30 Quotes from Powerful Women

The climb to the top can be tough going for anyone. But as women, there are particular hurdles that can make the journey upward toward positions of power and influence, in myriad spheres, especially challenging.

Here, in 30 inspiring quotes, businesswomen, role models, activists, entertainers, authors, politicians and more share their thoughts on leadership and success , and what exactly those mean to them.

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“If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.” —Margaret Thatcher

“A strong woman understands that the gifts such as logic, decisiveness, and strength are just as feminine as intuition and emotional connection. She values and uses all of her gifts.” —Nancy Rathburn

“A woman is like a tea bag—you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.” —Eleanor Roosevelt

“I always wanted to be a femme fatale. Even when I was a young girl, I never really wanted to be a girl. I wanted to be a woman.” —Diane von Furstenberg

“A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.” ―Gloria Steinem

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“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

“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 Yousafzai

“Feminism isn’t about making women strong. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.” —G.D. Anderson

“Women are always saying, ‘We can do anything that men can do.’ But Men should be saying, ‘We can do anything that women can do.'” —Gloria Steinem

“You don’t have to be pretty. You don’t owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don’t owe it to your mother, you don’t owe it to your children, you don’t owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked ‘female.'” —Erin McKean

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“Women are leaders everywhere you look—from the CEO who runs a Fortune 500 company to the housewife who raises her children and heads her household. Our country was built by strong women, and we will continue to break down walls and defy stereotypes.” —Nancy Pelosi

“Of course I am not worried about intimidating men. The type of man who will be intimidated by me is exactly the type of man I have no interest in.”
―Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who’s going to stop me.” —Ayn Rand

“We need women at all levels, including the top, to change the dynamic, reshape the conversation, to make sure women’s voices are heard and heeded, not overlooked and ignored.” —Sheryl Sandberg

“It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent.” —Madeleine Albright

“I’ve never met a woman who is not strong, but sometimes they don’t let it out. Then there’s a tragedy, and then all of a sudden that strength comes. My message is let the strength come out before the tragedy.” ―Diane von Furstenberg

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“Women have always been the strong ones of the world. The men are always seeking from women a little pillow to put their heads down on. They are always longing for the mother who held them as infants.” —Coco Chanel

“We need to reshape our own perception of how we view ourselves. We have to step up as women and take the lead.”—Beyoncé

“Why has the word [feminism] become such an uncomfortable one? It is not the word that is important; it’s the idea and the ambition behind it.” —Emma Watson

“The idea of being a feminist: so many women have come to this idea of it being anti-male and not able to connect with the opposite sex, but what feminism is about is equality and human rights. For me that is just an essential part of my identity.”—Lena Dunham

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On Courage and Power:

“A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.” — Diane Mariechild

“One of the most courageous things you can do is identify yourself, know who you are, what you believe in and where you want to go.” — Sheila Murray Bethel

“Woman must not accept; she must challenge. She must not be awed by that which has been built up around her; she must reverence that woman in her which struggles for expression.” — Margaret Sanger

“Courage is like a muscle. We strengthen it by use.” — Ruth Gordo

“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

“It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent.” — Madeleine Albright

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On Life Success:

“I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.” — Oprah Winfrey

“A strong woman understands that the gifts such as logic, decisiveness, and strength are just as feminine as intuition and emotional connection. She values and uses all of her gifts.” — Nancy Rathburn

“Whatever you do, be different – that was the advice my mother gave me, and I can’t think of better advice for an entrepreneur. If you’re different, you will stand out.” — Anita Roddick

“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 (CEO of Yahoo)

 

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