I think this world needs more female leaders, and you may ask, why? Research says female leaders typically demonstrate greater compassion and empathy. These qualities allow women to read situations more accurately and take information in from all sides. Not only that, female leaders can be more assertive and persuasive. 

Historically, women have not been encouraged to take on leadership roles. In 2015, only 23 Fortune 500 Companies were led by women. There’s still room for improvement and barriers to break before we see an even number of female led businesses. 

But gender equality is not some faraway dream, every business from restaurants to corporations and even food trucks must do their part to help move qualified females into leadership roles. It’s time for women to rise up. Whether you want more female employees to apply for management level positions inside your business or share inspiring messages on social media you can use these empowering leadership quotes for women. 

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More women need to pursue leadership roles.

Leadership Quotes by Women

“Leadership is not a person or a position. It is a complex moral relationship between people based on trust, obligation, commitment, emotion, and a shared vision of the good.” Joanne Ciulla (Author and Educator)

“Ninety percent of leadership is the ability to communicate something people want.” Dianne Feinstein (Senior United States Senator)

“Leadership should be more participative than directive, more enabling than performing.” Mary D. Poole (Author)

“Part of leadership is knowing when to go ahead with a decision that’s within your authority because you’re really convinced it’s the right thing, even if other people don’t understand it at that point.” Dr. Ingrid Mattson (Professor, Huron University College)

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Muriel Strode (Poet)

“No one else is going to build the life you want for you. No one else will even be able to completely understand it. The most amazing souls will show up to cheer you along the way, but this is your game. Make a pact to be in it with yourself for the long haul, as your own supportive friend at every step along the way.” Tara Mohr (Leadership Coach and Author)

Related Reading: 223 Personal Leadership Quotes for the Young and Old

“Leadership that brings peace is far more courageous than the one which opens fire and goes for war.” Asthma Jehangir (Pakistani Human Rights Activist and Attorney)

“One of the criticisms I’ve faced over the years is that I’m not aggressive enough or assertive enough or maybe somehow, because I’m empathetic, it means I’m weak. I totally rebel against that. I refuse to believe that you cannot be both compassionate and strong.” Jacinda Ardern (Prime Minister of New Zealand)

A woman taking the lead.

Feminist Leadership Quotes

“Women are leaders everywhere you look—from the CEO who runs a Fortune 500 company to the housewife who raises her children and heads her household. Our country was built by strong women, and we will continue to break down walls and defy stereotypes.” Nancy Pelosi (American Politician)

“If you want to run for Prime Minister, you can.” If you don’t, that’s wonderful, too. Shave your armpits, don’t shave them, wear flats one day, heels the next. These things are so irrelevant and surface to what it is all really about, and I wish people wouldn’t get caught up in that. We want to empower women to do exactly what they want, to be true to themselves, to have the opportunities to develop.” — Emma Watson (Actor and Activist)

“Around the world there are countless examples of women rising, taking leadership, taking their destiny into their own hands, inspiring all of us. But women and girls are still the majority of the victims of war. They are over half of all refugees, and the vast majority of the victims of rape and other sexual and gender-based violence.” — Angelina Jolie (American Actress, Filmmaker, and Humanitarian)

“When there are no ceilings, the sky’s the limit. So let’s keep going—let’s keep going until every one of the 161 million women and girls across America has the opportunity she deserves to have.” — Hillary Clinton (American Politician)

“I want every little girl who’s been told she’s bossy to be told again she has leadership skills.” — Sheryl Sandberg (COO, Facebook)

“Feminism, when it truly achieves its goals, will crack through the most basic structures of our society.” ― Shulamith Firestone (Canadian-American radical feminist, Writer, and Activist)

“In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.” — Sheryl Sandberg (American Business Executive, Billionaire and Philanthropist)

“Womanpower means the self-determination of women, and that means all the baggage of paternalistic society will have to be thrown overboard.” ― Germaine Greer (Australian Writer and Public Intellectual)

“Feminism isn’t about making women stronger. Women are already strong, it’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.” ― G.D. Anderson (Australian Feminist Writer)

“A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.” — Gloria Steinem (American Feminist Journalist and Social Political Activist) 

Female CEO Quotes

Indra Nayoori, the former CEO of PepsiCo.

