forbes top 20 women quotes

It’s evident that women are taking the reins in a number of powerful positions worldwide. The recent release of Forbes’ 2016 World’s 100 Most Powerful Women (appearing in the June 21st issue) makes it clear, though women still have their hills to climb, we’ve certainly climbed a long, long way.

Let’s pause and celebrate that, shall we?

We thought it would be inspiring to round-up a few quotes from the women in the top 20 of Forbes’ list. Politics and ideologies aside, these are women who have worked hard, shown dedication and, no doubt, have chosen to take the path less traveled. We can always learn from trailblazers like that.

You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once, but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.

– Michelle Obama; Current US First Lady. Forbes Rank No. 13

Do what you love and success will follow. Passion is the fuel behind a successful career.

– Meg Whitman; Current President and Chief Executive Officer of Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Forbes Rank No. 9

To me, leadership is about encouraging people. It’s about simulating them. It’s about enabling them to achieve what they can achieve and to do that with a purpose.

– Christine Lagarde; Managing Director, International Monetary Fund. First woman to become finance minister of a G8 economy, and is the first woman to head the IMF. Forbes Rank No. 6

It is one of the most important parts of my job, showing that you can’t do it all.

– Angela Ahrendts; Senior Vice President of retail and online stores at Apple and former CEO of Burberry. Forbes Rank No. 15

Listening to others, especially those with whom we disagree, tests our own ideas and beliefs. It forces us to recognize, with humility, that we don’t have a monopoly on the truth.

– Janet Yellen; First woman to hold position as Chair of the United States Federal Reserve. Forbes Rank No. 3

Women’s strength, women’s industry, women’s wisdom are humankind’s greatest untapped resource.

– Michelle Bachelet; President of Chile and the first woman to serve as such. Forbes Rank No. 18

I understand that the end does not justify the means. And this should be a lasting value for democracy.

– Park Geun-hye; Eleventh and current President of South Korea and the first woman to be elected as President in South Korea. Forbes Rank No. 12

If you are successful, it is because somewhere, sometime, someone gave you a life or an idea that started you in the right direction. Remember also that you are indebted to life until you help some less fortunate person, just as you were helped.

– Melinda Gates; Businesswoman, philanthropist, and co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Forbes Rank No. 4

Growth and comfort do not coexist.

– Ginni Rometty; President and CEO of IBM and the first woman to head the company. Forbes Rank No. 11

At the end of the day, don’t forget that you’re a person, don’t forget you’re a mother, don’t forget you’re a wife, don’t forget you’re a daughter.

– Indra Nooyi; Current Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo. Forbes Rank No. 14

When it comes to human dignity, we cannot make compromises.

– Angela Merkel; Germany’s first woman chancellor and leader of the Christian Democratic Union. Forbes Rank No. 1

Image via Aysegül Karatekin



  1. Just pointing out – Ginni Rommetty is CEO of IBM – not IMB. I was googling IMB to find out what the company was since I hadn’t heard of it :D.

    My daughters and I love your magazine and look forward to it every issue!


  2. Really? Such a good article, and such an egregious error in the first sentence? Kinda blew the credibility for me.

    So what’s the error? “. . . taking the reigns.’ “Reigns” relates to the rule by a king or queen. What’s needed here is “rein.” Specifically a rein is part of the tack used on a horse by the rider to guide the horse. By analogy then it applies to a person who guides an organization or country, or other such entity.

    This type of error is unworthy of your magazine. I expect better from you.

    1. Hi Jo! Thanks for pointing that out. Given that we are a very small team over here, trying to publish up to 90 articles a month on a very tight turnaround, our humanness will at times show through in the form of slight spelling or grammar mistakes 😉 Thank you for your understanding… and your help!

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