Top 100 Female Empowerment Speakers
- By Brendan Egan
- Sep 21, 2022
What is women’s empowerment? It’s defined as accepting or seeking a woman’s viewpoint and helping women gain awareness, education, literacy, and training to help them achieve goals and overcome obstacles. Experts break down women’s empowerment to being from three key areas: cultural, economic, and political. Empowerment advocates feel it’s more complex than that.
When you think of female empowerment, you may think of the very real, timely issues like women’s health and wage equality. You likely think of some of history’s most influential women like Susan B. Anthony, the late Queen Elizabeth, Rosa Parks, or Margaret Sanger. Whether your organization, workplace, or classroom is looking to raise awareness, build supportive relationships, or tackle barriers, our top 100 female empowerment speakers provide insight and personal experience with economic and political empowerment.
1. Aly Raisman
In 2017, several athletes came forward to speak up against the sexual abuse they’d suffered at the hands of former Olympic team doctor Larry Nassar. Aly Raisman was one of the women to do so, and she and the others received "Arthur Ashe Courage Awards" for their strength and determination. She uses that experience to empower other victims of sexual abuse and mental illness.
Lori Nishiura Mackenzie co-founded the Stanford VMware Women’s Leadership Innovation Lab. She’s also the lead for the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion program at Stanford Graduate School of Business and is the executive director of the Stanford Clayman Institute for Gender Research. She champions inclusion, diversity, and female empowerment.
3. Minda Harts
The Memo LLC is a career development program for women of color. Before Minda Harts became The Memo’s CEO, she spent 15 years in fundraising. She wrote the book The Memo: What Women of Color Need to Know to Secure a Seat at the Table and hosts the podcast Secure the Seat.
Not many women make it as sports commentators or sports reporters, but Chiney Ogwumike is the first Black woman to host a national, daily sports-talk radio show. She’s also a forward for the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks and produced the ESPN Films’ documentary on their 2020 season.
5. Mel Robbins
Talk about reach. Mel Robbins coaches more than 60 million people online every month. Her videos, including her TEDx Talk, have more than a billion views. She specializes in behavior change and gaining confidence, fulfillment, and effectiveness. Mel Robbins wrote the bestselling book The 5 Second Rule, a guide to ending bad habits, stopping self-doubt and negative self-talk, and becoming all you dream of being.
She’s a five-time Olympic medalist and U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame member. At the age of 22, Nastia Liukin retired and became an NBC commentator and started The Muse Collective podcast. Nastia is also a renowned motivational speaker sharing her experience and insights with Fortune 500 companies and individuals in hopes of offering encouragement and lessons in empowerment to achieve their dreams.
7. Amy Trask
She attended law school in the 1980s and became a Los Angeles Raiders intern. She used that experience to become the first woman to become a front office executive in the NFL. Amy Trask’s experience didn’t end there. She defied the norms and became the team’s CEO from 1997 to 2013. Amy’s the author of You Negotiate Like a Girl: Reflections on a Career in the National Football League and received a "2017 WISE Woman of the Year Award" and "2018 Campanile Excellence in Achievement Award."
8. Lisa Leslie
As the first WNBA player to dunk and four-time Olympic gold medalist, Lisa Leslie is a name you likely know. She spent 12 seasons in the WNBA, leading the team to a 2001 and 2002 championship. She’s developed into a fascinating commentator, Sparks owner, coach, and role model. Not only has she accomplished all of that, but she’s also one of the only two female head coaches of a professional men’s basketball team and a great speaker on female empowerment.
DevelopHer is a career development platform that empowers women in tech careers to stand out and get the pay they deserve. Lauren Hasson is the founder of DevelopHer, leader of a Core Apps team for a Silicon Valley payments company, and champion of bridging the gender gap. Her leadership skills and dedication to women’s empowerment led her to an invitation from the UN to collaborate on the EQUALS initiative.
10. Victoria Garrick
Victoria Garrick advocates for positive body image, mental health awareness, self-care, and self-love. Though she was an exceptional volleyball player for the University of Southern California, her true mark on the world is through her advocacy for student athletes’ mental health after battling anxiety and depression. Her TED Talk gained more than 180,000 views and helped her gain more than 200,000 followers on social media for her #RealPost campaign.
