Mother's Day is Sunday, May 9. (You're welcome for the reminder.) So, for the latest installment of my yearlong feature, 365 inspirational quotes for 2021, one month at a time, let's focus on women leaders--especially mothers who find a way to balance great professional success with the other parts of their lives.
If you enjoy this, you might also want to download my free e-book, 365+ Inspirational and Motivational Quotes for 2021.
1. Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm: "My life is organized chaos."
2. Zhou Qunfei, CEO Lens Technology: "When you have the ability to learn, you have the ability to continue to grow. ... The clients won't give you a better price for your products simply because you have a higher degree, but your knowledge of the business will help maintain the competitiveness of your company."
3. Jacinda Ardern, prime minister of New Zealand: "It takes courage and strength to be empathetic, and I'm very proudly an empathetic and compassionate leader. I am trying to chart a different path, and that will attract criticism, but I can only be true to myself and the form of leadership I believe in."
4. Alice Walker: "Yes, Mother. I can see you are flawed. You have not hidden it. That is your greatest gift to me."
5. Ruth Porat, SVP and CFO of Google/Alphabet: "Make sure you're working for someone confident who is willing to take risks on you, gives you stretch opportunities, and is there to back you if things get tough. And do the same for people on your team."
6. Tory Burch, executive chairman and chief creative officer, Tory Burch LLC: "My biggest challenge every day is to be a great mother and a great businesswoman."
7. Safra Catz, CEO of Oracle: "The most significant barrier to female leadership is the actual lack of females in leadership. The best advice I can give to women is to go out and start something, ideally their own businesses. If you can't see a path for leadership within your own company, go blaze a trail of your own."
8. Meryl Streep: "The interesting thing about being a mother is that everyone wants pets, but no one but me cleans the kitty litter."
9. Sophia Loren: "When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child."
10. Princess Diana: "A mother's arms are more comforting than anyone else's."
11. Beyoncé: "Out of everything I've accomplished, my proudest moment, hands down, was when I gave birth to my daughter Blue."
12. Serena Williams: "I still have to learn a balance of being there for her, and being there for me. I'm working on it. I never understood women before, when they put themselves in second or third place. And it's so easy to do. It's so easy to do."
13. Jessica Alba, co-founder of the Honest Company: "At the company, we like to say we're honest, not perfect. We really listen to our customers and our internal teams to pivot as quickly as possible when it comes to addressing any challenges."
14. Indra Nooyi, former CEO PepsiCo: "At the end of the day, don't forget that you're a person, don't forget you're a mother, don't forget you're a wife, don't forget you're a daughter."
15. Mary Barra, CEO of GM: "If you do every job like you're going to do it for the rest of your life, that's when you get noticed."
16. Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube: "Support for motherhood shouldn't be a matter of luck; it should be a matter of course. Paid maternity leave is good for mothers, families, and business. America should have the good sense to join nearly every other country in providing it."
17. Ginni Rometty, executive chairman of IBM: "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."
18. Lynsi Snyder, heiress and owner of In-N-Out: "I felt a deep call to make sure that I preserve those things that [my family] would want. That we didn't ever look to the left and the right to see what everyone else is doing, cut corners, or change things drastically or compromise. I really wanted to make sure that we stayed true to what we started with. That required me to become a protector. A guardian."
19. Reese Witherspoon: "I feel very blessed to have two wonderful, healthy children who keep me completely grounded, sane and throw up on my shoes just before I go to an awards show just so I know to keep it real."
20. Abigail Johnson, CEO of Fidelity Investments: "I demand pretty aggressive goal setting and a commitment to measured progress towards those goals because I don't like surprises. I don't even like good surprises."
21. Michele Buck, president and CEO of Hershey: "Make your life work for you--you can have a fulfilling career and be an amazing mother."
22. Rosalind Brewer, CEO Walgreens Boots Alliance: "You can and should set your own limits and clearly articulate them. This takes courage, but it is also liberating and empowering, and often earns you new respect."
23. Angela Merkel, chancellor of Germany: "When I'm stirring a saucepan, I don't say to myself, 'Now the chancellor is stirring a saucepan.'"
24. Gwynne Shotwell, COO of SpaceX: "I don't like to camp. Early on, Mars is going to be camping. I think there are people far better suited to do that than me. But when the first Holiday Inn Express shows up, maybe I'll go."
25. Adena Friedman, CEO and president of Nasdaq: "Play well with others."
26. Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx: "Don't let what you don't know scare you, because it can become your greatest asset. And if you do things without knowing how they have always been done, you're guaranteed to do them differently."
27. Ursula Burns, former CEO of Xerox: "Ninety percent of this stuff is just not that serious, we just get crazy about it."
28. Maggie Timoney, CEO of Heineken USA: "I'll be judged on my results, not on whether I'm male or female. ... I was put in this job not because I am a woman. I was put in this job because Amsterdam believed in me."
29. Tina Fey: "Being a mom has made me so tired. And so happy."
30. Kate Winslet: "Having children just puts the whole world into perspective. Everything else just disappears."
31. My mom: "Stay in the driver's seat."