20 Confidence-Boosting Quotes from Seriously Awesome Women in History
Get ready for some serious girl power, courtesy of these wise words from 20 inspiring women who changed the history books.
Grace Hopper led the team that created the first computer language compiler. She joined the Navy during World War II and programed the Mark I computer. She was the first female recipient of the National Medal of Technology in 1991, and died in 1992. Here are 5 women who haven’t let their age stop them from doing amazing things.
What she said: “If it’s a good idea, go ahead and do it. It’s much easier to apologize than it is to get permission.”
Madame C.J. Walker
Madame C.J. Walker invented a line of African-American hair care products in 1905 and eventually became one of the first American women to become a self-made millionaire through skillful marketing of her much-needed products. She died on May 25, 1919. Learn about the young female inventors who are helping the homeless.
What she said: “There is no royal flower-strewn path to success. And if there is, I have not found it, for if I have accomplished anything in life it is because I have been willing to work hard.”
A social reformer devoted to the welfare of the mentally ill, Dorothea Dix lobbied United States and Canadian legislators to establish state hospitals for the mentally ill, which led to the construction of 32 institutions across the United States. She died on July 17, 1887.
What she said: “It is a queer thing, but imaginary troubles are harder to bear than actual ones.”
After she worked with the International Red Cross while visiting Europe, Clara Barton lobbied for an American branch when she returned home. She founded the American Red Cross in 1881, serving as the organization’s first president. Barton died on April 12, 1912. These incredible women are changing today’s world.
What she said: “I may sometimes be willing to teach for nothing, but if paid at all, I shall never do a man’s work for less than a man’s pay.”
Belva Ann Lockwood
In addition to being the first woman to argue a case before the Supreme Court, Belva Lockwood ran for president—twice! (After all, the law only prohibited women from voting, not from getting votes). Lockwood also successfully lobbied for a bill to give female federal employees the same pay as men. She died in 1917 in Washington, D.C. Here are our favorite quotes from female Supreme Court justices.
What she said: “The glory of each generation is to make its own precedents.”
A leader in pushing women’s voting rights, Alice Paul eventually formed the National Woman’s Party and became a key figure in passing the 19th Amendment. She died on July 9, 1977. Here are the most inspiring movies about women’s history.
What she said: “I never doubted that equal rights was the right direction. Most reforms, most problems are complicated. But to me there is nothing complicated about ordinary equality.”
Juliette Gordon Low
More than 59 million women have joined the Girl Scouts of America since Juliette Gordon Low founded the organization on March 12, 1912. She died on January 17, 1927. For proof that Girl Scouts are still changing the world, here’s this incredible story.
What she said: “The work of today is the history of tomorrow, and we are its makers.”
Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell
The first woman to graduate from medical school in the United States (the Geneva Medical College in New York), Dr. Blackwell later created a medical school specifically for women in the 1860s. She died on May 31, 1910. Here’s how one woman is fighting Internet trolls with stories of female scientists.
What she said: “If society will not admit of woman’s free development, then society must be remodeled.”
Anna Julia Cooper
At 65 years old, Anna Cooper became the fourth African-American woman to earn a doctorate when she received her Ph.D. in history from the University of Paris-Sorbonne in 1924. She died on February 27, 1964.
What she said: “The cause of freedom is not the cause of a race or a sect, a party or a class—it is the cause of humankind, the very birthright of humanity.”
Oveta Culp Hobby
Oveta Culp Hobby became director of the Women’s Army Corps during World War II. She achieved the rank of colonel and was the first woman in the army to be a commanding officer. She was also the first woman to receive the Distinguished Service Medal. She died on August 16, 1995.
What she said: “Women who stepped up were measured as citizens of the nation, not as women…This was a people’s war, and everyone was in it.”