11. Doris Burke
For close to 30 years, Doris Burke has been a top commentator for ESPN. She’s a "2017 WISE Woman of the Year Award" winner and has covered professional basketball since 1991. Doris has stood out in a male-dominated field, making her a great speaker on women’s empowerment in careers traditionally held by men.
12. Sophia Kianni
In 2015, 40% of people around the world had never heard of climate change. The Yale Program for Climate Change Communication found that 38% of adults in the U.S. do not believe climate change is real. Iranian Sophia Kianni was just 12 when she couldn’t see the stars because the sky was so polluted. She founded the non-profit Climate Cardinals and is the youngest advisor to the UN’s Secretary-General. Along with Greta Thunberg, she works tirelessly to encourage today’s youth to fight for climate action.
Dr. Sheryl Ziegler is an expert in mental health and burnout. She’s helped small businesses and groups like the Young Presidents Organization talk about stress management. She’s the author of Mommy Burnout: How to Reclaim Your Life and Raise Healthier Children in the Process , which is an important topic when it comes to female empowerment and balancing the role of “mom’ with your own needs for self-worth.
She’s the first African American woman to build a multi-billion dollar company. The award-winning ActOne Group is a workforce solutions and staffing company that Janice Bryant Howroyd built into a chain of companies. ActOne is found in more than 32 countries and has helped millions of workers find meaningful careers. JBH received the "2022 Black Enterprise Woman of the Year Award" and is the first-ever "BET Honors Entrepreneur of the Year."
15. Lora DiCarlo
Lora DiCarlo’s contribution to women’s empowerment is both personal and vital. She founded Lora H. DiCarlo in 2017 to help women feel sexually fulfilled with sex tech for a sexually equitable world. After winning an innovation award with her sexual wellness brand, the award was quickly rescinded due to the product being considered “obscene.” She fought to have sexual wellness classified in the wellness category and the award was reinstated. She’s a true champion for women’s sexual wellness and a great speaker to have when it comes to building foundations of equality, respect, and empowerment.
16. Dr. Jen Welter
Dr. Jen Welter holds a doctorate in Psychology and Master's in Sport Psychology. She’s the first female NFL coach and head coach of the first Australian women’s national team. Not only that, but she’s a trailblazer in the world of professional football being the first woman to play running back in professional football. In her 14-year career, she’s won four World Championships, two Team USA gold medals, and eight All-Star selections.
17. Chantal Pierrat
With her MBA, Chantal Pierrat took a job in medical device manufacturing and multimedia publishing before founding Emerging Women, a global leadership and media platform that strives to advance women’s leadership roles. Emerging Women has helped more than 70,000 women in Fortune 500 companies around the world. She’s a powerful keynote speaker on leadership and female empowerment in business.
18. Caroline Johnson
Caroline Johnson is a Navy pilot and author of JET GIRL: My Life in War, Peace, and the Cockpit of the Navy’s Most Lethal Aircraft, the F/A-18 Super Hornet. Only 1.7% of U.S. Navy fighter jet pilots have been women, and Caroline is one of the rare few. She has incredible stories to tell about being motivated and developing inner strength.
19. Bea Kim
Bea Kim is a life coach and executive coach who specializes in helping women take leadership roles. She’s a group coach in Stanford Graduate of School of Business’s Women in Management program and the co-founder of Awaken, a provider of DEI education programs.
20. Rosie Rivera
You may have seen Rosie Rivera on shows like I Love Jenni, a show her late singer-songwriter sister Jenni Rivera starred in. Her own strength is not to be overlooked. Rosie is a survivor of sexual abuse as a child and the author of My Broken Pieces: Mending the Wounds From Sexual Abuse Through Faith, Family, and Love . She’s a picture of strength and empowerment, talking to students, business professionals, church groups, and many others about rape, domestic violence, and sexual assault.
21. Kellie McElhaney
Kellie McElhaney is the founder and executive director of the Center for Equity, Gender, and Leadership. Throughout her career, it’s her goal to showcase the potential for businesses and leaders to enact positive changes, something she focuses on with her business Equity Fluent Leadership. She’s been named “Most Powerful Woman” by Fortune and “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Ernst & Young.
