57 Great Leadership Quotes by Inspiring Women

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From Cleopatra and Queen Elizabeth to CEOs taking the world by storm, women have led the world through strife into many golden ages.

In today’s post, we’ll be sharing some of the wisdom that female leadership has to offer in the form of some inspiring quotes. So whether you’re a sister, a mother, a manager, or anyone just seeking to take greater charge of your own life and success, there’s something here for you.

Before we get to the quotes, let’s look at how women have changed the world. 

Nurture Your Wisdom With Leadership Quotes by Women

The idea that women can’t be leaders is something that’s firmly refuted by history – examples like Catherine the Great, Queen Victoria, Cleopatra of Egypt, Margaret Thatcher, and countless modern CEOs, politicians, authors, and thought leaders have all taken their place beside some of the great female leaders.

Ancient cultures always respected the power of the feminine – Hindu culture has many gods that resemble both men and women and emphasizes that it’s balance in respect towards both the masculine and feminine that allows humanity to flourish.

Ancient Taoist texts like the Tao Te Ching entreat us to know the masculine but stick to the feminine to make the most effective leaders. Many of the women quoted here were at the top of the pyramid in times when women were seen as inferior to men, and despite these conditions, they excelled.

So, if there’s one thing these leadership quotes by women can help you to understand is that embracing your strength and talents will always take you to the next level. No matter the circumstances you are in, woman or man, you can excel if you don’t listen to the naysayers and keep making forward progress toward your goals.

 57 Great Leadership Quotes by Inspiring Women

  1. “Continuous learning leads to continuous improvement. Commit yourself to advancing your knowledge, skills, and expertise. The business environment is quickly changing, and your understanding of the leading practices, thinking, and emerging tools will help you manage for better results. Be a lifelong student.” – Pamela Gill Alabaster
  2. “I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.” – Rosa Parks
  3. “Fight for the things that you care about. But do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  4. “The difference between successful people and others is how long they spend time feeling sorry for themselves.” – Barbara Corcoran
  5. “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” – Maya Angelou
  1. If you have an idea, you have to believe in yourself or no one else will.” – Sarah Michelle Gellar
  2. “Cultivate a network of trusted mentors and colleagues. Other people can give us the best insight into ourselves—and our own limitations. We must have the courage to ask for help and to request feedback to expand our vision of what's possible.” – Maria Castañón Moats
  3. “Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” – Brené Brown
  4. “Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.” – Sheryl Sandberg
  5. “If it doesn’t scare you, you’re probably not dreaming big enough.” – Tory Burch
  6. “I think it’s a combination of personality traits that have helped me to succeed. Not only hard work – but patience, sacrifice and choosing my battles have all helped me to reach the point in my career to which I aspired, in a company I admired.”- Katelyn Gleason
  7. “Stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be.” – Elizabeth Gilbert
  8. “On my own I will just create, and if it works, it works, and if it doesn’t, I’ll create something else. I don’t have any limitations on what I think I could do or be.” – Oprah Winfrey
  9. “When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” – Audre Lorde
  10. The path from dreams to success does exist.” – Kalpana Chawla
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  1. No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half of its citizens.” – Michelle Obama
  2. “You can and should set your own limits and clearly articulate them. This takes courage, but it is also liberating and empowering, and often earns you new respect.” – Rosalind Brewer
  3. “You take your life in your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing, no one to blame.” – Erica Jong
  4. My mentor taught me when an opportunity is presented to you, you look at it, and you FEEL it, and ask yourself Does this opportunity light me up? Does it fill me with a sense of curiosity? Does it excite me? If it does, hell yeah, I’m involved.” – Layne Beachley
  5. “My mother told me that fear was not an option. I was always told that women are stronger, so I believed it.” – Diane Von Furstenberg
  6. “I have broken many glass ceilings – so I know it can be done.” – Helen Clark
  7. “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” – Maya Angelou
  8. “As a child growing up, I dreamt big. Most people would have looked at an Aboriginal girl from the Territory, where the statistics…point to every reason why I should not succeed. But I was determined to be successful.” – Nova Peris
  9. Nothing is impossible, the word itself is, ‘I’m possible!’ – Audrey Hepburn
  10. “I wouldn’t ask anyone to do anything I wouldn’t do myself.” – Indra Nooyi
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  1. “You have got to do the right thing even if it is painful. Don’t trim or track all over the place. Set your course and take the difficult decisions – because that is what needs to be done.” – Margaret Thatcher
  2. “A good leader is able to paint a picture of a vision for the future and then enlist others to go on the journey with her. A truly conscious leader recognizes that it is not about her, but that the team is looking to her for inspiration and direction. Keeping her ego in check is essential.” – Tamra Ryan
  3. “A woman is like a tea bag – you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
  4. “You need to spend political capital – be unafraid to introduce people, compliment somebody when it’s deserved and stand up for something you really believe in, rather than just go with the flow.”- Amy Schulman
  5. “Whatever it is that you think you want to do — and whatever it is that you think stands between you and that — stop making excuses. You can do anything.” – Katie Beauchamp
  6. “People think at the end of the day that a man is the only answer [to fulfillment]. Actually a job is better for me.” – Diana, Princess of Wales
  7. “No matter how senior you get in an organization, no matter how well you’re perceived to be doing, your job is never done.” – Abigail Johnson
  8. “If you don’t have an evolving growth strategy, then you and your team are just driving around the block. You may be doing well, but you’re not going anywhere.” – Shannon Byrne Susko

