Although we’re much more active in the workforce, many still believe that women thrive best in traditionally feminine jobs that involve children, health, beauty and culinary work. Women feel the need to prove themselves on a daily basis, regardless of their profession. Check out this list of inspirational women who have successfully battled these gender stereotypes.
- Ronda Jean Rousey, two-time winner of the Best Female Athlete Award, is the first and current UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion with an undefeated record in mixed martial arts. Ronda has received much media attention due to her beautiful yet tough demeanour. She has perfectly represented herself as a strong and confident woman, without dismissing her beauty and womanhood.
- Kimberly Munley is an American police officer recognized for her bravery in one of the worst attacks on an American military base. In 2009, she stopped the gunman responsible for killing 13 people at Fort Hood, a military post in Texas. At the time, the young mother of one confronted the gunman and saved the lives of many others near the shooting scene. Kimberly proved that women can thrive as mothers and courageous heroes.
- Roberta Bondar is the first Canadian female astronaut and neurologist in space. During a decade-long educational journey, she has received a bachelor’s and master’s degree, as well as two doctorate degrees from various reputable Canadian universities. Her tremendous work has led her to earn multiple awards and honours. She is currently working on her non-profit charity, the Roberta Bondar Foundation, which focuses on spreading environmental awareness. Roberta’s high ambitions break common gender standards as she continues her environmental work.
- Angela Merkel, Germany’s first female Chancellor, has been recognized as the world’s most powerful woman since her entry in political office in 2005. This German politician and physical chemist has acquired numerous awards for her party’s political progression. This politically driven chemist and mother of two adult sons is running her household, while leading Germany into economic and social prosperity as well.
- Onika Tanya Maraj, best known for her stage name Nicki Minaj, rose to stardom as she broke through the barriers of the music industry. As a female hip-hop rapper, she quickly proved herself to be worthy of every bit of success. She has gained tremendous popularity among diverse cultural groups with her distinctive sound, image and lyrical style. Her continuous hit makers leave many to believe that she is one of the most influential female rappers of all time.
- Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid is an Iraqi-British architect best known for her neo-futuristic designs. She is the first woman recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, one of numerous awards that she has earned during her career as an architect. To date, Dame Zaha has completed over 30 architectural projects all around the world and is still occupied with her dozen ongoing projects.
- Marie Henein, partner of Henein and Associates, is considered to be one of Canada’s top criminal defense lawyers. Marie has successfully represented many high profile cases, earning her recognition as Canada’s “Top 25 Most Influential.” Not to mention, she is also the president of The Advocates’ Society. Marie continues to show great leadership in the competitive legal profession.
- Susan L. Wigg was one of Canada’s greatest military leaders. She was one of the first women to attend Royal Military College and graduated with honours. Throughout her years working in leadership positions for the Canadian military, she has received multiple awards and honours for her service in different countries. She is most notably recognized for being the first woman appointed as the Director of Cadets at Royal Military College. Susan proves that she can serve her country while also caring for her family.
- Maryam Mirzakhani is an Iranian mathematician who has most notably received worldwide recognition for being the first woman, and the first Iranian recipient, of the Fields Medal which is the most prestigious award in mathematics. This mathematics professor at Stanford University has made numerous theory-based contributions to algebraic geometry. Maryam has proven that girls are not only strong in humanities and social science courses, but that they are equally interested in other mathematical and scientific subjects.
- Megan Knowles-Bacon is a 22-year-old who has recently been elected as the only female magician of The Magic Circle. This fierce young woman developed a passion for magic at five years old and views her womanhood as an advantage as it makes her stand out among her male counterparts. Her membership to The Magic Circle, a very secretive and private organization for some of the best magicians in the world, shows her exceptional talent in such a male dominated industry.
Women are as beautiful as they are powerful and influential in their craft. Once again, this proves that we are exceptional in anything we decide to do. Hopefully, these women will inspire you to go after your dreams and never doubt yourself or your abilities because of gender stereotypes. Let’s break these barriers together!