If you stop and think about it, same-sex relationships were very taboo in many corners of the U.S. It wasn’t until 1996 that the Defense of Marriage Act was signed into law, and even then, there is a fight for equality for same-sex couples. It’s an extremely important women’s empowerment and human rights topic. Hailee and Kendra focus on fun, uplifting content about their lives and relationship, leading right up to the story of their recent engagement. They’re often seen dancing together on TikTok and have more than 100,000 subscribers on YouTube.
23. Heather Monahan
A few things make Heather Monahan stand out as an expert in women’s empowerment. She’s one of a handful of women to claim her position in the famed C-suite. She’s Chief Revenue Officer in Media and won a "Glass Ceiling Award." She’s the bestselling author of Confidence Creator and was named a “Limit Breaking Female Founder in 2018” by Thrive Global.
24. Elita Laya
Elita Laya is the principal consultant for The Center for Critical Mentoring and Youth Work. They hold a Master’s in Counseling Psychology and also in Cultural Studies and are working on a Ph.D. for Education, Urban Leadership. They strive to empower the LGBTQ+ community through workshops and presentations known more as “community storytelling opportunities” designed to get you thinking.
25. Dara Torres
From the age of 15 to 41, Dara Torres set out to do what other women had never done. She didn’t compete in the Olympics for awards and accolades. She did it to prove that women could. Over the years, she won four Gold, four Silver, and four Bronze Olympic medals. Through it all, she faced adversity, bullying, injuries, self-doubt, and eating disorders. Today, she’s a spokesperson, works with Princess Charlene of Monaco on drowning prevention, and frequently appears on CBS Sports’ We Need to Talk.
Dr. Shawn Andrews has worked in pharmaceuticals for more than 20 years. She’s an accredited practitioner for EQ-i 2.0 and EQ 360 Emotional leadership and intelligence assessments that help leaders receive feedback from peers, managers, and other work associates. She excels in helping improve leadership skills, power through the gender divide, and embrace diversity.
28. Lisa Bloom
She’s a name you may recognize as Lisa Bloom represented several celebrities in sexual harassment, domestic abuse, and sexual assault cases, including the high-profile Bill Cosby case. She advocates for people facing racism, discrimination, sexual harassment, domestic violence, and excessive force by police officers. She holds a J.D. degree from Yale Law, where she filed a sexual abuse case against the Roman Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts of America for sex discrimination. She’s also the author of Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World . Her experiences and expertise make her an excellent speaker on female empowerment both inside and outside the workplace.
29. Lavinia Errico
Lavinia Errico is the co-founder of Equinox Fitness and the Inside Out Movement. She’s a noted speaker on topics like The Women-Led Workplace, Values-Drive Entrepreneurship, and Joy in the Hustle. Her strength lies in helping women realize they can have a career they love and a life that brings them just as much joy.
30. Morgan Simon
While some of the female empowerment speakers on this list focus strongly on women in the workplace, Morgan Simon is a little different. She’s a holistic nutritionist and wellness expert. She excels in helping people better themselves to be their best in the workplace or in life using nutrition and wellness to boost your immune system and personalize your nutrition to match your bio-individual needs.
31. Jade Simmons
It’s hard not to become entranced by Jade Simmons’ presentations. She was named one of the “Best Keynote Speakers” for three years running. She’s been called “a musical force of nature.” She’s the CEO of Jade Media Global and uses her skills playing piano to blend music and her powerful, honest conversations about female empowerment, personal development, and strategic transformations.
32. Bethany Hamilton
Surfing was and still is Bethany Hamilton’s passing from a young age. You may even recognize her powerful story as it was the subject matter in the 2011 film Soul Surfer. She was 13 when a 14-foot tiger shark attacked her while she was surfing. She lost her arm in that attack, but just a month later, she was back on her board and won her first national title by the age of 15. She is unstoppable and uses her story to show other women that they too can conquer everything they want to.
Elena Delle Donne is a two-time WNBA MVP for the Washington Mystics. She’s been selected to half a dozen All-Star teams and was the first professional female basketball player to join the 50-40-90 club. Her skills on the court are impressive, but you also have to consider that she’s done all of this while also battling Lyme disease. She’s the Lyme Research Alliance’s first national ambassador. She’s also a global ambassador for the Special Olympics, supporting her older sister, and hosts the De11e Donne Academy, a basketball camp for mentoring and coaching girls between the ages of 7 and 18.