“It’s okay to admit what you don’t know. It’s okay to ask for help. And it’s more than okay to listen to the people you lead – in fact, it’s essential.” Mary Barra (CEO, General Motors)

“Rarely are opportunities presented to you in a perfect way. In a nice little box with a yellow bow on top. ‘Here, open it, it’s perfect. You’ll love it.’ Opportunities – the good ones – are messy, confusing, and hard to recognize. They’re risky. They challenge you.” Susan Wojcicki (CEO, Youtube)

“Leadership is hard to define, and good leadership even harder. But if you can get people to follow you to the ends of the earth, you are a great leader.” Indra Nooyi (Former CEO, PepsiCo) 

Related Reading: 201+ Non-Lame Human Resources Slogans and Tagline Examples

“I think it’s a combination of personality traits that have helped me to succeed. Not only hard workbut 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 (CEO & Founder of Eligible)

“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 (CEO, Women’s Bean Project)

“Do not be afraid to make decisions. Do not be afraid to make mistakes.” Carly Fiorina (Former CEO, Hewlett-Packard)

“Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.” Sara Blakely (Founder & CEO, Spanx)

“If you are committed to creating value and if you aren’t afraid of hard times; obstacles become utterly unimportant. A nuisance perhaps; but with no real power. The world respects creation; people will get out of your way.” Candice Carpenter Olson (Co-CEO, Fullbridge)

“With kids, they don’t do what you want them to do when you want them to do it. Organizations don’t necessarily, either. You’ve got to listen. You’ve got to learn how to influence.” Ellen J. Kullman (President & CEO, Carbon)

“If you’re not making some notable mistakes along the way, you’re certainly not taking enough business and career chances.” Sallie Krawcheck (CEO & Co-Founder, Ellevest)

Smiling female manager listening to colleagues at a meeting

Famous Female Leaders in History Quotes

“I may be the first woman member of Congress, but I won’t be the last.” — Jeanette Rankin (American Politician and Women’s Rights Advocate)

“Take criticism seriously, but not personally. If there is truth or merit in the criticism, try to learn from it. Otherwise, let it roll right off you.” Hillary Clinton (American Politician)

“When there are no ceilings, the sky’s the limit. So let’s keep going—let’s keep going until every one of the 161 million women and girls across America has the opportunity she deserves to have.” — Hillary Clinton (American Politician)

“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)

“A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.” — Rosalynn Carter (Former First Lady of the United States)

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway.” Eleanor Roosevelt (Former First Lady of the United States)

“A woman is like a tea bag – you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.” — Eleanor Roosevelt (Former First Lady of the United States)

“Success isn’t about how much money you make; it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.” Michelle Obama (Former First Lady of the United States)

“To all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful, and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.” Hillary Clinton (American Politician)

“There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.” Michelle Obama (Former First Lady of the United States)

Female Business Leader Quotes

A women team strategizing with their leader for a project.

“You have to look at leadership through the eyes of the followers and you have to live the message. What I have learned is that people become motivated when you guide them to the source of their own power, and when you make heroes out of employees who personify what you see in the organization.” — Anita Roddick (Founder, Bodyshop)

“I wake up every morning and think to myself, ‘How far can I push the company forward in the next 24 hours?’”  — Leah Busque (Founder/CEO, TaskRabbit)

“We need to accept that we don’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes – understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.” — Arianna Huffington (Co-founder/Editor, Huffington Post)

“Dear optimist, pessimist, and realist — while you guys were busy arguing about the glass of wine, I drank it! Sincerely, the opportunist!” — Lori Greiner (American Television Personality, Inventor, and Entrepreneur)

“The difference between successful people and others is how long they spend time feeling sorry for themselves.” — Barbara Corcoran (American Businesswoman)

“Find the smartest people you can and surround yourself with them.” Marissa Meyer (CEO Yahoo)

“Without being willing to fail and continually get back up again, I would never have been able to find the right market and establish my product within it.” Kelly Manthey (Group Chief Executive, Kin+Carta)

“The only real negative that can happen when you fail is if you haven’t learnt from it.”  Maile Carnegie (Managing Director, Google Australia/New Zealand)

“Emotional intelligence is the ability to use emotion to increase your own and others’ success.”  Annie McKee (Author and Business Advisor)

“To be effective, leaders must have the qualities and attitudes necessary to work in a group setting.” Meg Whitman (President, Hewlett-Packard)

“One bad day from one member of my staff doesn’t mean they are not really good at their jobs the rest of the time. I play a long game in terms of management.” Helen McCabe (Former Editor-In-Chief, Australian Women’s Weekly)

Pursue your passion.