If you don’t have an evolving growth strategy, then you and your team are just driving around the block. You may be doing well, but you’re not going anywhere.” – Shannon Byrne Susko

  1. “A good leader inspires people to have confidence in the leader, a great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
  2. “I tell my daughters to have their voice in this world, and it became clear I needed to role-model that.” – Melinda Gates
  3. “Abandon anything about your life and habits that might be holding you back.” – Sophia Amoruso
  4. “I’ve always subscribed to the belief that the best leader is not one who has the most followers, but one who creates the most leaders. I strive every day — and in every program and offering we have at Integrous Women — to create more conscious, confident, and soulful leaders who, in return, will build a better world for all.” – Stephanie Courtillier
  5. “Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.” – Wilma Rudolph
  6. “Embrace what you don’t know, especially in the beginning, because what you don’t know can become your greatest asset. It ensures that you will absolutely be doing things different from everybody else.” – Sara Blakely
  7. “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
  8. “Success is an exception, so be exceptional.” – Malti Bhojwani
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  1. “The question isn't who's going to let me; it's who is going to stop me.” – Ayn Rand
  2. “The way you tell your story to yourself matters.” – Amy Cuddy
  3. “I don’t follow trends or try to compete with anyone. Everything I do stems from following my passion and my love for design.” – Guo Pei
  4. “I don’t go by the rule book. I lead from the heart, not the head.” – Princess Diana, Princess of Wales
  5. “Making the decision to not follow a system, or someone else’s rules has allowed me to really dig into what my own strengths and gifts are without spending time feeling jaded or wasteful.”- Ishita Gupta
  6. “Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, “She doesn't have what it takes.” They will say, “Women don't have what it takes.” – Clare Boothe Luce
  7. “Destiny is a name often given in retrospect to choices that had dramatic consequences.” – J. K. Rowling
  8. “Every day, you have the power to choose our better history — by opening your hearts and minds, by speaking up for what you know is right.” – Michelle Obama
  9. “I think realizing that you’re not alone, that you are standing with millions of your sisters around the world is vital.” – Malala Yousafzai
  10. “Hard work keeps the wrinkles out of the mind and spirit.” – Helena Rubinstein
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  1. “As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.– J.K. Rowling
  2. “The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.” – Ida B. Wells
  3. “Well hear me now. Using my voice, amongst a growing chorus of voices that will not be silenced. Let's make some noise, Australia.” – Grace Tame
  4. “I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.” – Estée Lauder
  5. “We must have ideals and try to live up to them, even if we never quite succeed. Life would be a sorry business without them. With them, it’s grand and great.” – Lucy Maude Montgomery
  6. “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.” – Anais Nin

Final Thoughts on Leadership Quotes by Women

There are tons of inspiring words and deeds that women have given us over the centuries – far too many to recount in this one post. We hope that some of the quotes listed here inspire you to find your way forward – whether you’re a leader of a business, or seeking to improve your life.

For more posts like this, check out the following:

Finally, if you want to use these quotes to make a lasting change to your life, then watch this free video that details the 7-minute habit for planning your day to focus on what's truly important to you..

Tom Smith is a creative writer with over 6 years of professional experience. He discovered the joy of writing after covering some furniture in his childhood home with graffiti. In later years, he got himself a BA in creative writing and hasn’t looked back. After discovering the power of positive thinking and discovering the spiritual side of life, he believes it's a huge privilege to be able to write about all things personal development.

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