34. Shelley Smith
Shelley Smith is a five-time Emmy-winning ESPN reporter. Sports Illustrated and the Jim Murray Foundation both named her “Journalist of the Year.” She’s an exceptional sports reporter receiving Reverend Jesse Jackson’s “RainbowSports Life Beyond the Playing Field Courage Award” and the “John Saunders Spirit Award” as a three-time cancer survivor.
35. Mallory Brown
Mallory Brown is an adventure traveler, filmmaker, and global humanitarian who’s traveled to more than 50 countries looking for real-life stories on human connections. She’s started two social impact companies, published more than 40 humanitarian films, and fundraised to help fight international poverty. Her latest project is “Walk a Mile,” a global marathon featuring herself and 26 impoverished women focusing on female empowerment and lifting families out of poverty.
36. Celeste Headlee
Her TED Talk is in the top 10 “Most Watched Talks.” Celeste Headlee has been in public radio for more than 20 years. She’s the author of Speaking of Race: Why Everyone Needs to Talk About Racism and How to Do It and We Need to Talk: How to Have Conversations That Matter. She’s the host of Women Amplified a Conferences for Women podcast and is the president and CEO of the non-profit Headway DEI, an organization focusing on bringing equity and racial justice to journalism and media.
37. Juliet Funt
Juliet Funt is the founder and CEO of the Juliet Funt Group, an efficiency firm that helps management teams avoid busy work to stop overworking staff. She’s worked with many Fortune 500 companies including Pepsi and Wells Fargo.
Book Christine Hassler to talk about life, generational differences, and one of her more popular talks about overcoming negative stereotypes and handling disappointment called “Expectation Hangovers®.” She co-founded Elementum Coaching Institute and has talked to more than 100,000 people at events of all sizes, colleges, conferences, and corporations.
Dream Big Toy Company is the creation of Jodi Bondi Norgaard. While shopping with her daughter, she couldn’t find any dolls that offered a realistic representation of a real girl’s body. Go! Go! Sports Girls is a line of books, dolls, and apps that focuses on healthy body representations and interests that girls have. She’s an expert in breaking through stereotypes and creating change and female empowerment.
40. Liza Pavlakos
Liza Pavlakos is a "Golden Gavel Award" winner and one of 2020’s “Top 10 Speakers in the World.” She overcame abuse, abduction, human trafficking, and homelessness to become a female empowerment speaker and founder of Positive Breakthroughs, an organization focused on improving mental health for all ages, sexual orientations, cultures, races, disabilities, and socio-economic backgrounds. She’s courageous, personable, and deserving of the “People’s Choice of Excellence Award” she received at the HR Asia Summit.
41. Lavinia Osbourne
Lavinia Osbourne is the founder of Women in Blockchain Talks. She’s also one of LinkedIn’s “Top Voices in Tech & Innovation in 2021” and on 2021’s Wirex Rising “Women in Crypto Power List” She strives to end the gender gap in Blockchain and specializes in empowering women to embrace the Blockchain ecosystem and its technology.
42. Lisa Nichols
She’s the founder and CEO Of Motivating the Masses, Inc. Lisa Nichols has helped or talked to almost 80 million people about her struggles as a single mom to her status as a millionaire entrepreneur. She’s a fantastic empowerment speaker for women and others who want to reach their potential but struggle with self-worth.
43. Barb Stegemann
Another powerful empowerment speaker, Barb Stegemann’s path as an entrepreneur began when her best friend was wounded in Afghanistan. She founded The 7 Virtues to help war-ridden countries rebuild. The 7 Virtues sources fair trade, organic essential oils from war-torn countries like Afghanistan to create a hypo-allergenic fragrance collection that’s praised by publications like Elle Canada, Forbes, and Vogue. She’s a WXN “Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women” and Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year Award” winner.
After seeing the gender gap in education and health, Dr. Kimberly Clay set out to change that. She’s the founder and CEO of Play Like a Girl, a non-profit that helps girls take skills they learn playing sports to launch successful careers in STEM fields. Play Like a Girl has empowered more than 25,000 girls throughout the world.
