20 inspirational quotes from female business leaders

08 February 2017


This global annual event was created to promote a more gender inclusive world, where women are treated on a level playing field as their male counterparts. The theme for this year’s campaign is #BeBoldForChange, and challenges both women and men to take part in ground-breaking action with the aim to accelerate gender parity across every industry and sector. 

Given that the workplace remains one of the most unequal environments for women, these motivational quotes from some of the world’s most inspirational female business professionals are sure to resonate with everyone.

  1. “’Restore connection’ is not just for devices, it is for people too. If we cannot disconnect, we cannot lead. Creating the culture of burnout is opposite to creating a culture of sustainable creativity. This is something that needs to be taught in business schools. This mentality needs to be introduced as a leadership and performance-enhancing tool.” — Arianna Huffington, Huffington Post
  1. "Strategic leaders must not get consumed by the operational and tactical side of their work. They have a duty to find time to shape the future.” — Stephanie S. Mead, CMOE
  1. “I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.” — Estée Lauder, Estée Lauder
  1. “My father had a simple test that helps me measure my own leadership quotient: When you are out of the office, he once asked me, does your staff carry on remarkably well without you?” — Martha Peak, AMA Magazines

business woman

  1. “My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.” — Oprah Winfrey
  1. “My best successes came on the heels of failures.” — Barbara Corcoran
  1. “I wake up every morning and think to myself, ‘How far can I push the company forward in the next 24 hours?’” — Leah Busque, TaskRabbit
  1. “Surround yourself with a trusted and loyal team. It makes all the difference.” — Alison Pincus
  1. “As a leader, it’s a major responsibility on your shoulders to practice the behaviour you want others to follow.” — Himanshu Bhatia, Rose International Inc.
  1. “Good leaders organise and align people around what the team needs to do. Great leaders motivate and inspire people with why they’re doing it. That’s purpose. And that’s the key to achieving something truly transformational.” — Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin
  1. “Leadership is hard to define and good leadership even harder. But if you can get people to follow you to the ends of the earth, you are a great leader.” — Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo
  1. “You have to look at leadership through the eyes of the followers and you have to live the message. What I have learned is that people become motivated when you guide them to the source of their own power and when you make heroes out of employees who personify what you want to see in the organisation.” — Anita Roddick

businesswoman leadership executive

  1. “I learned to always take on things I’d never done before. Growth and comfort do not coexist.” — Ginni Rometty, IBM
  1. “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, Yahoo

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  1. “Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.” — Sara Blakely, Spanx
  1. “If this is something that you really want to do, if you believe in it… simply keep forging forward because success will come.” — Cassandra Sanford, KellyMitchell Group
  1. “Leadership is not about men in suits. It is a way of life for those who know who they are and are willing to be their best to create the life they want to live.” — Kathleen Schafer, Leadership Connection

business woman

  1. “Life-fulfilling work is never about the money — when you feel true passion for something, you instinctively find ways to nurture it.” — Eileen Fisher, fashion designer and entrepreneur
  1. “I didn't spend a lot of time thinking about as a woman how I would manage differently. There are lots of things I can change but my gender is not one of them, and so it is what it is. I have to lead according to my personality, according to what I think is necessary under any set of circumstances.” — Meg Whitman, CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise 
  1. “Pretending to be confident goes a long way. If you’re convincing in your confidence, you’ll eventually start to believe it and other people will too.” — Jane Shepherdson CBE, businesswoman and CEO of Whistles

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