5 Inspiring Women We Love (And the Difference They Are Making)

5 Inspiring Women We Love (And the Difference They Are Making)

Here at Women Rising we have a singular mission: to help women rise. One of the ways we can all help women rise is by celebrating and acknowledging the accomplishments of other women. We know from research that two common forms of bias that women experience in the workplace are performance bias and attribution bias.

Performance bias is based on deep-rooted - and incorrect - assumptions about women’s and men’s abilities. We tend to underestimate women’s performance and overestimate men’s.

Couple this with attribution bias, which is the tendency to give women less credit for accomplishments and blame them more for mistakes, and it makes for a challenging workplace environment for women.

According to a study by a Harvard PhD candidate in economics, men get about the same amount of credit when they write a research paper with a mixed gender team as they do when they’re the sole author. In contrast, women who write a paper as part of a team with a man on it, get almost zero credit. This is an example of attribution bias in action and one of the best ways to combat this particular type of bias is to celebrate women’s accomplishments.

Here are 5 incredible women who are inspiring us that we want to take a moment to acknowledge and celebrate:

tarana-burke

TARANA BURKE

Tarana is an incredible example of the positive changes we can create when we listen to each other’s stories, advocate for those whose voices have been silenced and ignored and have the grit to work towards the non-violent, safe and gender equal world that we all want to see in our lifetime. Tarana started the MeToo Movement back in 2006, but she became known on a global scale in 2017, when the hashtag MeToo went viral on social media. Tarana has been championing the rights of women her entire life. She’s been an activist since the 1980s, when as a teenager, she began working to improve the lives of young girls living in marginalised communities. Tarana shows us what’s possible when we unite as a collective to disrupt and change the systems and structures that have oppressed women and marginalised communities for centuries.

jacinda-ardern

JACINDA ARDERN

Jacinda Ardern surprised many people in January when she announced that she would not be contesting this year’s election in New Zealand because she had ‘nothing left in the tank’. Stepping away from power to do what she feels is the right thing for her country is aligned with the values that she has demonstrated in her time in office, and a powerful leadership example for us all in selfless service. We are so inspired by the many examples of Ardern’s authentic leadership - her work in promoting diversity and gender equality, her world-leading response to Covid 19, her example of leading with empathy after the Christchurch attacks and White Island volcano eruption and the way she brings humanity to politics to name just a few. Perhaps her greatest leadership legacy? When reporters asked how she’d like her leadership to be remembered, she said “as someone who always tried to be kind.”

megan-krakouer

MEGAN KRAKOUER

Megan is a Menang woman who was awarded the city of Perth’s citizen of the year in 2023 for the work she did in being the sole organiser of 50 candlelight “Justice for Cassius” vigils across the nation after the brutal murder of 15-year-old Noongar boy Cassius Turvey last October. Megan has been doing incredible work for decades as a human rights advocate and she’s the director of the National Suicide Prevention & Trauma Recovery Project. Not only that, Megan is also the first person to show up in her community when a First Nations individual needs help or support, 24 hours a day. She has a long history of working alongside the most vulnerable, including her contribution to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Her work is incredibly important and impactful and the vigils she organised in Cassius’ memory were a powerful example of the healing that is possible when we come together in solidarity to fight against racism and demand that our oppressive systems change. To say we are inspired by Megan Krakouer is an understatement. You can sign the Justice for Cassius Turvey petition here.

jamie-lee-curtis

JAMIE LEE CURTIS

For anyone who missed it, Jamie Lee Curtis captured the hearts of so many people around the world when she whooped with joy at her co-star Michelle Yeoh’s Golden Globe win earlier this year. The image of Jamie Lee yelping with joy quickly went viral and inspired a new hashtag #friendssupportingfriends. Curtis said she was stunned that a natural moment of exuberance and joy became a symbol for women supporting women but she’s proud of the message. Jamie Lee Curtis’ career in and of itself is of course inspiring, but we also love the work she’s doing to call out ageism in the entertainment industry. “This word anti-aging has to be struck,” she said. “I am pro-aging. I want to age with intelligence, and grace, and dignity, and verve, and energy.” We couldn’t agree more.

eese-witherspoon

REESE WITHERSPOON

Many of us know Reese for the work she’s been doing as an actress, entertaining us in films and television since the 1990s. However, what we’re incredibly inspired by is the work she does to elevate the stories and voices of women that have long been ignored. In 2016, Reese founded her own media company, Hello Sunshine, with the mission to change the narrative for women. Through this company, Reese aims to shine a light on female authorship and agency. The company puts women at the centre of every story they create, celebrate and discover and so far they've brought us powerful stories such as Big Little Lies, The Morning Show and Little Fires Everywhere. Hello Sunshine was named one of the world’s 50 most innovative companies in 2020, and one of Time’s 100 most influential companies in 2021. Keep shining the light on women’s stories Reese.

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