Shami Albrechtsen is one of Inc. Magazine’s “2021 Female Founders 100.” She founded SmartGurlz, a line of robotic action dolls and self-balancing robots designed to help girls code and control them from an app. Her coding robots receive high praise from BlackGirlsCode and the Girl Scouts of America and landed her a deal with Daymond John of Shark Tank.
46. Jessica Mendoza
As a female empowerment speaker, Jessica Mendoza shares her historic breakthrough in becoming the first female sports analyst for an MLB postseason game. That same year, she also became the first female analyst for a Men’s College World Series telecast. That’s not all you may recognize her for. She’s also a two-time Olympic medalist taking home Gold (Athens) and Silver (Beijing) medals.
47. Erica Dhawan
Erica Dhawan’s first on the “Top Women’s Keynote Speakers” list for good reason. She excels at helping women and other business professionals build a culture of trust and engagement, teamwork strategies, and other innovative strategies that help you be competitive in a rapidly changing world. She’s the author of Digital Body Language: How to Build Trust and Connection, No Matter the Distance .
48. Jenn Donahue
During her 27-year Navy career, Jenn Donahue achieved a lot. She helped build a Euphrates River bridge in the middle of the Iraq War and designed a Panama Canal bridge’s seismic plans. She helped build combat outposts while insurgents were close by. She also commanded a Battalion of 800 personnel in Afghanistan. After retiring from the military, she became a mentor to young adults about leadership, self-awareness, and building strong teams. Plus, she runs her own firm, JL Donahue Engineering.
49. Dr. Yvonne Cagle
Fascinating is just one of the terms that have been mentioned after people listen to Dr. Yvonne Cagle’s talks. She’s an aerospace surgeon and consulting professor for Stanford’s Department of Cardiovascular Medicine and the Department of Electrical Engineering. She’s a certified senior aviation medical examiner for the FAA and a retired U.S. Air Force Colonel. She’s accomplished a lot through the years and is an excellent choice for a female empowerment presentation.
50. Sara Ross
Sara Ross is the founder of BrainAMPED, a company that provides brain-based tools to boost leadership vitality while decreasing stress and exhaustion. Before leaving to create her own company, she was the VP and Global Head of Leadership Innovation, Research, and Training at Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and Performance. Her goal in business and in her talks is to empower others to be their best, even when stress and uncertainty are high.
51. Crystal Dunn
At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Crystal Dunn was the first freshman ever to win ACC Defensive Player of the Year. She led the Tar Heels to an NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship in 2012 and won the Hermann Trophy, ACC Athlete of the Year, and ACC Defender of the Year just a year later. In 2015, she became the youngest player to win the NWSL Golden Boot and the NWSL Most Valuable Player awards. One of her recent achievements was the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
52. Amanda Gore
Amanda Gore shows her audience how success is always tied to feelings. It’s how you feel about a brand, product, or person that influences your actions or level of commitment. Her empowering talks help businesses and organizations build strong communication strategies, emotional intelligence, and leadership skills. She’s a National Speakers Association “Keynote Speaker of the Year” and “Educator of the Year” awards winner.
53. Cassandra Worthy
She’s worked as an executive at Berkshire Hathaway and Procter & Gamble. Taking on that 15 years of experience, Cassandra Worthy became the world’s expert on Change Enthusiasm®, using change to help you grow as an individual. Her company Change Enthusiasm Global has helped clients including Cisco, Johnson & Johnson, and MassMutual use disruptions to grow and become more innovative.
Her expertise as a female empowerment speaker comes from a unique viewpoint. She’s the founder and CEO of the unPrison Project, a nonprofit that helps people who are in prison. Adopted by a Jewish couple, Deborah Jiang Stein would learn that she spent the first year of her life in prison, born to a drug-addicted, incarcerated mother. It made her spiral when the truth was revealed, but it also helped her grow and use all she learned to help others.
55. Jane Wenning
Jane Wenning was bullied and body shamed as a child, leading to mental illnesses that included depression and eating disorders. She learned to take that pain and turn it into something good. She is a Certified Medical Technologist and Athletic Trainer and used that training and personal experience to found 4-Pillars Health.
