Feminism
10.7k voters

The Most Inspiring (Non-Hollywood) Female Role Models

Updated July 9, 2020 118.4k votes 10.7k voters 113.5k views319 items

List RulesInspiring professional women who are at the top of their fields. Only remarkable, positive female role models who don't primarily work in Hollywood (TV journalists are okay).

Who run the world? Girls! After compiling this list, we're positive that ladies all over the planet are kicking ass and taking names in almost every field nowadays, sorry not sorry. The amazing female role models on this list are inspiring examples of powerful females, killing it at the tops of their fields and in the trenches, helping to make the world a better place for everyone, but especially for women and girls all over the world. After all, there are presidential candidates, hard-hitting journalists, countless female CEOs and CFOs of major corporations, and a teenage girl who is on the fast track to becoming an MLB superstar. Who are the most inspiring female role models in the world today?

Though we tried our best to list as many inspirational women as possible, we're sure we missed some ladies you might look up to, so be sure to add them and rerank this list. Of all these awesome female role models from around the world, which ones inspires you the most? Which of these ladies motivated you to choose your career? Which one of these amazing female role models makes you want to pursue your dreams?  

After seeing all these awesome female role models together on one list, you'll be more inspired that ever to conquer anything! Vote up the women who inspire you the most and add any other inspirational women, successful women, and strong female role models you think girls and women the world over should know about.

  • Janica Kostelić1
    3,975
    868

    Janica Kostelić

    Alpine skier

    Age38

    BirthplaceZagreb, Croatia

    Janica Kostelić (Croatian pronunciation: [janitsa kǒstelitɕ]; born 5 January 1982) is a former... more on Wikipedia
  • Martina Navratilova2
    363
    520

    Martina Navratilova

    Tennis player

    Age63

    BirthplacePrague, Czech Republic

    Martina Navratilova (Czech: Martina Navrátilová pronounced [mar'cɪna navˈraːcɪlovaː]; born... more on Wikipedia

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  • Your Own Mom3
    1,445
    320

    Your Own Mom

    Brag about her. She's great!

  • Boudica4
    202
    175

    Boudica

    Boudica or Boudicca (; also Boadicea or Boudicea , and known in Welsh as Buddug Welsh... more on Wikipedia

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    #147 of 347 The Most Important Leaders In World History#631 of 1,355 The Greatest Minds of All Time

  • J. K. Rowling5
    784
    1,147

    J. K. Rowling

    Author of the "Harry Potter" series, UK's Best-Selling Living Author

    Age55

    BirthplaceYate, United Kingdom

    Joanne Rowling ( "rolling"; born 31 July 1965), better known by her pen name J. K. Rowling,... more on Wikipedia

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  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge6
    Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, (born Catherine Elizabeth Middleton; 9 January 1982), is a... more on Wikipedia

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  • Harriet Tubman7
    612
    876

    Harriet Tubman

    Activist, Writer

    BirthplaceMaryland

    Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Ross, c. March 1822 – March 10, 1913) was an American... more on Wikipedia

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  • Temple Grandin8
    328
    479

    Temple Grandin

    Animal Expert and Advocate, Bestselling Author

    Age73

    BirthplaceBoston, Massachusetts, United States of America

    Mary Temple Grandin (born August 29, 1947) is an American professor of animal science at... more on Wikipedia
  • Astrid Benöhr9
    210
    306

    Astrid Benöhr

    Triathlete

    Age62

    BirthplaceBergisch Gladbach, Germany

    Toughest woman in the world. Holds several world records in Triple Ultra Triathlon  (3 times the Ironman distance) and won that competition at every event from 1992 - 2006! Also holds the absolute world record in Ironman * 10 (38km swimming, 1800 km cycling and 422 km running) with 7 d 19 h 8 min 23 sec.

  • Sarah Mayer10
    Sarah Mayer (1896–1957),was an English female judoka. Mayer first trained in judo by Gunji... more on Wikipedia
  • Michelle Obama11
    1,033
    1,522

    Michelle Obama

    First Lady of the United States, Lawyer

    Age56

    BirthplaceChicago metropolitan area, Illinois, Chicago, United States of America, United States

    Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama (née Robinson; born January 17, 1964) is an American lawyer,... more on Wikipedia
  • Loretta Lynn12
    205
    300

    Loretta Lynn

    Songwriter, Singer-songwriter

    Age88

    BirthplaceButcher Hollow, Kentucky, United States of America

    Loretta Lynn (née Webb; born April 14, 1932) is an American country music singer-songwriter... more on Wikipedia

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  • Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche13

    AgeDec. at 89 (1846-1935)

    BirthplaceRöcken, Germany

    Therese Elisabeth Alexandra Förster-Nietzsche (10 July 1846 – 8 November 1935) was the sister... more on Wikipedia
  • Susan B. Anthony14
    269
    394

    Susan B. Anthony

    Women's rights activist

    AgeDec. at 86 (1820-1906)

    BirthplaceAdams, Massachusetts

    Susan B. Anthony (February 15, 1820 – March 13, 1906) was an American social reformer and... more on Wikipedia
  • Meghan Vogel15
    130
    190

    Meghan Vogel

    A symbol of fair play in sports.
  • Vera Lynn16
    144
    211

    Vera Lynn

    Actor, Singer

    Age103

    BirthplaceEast Ham

    Dame Vera Margaret Lynn (March 20, 1917 - June 18, 2020) was an English singer of... more on Wikipedia
  • Elizabeth Blackwell17
    126
    184

    AgeDec. at 89 (1821-1910)

    BirthplaceBristol, United Kingdom

    Elizabeth Blackwell (February 3, 1821 – May 31, 1910) was a British physician, notable as the... more on Wikipedia

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  • Cleopatra18
    360
    528
    Cleopatra VII Philopator (Koinē Greek: Κλεοπᾰ́τρᾱ Φιλοπάτωρ, romanized: Kleopátrā Philopátōr;... more on Wikipedia

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  • Eleanor of Aquitaine19
    Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122 or 1124 – 1 April 1204) was queen consort of France (1137–1152) and... more on Wikipedia

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  • Elizabeth Dole20
    69
    99

    Elizabeth Dole

    Politician

    Age84

    BirthplaceSalisbury, North Carolina, USA

    Mary Elizabeth "Liddy" Alexander Hanford Dole (born July 29, 1936) is an American politician... more on Wikipedia
  • Jennifer Doudna21
    Engineered a simple, inexpensive and broadly effective technology for changing or correcting DNA sequences within cells.
  • Rachel Corrie22
    479
    706

    Rachel Corrie

    Peace activist

    AgeDec. at 24 (1979-2003)

    BirthplaceOlympia, Washington

    Rachel Aliene Corrie (April 10, 1979 – March 16, 2003) was an American activist and diarist.... more on Wikipedia
  • Else Christensen23
    106
    155

    Else Christensen

    Handweaver, religious leader

    AgeDec. at 92 (1913-2005)

    BirthplaceEsbjerg, Denmark

    Else Christensen (1913–2005) was a Danish proponent of the modern Pagan new religious... more on Wikipedia
  • Michèle Renouf24
    Not to be confused with Susan, Lady Renouf, ex-wife of former Australian Foreign Minister... more on Wikipedia
  • Serena Williams25
    706
    1,042

    Serena Williams

    Current No. 1 in Women's Singles Tennis, Oldest No. 1 in WTA History

    Age39

    BirthplaceSaginaw, Michigan, United States of America

    Serena Jameka Williams (born September 26, 1981) is an American professional tennis player and... more on Wikipedia

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