Today on International Women’s Day, we recognize a select group of women trailblazers and influencers that have advanced the cause for women equality by never taking "no" for answer. Here is our top 8 list of most influential women.
1. Toni Ko
Toni Ko has been named Forbes Self-Made Women’s list in 2016 and founded NYX Cosmetics. Moving from Korea to Los Angeles, California at the age of 13, Ko was introduced to the beauty world at young age working in her parents beauty supply store. She took an interest in the industry as a teen and started concocting her store-bought makeup to resemble the high-end look that was selling at department stores. With seed money from her parents, she launched NYX Cosmetics selling department store quality makeup for bargain prices. She sold $4 million dollars in revenue her first year and later sold NYX Cosmetics to L'oreal for $500 million dollars.
2. Yoani Sanchez
Yoani Sanchez is a famous blogger and activist who uses her blog, Generation Y to communicate with the world about Cuban lifestyle in its current political climate. She started her blog as a way to work around the lack of freedom of speech in Cuba and has won multiple journalism awards for her work. Yoani lives in Havana with her husband and son and together they started, the “Blogger Academy” as a way to teach and empower Cubans to express their thoughts and beliefs using technology. Generation Y reaches millions of people over the internet in 20 different languages.
3. Nancy Brinker
Nancy Brinker founded Susan B. Komen in 1982 after making the promise to her sister Susan, who was battling breast cancer at the time, that she wouldn’t stop until she found a cure and could help other patients and families in situations similar to theirs. Susan died at 36 and since then Nancy has kept her promise building an organization that has changed the lives of many and has invested over 2.2 billion dollars to breast cancer research. Nancy was awarded The Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 by former President Barack Obama and continues to fight until there is a cure.
4. Judi Aubel
Judi Aubel is the Executive Director of the Grandmother Project, an organization that works with communities in many undeveloped countries, and builds programs that improve the lifestyles of these areas through influencing their current culture. The Grandmother Project is a non-profit organization that helps and protects women and children by making grandmothers the center of the community.
5. Sophia Amoruoso
Sophia Amoruoso is the founder of the vintage commerce fashion company, NastyGal and the HBIC (B for boss) of Girlboss. She is taking the world by storm with her corky innovatie rock and roll style coupled with her mission to empower young women entrepreneurs to go after their dreams. She was named one of Forbes Self-Made Women in 2016.
6. Tracy G
If you don’t know her yet, you will know her now. Tracy G is a radio co-host on Sirus XM, soul seeker, inspirational leader, and innovator. She is known for her quirky unapologetic sense of self as well as her audio vision boards. Her audio vision boards are intricately designed affirmations used to help women develop a deep communication within their innermost self.
7. Queen Rania of Jordan
Queen Raina is known for her advocacy work in public health, education, and women’s rights. Rania is a strong and progressive female voice in her community as well as the reigning Queen of Jordan. She works closely with the United State and speaks mostly about the needed advancements in foreign policy.
8. Malala Yousafzai
Malala Yousafzai is an activist for children’s and women’s rights leading the fight in education equality in Pakistan. Her efforts to receive an education and speak out on climate of her country resulted in death threats by the Taliban which resulted in an attack as she was riding the bus home from school. Malala was shot in the head, surviving the gun wound, but laid in critical condition for nearly 3 month. Even in the midst of fear, Malala continued to speak out on the importance of education and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.