56. Janet Evans
As a five-time Olympic Medalist (four Gold and one Silver), Janet Evans has also broken seven world records. She’s the Vice-Chair of the Bid Committee for Los Angeles’ 2024 Olympics and was instrumental in cementing Los Angeles as the host for the 2028 Olympics. Nothing slows her down.
57. Dr. Liz Wilson
Dr. Liz Wilson holds a Ph.D. in organizational culture and behavior. She spent two decades helping brands transform their businesses, but then she witnessed discrimination and took that experience to find ways to stop discrimination from happening. She created her program The 8 Specific Needs of All People© and founded Include, software designed to help make inclusive decisions.
58. Gina Neely
If you ever watched the popular Food Network show Down Home With the Neelys, you likely have experienced Gina Neely’s charm and wit. She’s currently on the Bravo show To Rome For Love, a show about going through a divorce and finding love again after 50. She’s a testament to being true to yourself and your needs and taking hard yet crucial steps when it comes to your professional and personal goals.
59. Pamela Barnum
Pamela Barnum spent 20 years in the criminal justice system, including a long stint as an undercover officer in the Drug Enforcement Section and as a federal prosecuting attorney. She uses her knowledge and insights to help others interpret body language and build trust. Her TEDx Talk, “What Drug Dealers Taught Me About Trust,” was viewed more than 400,000 times in just its first year.
60. Samantha Karlin
Everything Samantha Karlin does in her job is about empowering women. She’s the CEO of Empower Global, a company that gives keynotes and arranges training for startups, nonprofits, government agencies, Fortune 500 companies, and universities. Empower helps the groups she speaks to better understand and support diversity and inclusion and also offers a women’s leadership challenge for smaller groups around.
61. Courtney Spritzer and Stephanie Cartin
Together, Stephanie Cartin and Courtney Spritzer created SocialFly, a social media and influencer agency. They also built Entreprenista Media, a platform for female founders to embrace resources and tips needed to grow and scale their businesses through a supportive community.
62. Mikki Kendall
Mikki Kendall is a diversity consultant and “occasional” feminist. She’s appeared on BBC, The Daily Show, Good Morning America, NPR, PBS, and many other programs or networks, as well as at universities and institutions to discuss feminism, police violence, race, and technology.
63. Kerri Strug
During the 1996 Olympics, Kerri Strug suffered a third-degree ankle sprain with tendon damage, but she persevered. Kerri decided to do her second vault in order to secure Olympic Gold for her team. She’d need to get a 9.762 for that to happen, so she hopped her way to the runway and got the score they needed for the Gold. She was hurt and couldn’t get to the podium to receive her medal, and her teammates refused to go up without her, so her coach carried her.
64. Michelle Poler
What keeps you from feeling empowered? For some, fear is a major obstacle. Michelle Poler is the perfect speaker as she is the founder of Hello Fears, a social movement empowering people to step out of their comfort zone to embrace their full potential. She created the 100 Days Without Fear project to help share her insights.
65. Jennie Finch
Jennie Finch is a two-time Olympic softball pitcher who helped her team win Gold (2004) and Silver (2008), a two-time National Pro Fastpitch All-Star, and a former All-American. Time Magazine calls her the “Most Famous Softball Player in History.” She retired from softball in 2010 and is now an ESPN color commentator, MLB ambassador, author, and speaker.
66. Sloane Stephens
Born to an All-American Boston University swimmer and NFL running back, Sloane Stephens's path to athletics seemed destined. She started playing tennis at the age of nine and became a professional player by the age of 16. Just three years after becoming professional, she beat Serena Williams in the Australian Open semifinals, rising to the #11 player in the world.
67. Kirsten Ferguson
Kirsten Ferguson was a career woman first before transitioning to a Peloton fitness instructor. She spent seven years working with the NFL and married an NFL player. She became a mom of two and switched gears to take on the role of mom, one that she found most challenging of all yet even more rewarding.
