should we even remind you all that the queen slays every time she graces the stage and, through her music and showstopping performances, continues to send powerful messages to young women everywhere. And with her marvelous sister, Solange, and adorable baby Blue Ivy, she shuts it down with the greatest girl gang of all time.