4 Women Leaders to Inspire Your Next Career Move

career leadership Sep 03, 2021
professional woman working on laptop in cafe

For many people across the globe, the past year has been filled with challenges both personally and professionally. Women, especially, have borne the burden of burnout and stress, with about one in four thinking about leaving the workforce or downshifting their careers. As a working woman, you may experience times when your morale is low and work pressure is high, but it’s important to see this changing world as an opportunity, not a setback. 

The world of work is continuously evolving, whether it’s the possibility of remote-first jobs, a hybrid environment, or something completely new, but true leaders can emerge from difficult times. Channel the flow of change around you and use it to find what you were meant to do in this world. To help you continue making moves and growing your career, we’ve compiled a list of four standout women leaders to inspire you.

Cynthia Marshall

When it comes to the world of men’s professional sports, Cynthia “Cynt” Marshall is changing the game. After becoming the first Black female CEO in the NBA in 2018, Marshall made it her mission to change the culture of her organization in just the first 100 days. Bringing in over 36 years of experience in business at AT&T and her own expertise on diversity and inclusion from her consulting firm, Marshalling Resources, she shifted the dynamics of the Dallas Mavericks leadership to be nearly 50% women and 47% people of color. Currently, she’s proud to lead her organization with her strong values of transparency and trust.

Not only is Marshall a champion for every employee in the Mavs organization, but she is a champion for the advancement of all young women. She embodies her “Help a Sister Up” mentality in everything she does, whether it’s speeches to young girls or inspiring Girl Scouts in her local community. Marshall demonstrates in her quote below that true leaders use their influence to help others achieve success too.

“I have been a role model in different areas and I love it. I feel the weight of it, but it’s a good weight because I have to always make sure that I’m the first and not the last. This means that every day I’m trying to bring others along.” — Cynthia Marshall

Barbara Corcoran

As someone who was able to take a $1,000 real estate loan and turn it into a multimillion-dollar business, it’s safe to say Barbara Corcoran is an expert in business and entrepreneurship. Thanks to her expertise and a keen eye for success, Corcoran also became the first female “Shark” on the Emmy-award-winning show, “Shark Tank.” On the show, she doles out sage business advice and makes budding entrepreneurs’ dreams come true. Whether you’re looking to become a successful woman in real estate or aspiring to be a boss businesswoman, take notes on what Corcoran has to say about business below.

"In business, you're the chief salesman. Create a sense of demand, rather than waiting to have demand." — Barbara Corcoran

Tsai-Ing Wen

Beloved by her people, the first woman elected to be President of Taiwan, is a respected leader and political figure. She’s been named to Time Magazine’s list of 100 Most Influential People in 2020 and was also a former law professor at Soochow University School of Law and National Chengchi University. After winning re-election with a landslide popular vote, Tsai Ing-Wen remains a champion of the Taiwanese people by defending her country’s independence from China and fiercely combatting the COVID-19 pandemic with efficient and effective leadership. 

No matter what challenges the world might throw your way, take inspiration from President Tsai’s quote about how there’s strength in numbers and seek out a community of other career-minded women that will support you on your journey.

“Taiwan is no stranger to hardship, and our resilience stems from our willingness to unite to surmount even the toughest obstacles. This, above all else, is what I hope Taiwan can share with the world: the human capacity to overcome challenges together is limitless.” — Tsai Ing-Wen

Melinda Gates

Despite getting her famous name from her now ex-husband, Bill Gates, Melinda is not one to be outshined by any man. As a powerful force for good, she continues her work as co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation fighting disease, poverty, and inequity around the world. Melinda is also passionate about helping her local communities and has helped the Foundation bring resources to students so they have the opportunity to learn and graduate with an education. 

Even as a billionaire, Melinda Gates is an incredible example of generosity and uses her influence to lift up others around her. Use the following quote she gave to inspire every action you take in your personal and professional life.

“Take your genius and your optimism and your empathy and go change the world in ways that will make millions of others optimistic as well.” — Melinda Gates

Get inspired by the examples of these extraordinary women leaders and turn an era that’s known as The Great Resignation into your greatest career realization. Whether you decide to make a big career pivot or just need motivation to tackle your return to work fears, look to other successful women who came before you for encouragement on how to own your power in the workplace and forge your own pathway to success.

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