68. Nancy Lieberman
Her female empowerment talks and workshops cover Nancy Liberman’s years as a Basketball Hall of Famer, two-time Olympian, and first female head coach of BIG3, a three-on-three basketball league founded by Jeff Kwatinetz and Ice Cube. Nicknamed “Lady Magic,” Nancy talks about her experiences with friends like Magic Johnson, Billy Crystal, Warren Buffet, Muhammad Ali, and many others.
She’s an Olympic and World Champion bobsledder. Elana Meyers Taylor won Bronze at the 2010 Winter Games, Silver in the 2014 Olympic Games, and Silver in the 2009 FIBT World Championship. She’s also the first U.S. bobsled driver, counting both men and women, in 56 years to win a world title on a track outside of North America. It’s a lot to accomplish in a sport that’s often thought of as a male sport.
70. Arlene Dickinson
She’s recognized in “Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 Hall of Fame.” Arlene Dickinson is the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Award and has been a Dragons Den venture capitalist for more than 12 seasons. Arlene is the general partner of District Ventures Capital, helping fund and grow companies and products launched by entrepreneurs. She’s the vision of female empowerment in business.
71. Mariela Shaker
Mariela Shaker lived in Syria when the war hit. She survived a University of Aleppo attack and fled to the U.S. to study music. She’s an award-winning refugee and the youngest violin teacher at the Arabic Institute of Music. Her path to the U.S. was perilous and often had guards believing she had a gun in her violin case. But, she made it here and finally feels safe, though she worries about the friends and family she left behind. Her story of resilience and determination embodies female empowerment and hooks the audience into wanting to learn everything about her.
72. Jen Munoz
Jen Munoz played midfield for Club America and Mexico’s national team, and all of this wouldn’t have happened had she continued on her path to a corporate job. Instead, she decided to listen to her gut instincts and play soccer. At 25, she retired from professional soccer to enter sports media. She became a podcaster for Urban Pitch and is a co-host on 110 Football’s Angels Wear Boots.
73. Natalie Nixon
She’s been called the “Creativity Whisperer for the C-Suite.” Natalie Nixon specializes in transforming businesses as a creativity strategist. She’s Real Leaders’ list of “Top 50 Keynote Speakers in the World for 2022” and is one of the “Top 20 Women-Led Innovation Firms in 2021." She even has her own LinkedIn course, Lead With Inquiry, Improvisation, & Intuition.
74. Jaime Komer
Jaime Komer is a Gold Medalist with the U.S. women’s national water polo team in the 2007 World Championship, 2007 Pan American Games, and 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. She started and leads the Human Athlete Collective with the Athlete Career Transition (ACT). Jaime uses Yoga and wellness practices to help people embrace their inner power for clarity, confidence, and feelings of empowerment.
75. Rochelle Gapere
If personal achievement is your company or organization’s goal, Rochelle Gapere is an outstanding choice. She’s an attorney and “Happiness Coach.” She’s the author of One Happy Thought at a Time: 30 Days to a Happier You, and uses science-based tools and techniques to empower people to find fulfillment.
76. Chong Kim
As a child, Chong Kim was forced to leave Korea and immigrate to the U.S. She was marginalized and ended up in the foster care system before being returned to her parents. She found the man she thought was Mr. Right, only to be sold by him into a human trafficking ring where she was drugged, raped, and tortured. She also watched the same thing happen to children and escaped. She’s battled mental illness and champions today to help other human trafficking victims, including far too many children. Read about her life in the memoir Broken Silence or watch Eden, a film starring Beau Bridges.
77. Angela Ruggiero
Angela Ruggiero is a four-time Olympian and Gold Medal winner in Ice Hockey. She was the first female non-goalie to play in men’s professional hockey. She’s a 2015 U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame member, 2015 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee), and 2017 IIHF Hall of Fame inductee. Today, she’s a brand ambassador, motivational speaker, and advocate.
SoulPancake is a company founded by actor Rainn Wilson and Shabnam Mogharabi. The production company makes socially conscious videos about the human connection. She has more than 20 years of experience in television and digital video development and media production. She’s an excellent storyteller and has come a long way since being the youngest winner of the Jesse H. Neal Award.
79. Janice Perkins
Janice Perkins is a leadership expert who uses a four-step process: Empty, Examine, Expand, and Ex-celerate. She’s an expert in unlocking and developing your full potential while identifying the hidden obstacles that can keep women from achieving their dreams and making a positive impact on society. She’s also on the board of the Global Connections for Women Foundation.
