Celebrating women who aim high, stand tall, and are making a difference in business worldwide
We all know that women should be celebrated every day, but on March 8th we get a chance to really shout about it.
This year for International Women’s Day, we’ve compiled a list of ten inspiring women in business who raise the bar, empowering women everywhere to stand up for themselves and do good for the world.
Our list includes women from all countries, backgrounds and ages, making a difference in a range of industries. What connects them is that they are role models, who we aspire to emulate in our own career journeys.
Check out our picks, and let us know who inspires you!
1. Cassie Roma - Kindness Warrior/Marketer, N.Z.
“For too long, kindness has been associated with weakness. The opposite is true. Kindness is strength, kindness is clarity, kindness is bold.”
Cassie Roma is a thought leader in brand storytelling and digital marketing, and declares herself a “Kindness Warrior”. She believes that good corporate culture is built on empathy, insight and kindness — a belief she brought to Air New Zealand, ANZ, The Warehouse Group, and NZME during her time at each business driving strategy and content.
2. Ariana Huffington - Publisher, U.S.A.
“You have to do what you dream of doing, even while you’re afraid.”
Ariana Huffington is one of America’s leading businesswomen, being the founder of The Huffington Post, author of 15 books, and now founder of Thrive Global — a business aimed at transforming workplaces to enhance wellbeing.
3. Grace Beverley - Entrepreneur, U.K.
“We are trying to make sustainability mainstream — it’s cool to be kind.”
Influencer, multiple business entrepreneur, and Oxford University alum, Grace Beverley has achieved a lot in her 22 years. Busting Gen Z stereotypes, building vegan exercise equipment and creating sustainable activewear is all in a day’s work for Grace, who was named Natwest’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2019.
4. Shama Lee - Entrepreneur, N.Z.
“I didn’t want to be part of a campaign of judging and preaching. I’m a solutions architect.”
From software engineer to saving the planet: Shama Lee is the founder of Sunfed Meats, a vegan meat substitute made from clean and sustainable sources. She believes that the better our food system, the better the wellbeing of all life will be, and aims to make a difference with her delicious plant-based meats.
5. Jane Goodall, Conservationist, U.K.
“The least I can do is speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves.”
Jane Goodall - famed for her work with chimpanzees - is the conservationist who redefined traditional conservation methods with a holistic new approach that recognised the importance of people in the wellbeing of animals and habitat.
6. Chelsea Winstanley - Director & Producer, N.Z.
“I don’t want women to be a background extra supporting the man. I want women to win.”
Chelsea Winstanley is an award-winning film producer and director, of Ngati Ranginui and Ngai Te Rangi descent. Most famous for producing What We Do In The Shadows and Jojo Rabbit, both directed by her husband Taika Waititi, she’s also a highly acclaimed documentary filmmaker.
7. Brené Brown - Author & Research Professor, U.S.A.
“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.”
If you haven’t seen her TED talk, watch it now. Brene Brown is a research professor who seeks to understand and shift the way we react to or embrace vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame. Her books have become bestsellers and she continues to inspire millions around the world with her teachings.
8. Lizzo - Musician, U.S.A.
“It’s so hard trying to love yourself in a world that doesn’t love you back, so I want you to take this opportunity to just feel good as hell right now - because you deserve to feel good as hell!”
Who hasn’t heard of Lizzo at the moment? The queen of body positivity and self-love, Lizzo is at the head of a movement encouraging people of all diverse make-ups to believe in themselves and love one another. She’s built a strong platform, and is dedicated to using it for good.
9. Van Dyke Sisters - Entrepreneurs, N.Z.
“All businesses will need to reconsider how they are doing business and what their environmental and social impact is, because people are starting to care.”
Florence and Chloe van Dyke are better known as “The Chia Sisters” for their natural chia drink range, made in Nelson, NZ. They’ve made headlines for converting their factory to use 100% solar energy, becoming a carbon-neutral business, and paying all staff above the living wage.
10. Marissa Mayer - CEO, U.S.A.
“Work for someone who believes in you, because when they believe in you they’ll invest in you.”
Google’s first female employee, Marissa Mayer went on to lead Yahoo as CEO before venturing into entrepreneurship as the founder of Lumi Labs. Smashing the glass ceiling in tech, Mayer is one of the most influential women in business in the U.S.A.
AHH there are so many amazing women, we couldn’t fit them all in here! These women aren’t exactly in business, but they inspire the world and deserve celebrating:
Jacinda Ardern, our Prime Minister who has proven that women CAN have a baby and run a country, and that passionate emotions are not a weakness, but a strength.
Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani activist for female education, who almost gave her life simply for believing that women deserve to go to school too.
Greta Thunberg, the environmental activist - does she really need an introduction?
Ellen Degeneres, comedian and performer, and passionate campaigner for LGBTQ rights.
Brianne West, founder of Ethique, New Zealand’s first zero-waste beauty brand, showing that you don’t have to kill the planet to look good.
BizStory Content Team
Yes, I’m adding us to this list. We’re a team of strong, inspiring women of all ages and backgrounds who are pushing to raise the standard of business content marketing.
We’re proud of our talent and the work we do, and - alongside our list of iconic women above - we believe women of all ages and accomplishments should be celebrated.
Let us know which women inspire you, and celebrate the women in your life this International Women’s Day.