5 Female Role Models From Across The World

We’re all real people. We’re presented with unique challenges and seemingly impossible obstacles when we set out to achieve something great. It’s important to remember that it isn’t just you who feels like achieving success is insurmountable – it’s everyone. All of these female role models felt the same way many times during their professional journeys, but they never let it stop them.

1. Indra Nooyi

PepsiCo is the second largest beverage brand in the world, and it’s backed by a female CEO and chairperson. Indra Nooyi was born in Madras, India, where she obtained three bachelor’s degrees. After she moved to the United States of America, she attended the Yale School of Management, earning her the degree that would finally allow her to travel the world managing a global brand. She was appointed CEO of PepsiCo in 2006. Nooyi, now 60 years old, didn’t get to the top immediately – she gave it her all and stuck around for the long haul. It’s never too late to become a CEO.

2. Ursula Burns

Ursula is the child of Panamanian immigrants, raised by a single mom in a low income housing project located in New York City. Despite the odds being stacked against her from the start, she obtained a master’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1980. That same year, she accepted a summer internship with Xerox. Though it took her 29 years to climb to the top, Ursula went on to become the CEO of the entire company. Burns went on to form a charity called Change the Equation, which supports educational outreach for science, math, engineering, and technology. This African American daughter of immigrants turned a normal internship into a journey that ended in her being named the 22nd most powerful woman in the world.


3. Sonia Cheng

Sonia Cheng isn’t just a CEO – she’s also a millennial. Though it may feel nearly impossible to conceptualize someone who is both a woman and a millennial holding such a position of power, Cheng has proved herself to be more than capable. As the CEO of Rosewood Hotel Group, she’s already begun expanding the chain throughout all of China with plans to continue expansion throughout North America. Cheng was adamant about proving the Baby Boomers wrong, and she accomplished exactly what she set out to do.

4. Lorna Jane Clarkson

Lorna Jane is an Australian entrepreneur who has managed to turn a single activewear outlet into a worldwide business with 155 locations. Clarkson worked as both a dental therapist and a fitness instructor, but felt inhibited by her position. She was passionate about fashion, and recognized the desire that women had for better workout clothing. She started designing and sewing her own outfits, and they were met with a largely positive response. She quit her day job and opened her first Lorna Jane store in Brisbane, abandoning pragmatism in favor of passion. She’s living proof that sometimes it’s worth it to take a risk and follow your dream.

5. Moya Greene

Canadian born Moya Greene probably never expected that she’d ultimately become the CEO of Britain’s Royal Mail, especially because she never set out to be. Starting off as a public servant in Ottawa, Greene took things as they came. Her first major job was based on transportation, which ultimately led to infrastructure. From infrastructure, she moved to the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. She resigned to be appointed the CEO of Canada Post, and from there, she was asked to head up Royal Mail. Moya accepted every opportunity that was presented to her, as long as it was a promotion above her previous position. This flexible attitude has made her Britain’s 12th most powerful woman.

It doesn’t matter who you are, the circumstances you were born into, or where you’re from – if you’re willing to fight for what you want, you’ll be able to get it. All of these women had their work cut out for them and strategized in different ways. The end result was the same for all of them. Pick your strategy, modify it through trial and error, stay committed, and watch yourself rise to the top!

Sophia Mest is a Content Manager at BizDb, where she aspires to put her writing passion into practice and spread her words across the world. She spends her free time travelling and exploring the wonders of nature. Follow her on Twitter @MestSophia

Photos credit Pixabay