Social Media Captions for Female Leaders

  • Boss babes can make it happen!
  • Excellence is not gender-specific.
  • Your gut is more powerful than anyone’s advice.
  • You lead at home. Lead the business too.
  • The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but building the new.
  • Bigger things are done by a series of small things brought together.
  • There is no force more powerful than a woman determined to rise.
  • Careers have no genders.
  • Being positive in a negative situation is not naive, it’s leadership.
  • People will love you or they’ll hate you, and it doesn’t matter much either way.
  • Behind every great leader is a great team.
  • Be a leader, not a boss.
  • Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.
  • In leadership, character is more important than strategy.
  • We rise by lifting others.
  • Leaders do not create more followers, they create more leaders!
  • Become the leader you would want to follow.
  • The expert in anything was once a beginner.
  • The most successful people are those who are good at plan B.
  • What difference do you want to make in this world?
  • Being both compassionate and strong is a combination only few have mastered.
  • You don’t need to be the most confident person in the room to have permission to speak up. Your voice matters!

Related Reading: 201+ Inspiring Employee Recognition Award Name Ideas 

  • Do not be afraid to fail because failure is a stepping stone to success.
  • Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.
  • Whether you think you can or you think you can’t…You are right!
  • Get into the habit of being you and shine.
  • A failure is just an event, it’s a process.
  • Never give yourself a hard time for doing human things. Mistakes are inevitable and the worst thing we can do is dwell on them.
  • Nobody hustles harder than a woman who doesn’t like asking people for anything.
  • Break through more ceilings every day.
  • Completely let go of the idea that you missed your chance. It’s not over. Begin Again.

Gender and Leadership Quotes

Here’s an encouragement wallpaper for our aspiring female leaders.

“If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.” Margaret Thatcher (Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom)

“Women are always saying, ‘We can do anything that men can do.’ But men should be saying, ‘We can do anything that women can do.’” Gloria Steinem (American Feminist Journalist and Social Political Activist) 

“There’s something so special about a woman who dominates in a man’s world. It takes a certain grace, strength, intelligence, fearlessness, and the nerve to never take no for an answer.” Rihanna (Singer, Actress, Fashion Designer, and Businesswoman)

“Excellence is not gender-specific.” — Anonymous

“Women lead in different ways. Women rarely feel the need to speak the most at a meeting to make their point.” — Patricia Bellinger (Harvard Kennedy School of Government)

“One of the most important things for any leader is to never let anyone else define who you are. And you define who you are. I never think of myself as being a woman CEO of this company. I think of myself as a steward of a great institution.” — Ginni Rometty (CEO, IBM)

“Some leaders are born women.” — Geraldine Ferraro (First Major US Vice Presidential Candidate)

“When a man gives his opinion, he’s a man; when a woman gives her opinion, she’s a bitch.”

Bette Davis (American Actress)

“Women will be hidden no more. We will not remain hidden figures. We have names. … It was a woman that gave you Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It was a woman that gave you Malcolm X. And according to the Bible, it was a woman that gave you Jesus. Don’t you ever forget it.” Janelle Monáe (American singer-songwriter and Rapper)

“A woman is like a tea bag – you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.” — Eleanor Roosevelt (Former First Lady of the United States)

There’s never been a greater need than right now for female leaders. Gender parity in leadership is significant because real progress needs a range of perspectives in leadership roles. This isn’t just nice to have, empowering more female professionals improves the bottom line. 

In the twenty-first century, any institution or organization cannot function effectively without women’s equal involvement in leadership activities. If you’re a woman reading this, I believe in you! If you’re a father, make sure to encourage daughters that they too can be people managers, leaders, and entrepreneurs. 

Want to start your own food business?

Hey! 👋I’m Brett Lindenberg, the founder of Food Truck Empire.

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