The business world may be working toward equality for men and women, but we're not quite there yet.

One of the most powerful ways to achieve your career ambitions is to listen and learn from the incredible female leaders who have paved the way before us. From Shonda Rhimes to Sheryl Sandberg, these TED Talk speakers are full of real world wisdom that will help you feel inspired--and take action--through every phase of your career.

Stuck in a rut? Shonda's TED Talk is just what you need. Rhimes is always a source of inspiration, no matter the topic. With multiple award-winning television shows, she's proof that hard work and dedication - and doing what you love - can help you make it to the top.

Like any other leader, Shonda found herself overworked and uninspired, and she needed to find her "hum" again. In this motivating speech, Shonda shares how a year of saying "yes" to every opportunity she was presented brought her "hum" back, and led to profound success and incredible chances.

An Iceland native, Halla Tómasdóttir overcame media bias and shocked the nation when she ran for President in Iceland. One of the first countries in the world to elect a female president, Halla grew up with an inspiring female leader to look up to.

Despite the motivation, she was still nervous to throw her hat in the ring for leadership. Halla says, "I had to do my bit, even if I had no political experience, to step up and try to be part of creating the world that will make sense and be sustainable for our kids, and a world where we truly allow both our boys and girls to be all they can be."

When it feels tough to push on, Halla's TED talk will remind you that there are always people looking up to you, and that, as a female leader, you're paving the way for future girls' success.

We all know the feeling of preparing endlessly for a test, an upcoming race/game/insert athletic event here or a big job interview. And, unfortunately, some of us know the feeling of leaving that thing we prepared so hard for knowing that we choked under the pressure. Let's face it, we're all human and it happens to the best of us.

Sian Leah Beilock is a scientist and the President of Barnard College, and she studies what happens to the brain in stressful situations. But, more importantly, in this captivating and relatable TED Talk, she shares tools and tricks for how we can avoid caving in high-pressure situations.

Before the next stressful life event, give this talk a listen, and you won't regret it.

Are you aiming for a spot in the c-suite? For those ladies out there, like myself, who want to own a business, or just hold an executive role someday, this TED Talk is a must. Sheryl Sandberg, who always has some strong, empowering wisdom to share, has exactly what you need to hear.

Her talk revolves around three key pieces of advice, for anyone who wishes to "stay in the workforce" or, remain competitive. "One, sit at the table. Two, make your partner a real partner. And three, don't leave before you leave," says Sandberg.

Whether you're just getting started, or are steps away from a c-suite level promotion, this TED Talk will help you reach the goals you're striving to accomplish.  

This TED Talk is close to my heart, as someone who very much believes that balancing a career with motherhood should be normal AND possible. As working women, it's important that we create a culture where girls grow up knowing that they can be both mothers, and have a successful career. Irene Mora, a part of Tommy Hilfiger's spanish merchandising team, credits her mother - who was the CEO of a multinational pharmaceutical company - for her ambition and drive.

In this TED Talk, Mora shares advice on how to balance motherhood and a career, and how to still succeed at both. Whether you're years away from needing to master this balancing act, a new mom or a seasoned veteran, there's plenty of inspiration and words of advice for everyone to hear.

Published on: Apr 24, 2019
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