When showcasing quotes by trailblazing women, it's not done in vain. I usually look for a special event or cause that rightfully puts the spotlight on hard-working women leaders and entrepreneurs.

Well, with the sizable gender pay gap still pervasive in corporate America, I should probably be dedicating a heck of a lot more "quote" articles to women.

Just don't label me pro-feminist. And this isn't a political post piggy-backing on any march. But I am tired of reading about what one study--The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap--has recently revealed: "If change continues at the slower rate seen since 2001, women will not reach pay equity with men until 2152."

Sure, we've made strides over the last thirty years, and the glass ceiling has a hole in it that keeps getting bigger.

But that's not enough. The truth is, women working full time in the United States are paid just 80 percent of what men get paid, a gap of 20 percent (says the Simple Truth study).

I digress. In honor of all working women, I leave you with 20 inspiring leadership quotes by successful women entrepreneurs and execs.

Let the Women Speak!

  1. "As a leader, it's a major responsibility on your shoulders to practice the behavior you want others to follow." -- Himanshu Bhatia, Founder and CEO, Rose International.
  2. "Surround yourself with a trusted and loyal team. It makes all the difference." -- Alison Pincus, co-founder, One Kings Lane
  3. "Leadership is the ability to guide others without force into a direction or decision that leaves them still feeling empowered and accomplished." -- Lisa Cash Hanson, Snuggwugg CEO
  4. "Find the smartest people you can and surround yourself with them." -- Marissa Meyer, CEO, Yahoo!
  5. "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, Spanx
  6. "Your job as leader is to stay as close in touch as possible with those closest to the action." -- Kat Cole, president, Focus Brands
  7. "True leadership stems from individuality that is honestly and sometimes imperfectly expressed... Leaders should strive for authenticity over perfection." -- Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook
  8. "Build something you're passionate about. As an entrepreneur, you have to have the passion and drive to stay the course." -- Alexandra Chong, CEO and founder, Lulu
  9. "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
  10. "I believe in a quiet, strong and grounded leadership. I think some of the best leaders are those whose work is widely known and respected but who, themselves, are relatively unknown." -- Rachael Chong, founder/CEO, Catchafire
  11. "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 want to see in the organization." -- Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop
  12. "Seeing what is wrong and how it could be made right propels us into action, but in that action we often leave other people behind and don't give ourselves enough time to be present, or to stop and reflect. Leaders have to get comfortable with pausing in that uncomfortable gap." -- Jessica Lawrence, CEO, NY Tech Alliance
  13. "The comfort zone is a nice place, but nothing grows there. Take the leap today and start your business!" -- Caroline Cummings, Founder and CEO, Varo Ventures

  14. "Career choice and progression doesn't have to fit into the standard societal mold. Do what you love and want to do. Find what you're good at, what you can sell or provide that is unique to you and go for it." -- Dana Donofree, owner, AnaOno

  15. "Just because you are CEO, don't think you have landed. You must continually increase your learning, the way you think, and the way you approach the organization." -- Indra Nooyi, CEO, PepsiCo

  16. "I learned to always take on things I'd never done before. Growth and comfort do not coexist." -- Ginni Rometty, CEO, IBM

  17. "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

  18. "Do something you love." -- Lisa Sugar, Founder, President and Editor in Chief, POPSUGAR.

  19. "The best way to leapfrog in your career is to get advice from someone who's done what you're trying to accomplish. It helps clear all the doubt." -- Heather Anne Carson, Co-Founder, Repable

  20. "Our emerging workforce is not interested in command-and-control leadership. They don't want to do things because I said so; they want to do things because they want to do them." -- Irene Rosenfeld, CEO of Mondel