80. Liz Ott
Liz Ott is an award-winning agency exec and changemaker. She’s the president of Threespot, an independent digital agency. She has more than 20 years in branding, storytelling, and equitable design. She strives for family-friendly policies, diversity, inclusivity, and having a purpose at work and in your life.
81. Rachel Pederson
She’s a mom of three and also is the CEO of The Viral Touch Digital marketing agency. She’s also the founder of Social Media United. Rachel Pedersen left her 8-to-5 job to start her own company where she helps others develop social media campaigns while experiencing incredible growth. With more than 1.1 million TikTok followers and a story of going from a single mom on welfare to where she is today, Rachel has a lot to say about female empowerment.
82. Michelle DiTondo
Michelle DiTondo is a principal at Avion Consulting and has more than 30 years in HR leadership and organizational transformation. Before that, she was the Chief HR Officer for MGM Resorts International. Her strengths are in creating an inclusive culture, resiliency, personal branding, and leadership despite adversity.
83. Marita Cheng
Before even reaching her 30th birthday, Forbes put Marita Cheng on its “30 Under 30” list. She’s been named “Australian of the Year” and was inducted as the youngest Member of the Order of Australia in 2019. She’s the founder and CEO of Aubot, a company that makes telepresence robots that enable children with cancer to attend school even though they’re in a hospital, provide companionship and socialization to the elderly, and help people with disabilities go to work. She’s achieved all of this despite there not being a lot of women in technology when she was in college.
84. Liza Pavlakos
Liza Pavlakos’ story grabs your heart and shows you that women can endure and overcome the biggest of obstacles. Hire Liza to talk to your audience about female empowerment and how she went from being a victim of rape, abuse, human trafficking, and kidnapping to the founder of Positive Breakthroughs, an organization featuring psychologists, therapists, counselors, etc. to help others break through their experiences and become strong, powerful leaders and community members.
85. Jamie MoCrazy
As an avid skier, it was never surprising to find Jamie MoCrazy on the slopes. By the age of 18, she’d won Junior World Championships and headed to Utah for continued training. She suffered a TBI in 2018 and that drastically changed things. She had to relearn motor skills like climbing stairs or even riding a bike. With her sister’s support, the #MoCrazyStrong hashtag and the resulting MoCrazy Strong non-profit were established to empower others with traumatic brain injuries or who are caring for someone with a TBI.
86. Pamela Hawley
Pamela Hawley is the founder and CEO of UniversalGiving, an organization that matches volunteers with opportunities that fit their talents and are legitimate organizations. She also co-founded VolunteerMatch back in 1996 when the World Wide Web was still relatively new. She’s also an improv actor and donates portions of her show’s proceeds to her global non-profit.
87. Cassidy Hubbarth
Cassidy Hubbarth is a full-time ESPN reporter and host of Hoop Dreams, an on-site ESPN digital show for high-profile NBA games. She’s also the host of the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game. She’s one of the most high-profile female sports reporters and nothing slows her down.
88. Jen Coken
Jen Coken uses her skills as a comedian to bring humor to her keynote speakers and leadership programs. She’s an expert in Imposter syndrome and helps women in leadership and executive roles gain confidence, break through self-imposed limitations, and develop the sense of certainty needed to achieve their goals.
89. Kayce Smith
Kayce Smith has made a name for herself in the sports world. She started with Fox Sports South as a sideline reporter and grew from there. She’s currently a sports personality with SiriusXM and Barstool Sports. She developed and hosted the first female lead show, The Kayce Smith Show, for SB Nation Radio and Gridiron Now.
90. Ashlee Lundvall
Like many children, Ashlee Lundvall was extremely active in sports and outside activities. While at a youth camp, she fell onto the handle of a pitchfork and severely injured her spinal cord. She was told she’d be in a wheelchair for life. After completing rehabilitation, she graduated from IUPUI with a BS in Public Affairs and graduate studies in Biblical Counseling. She founded Wyoming Disabled Hunters, was named Ms. Wheelchair USA in 2013, and continues to prove that despite her disability, she can still be a very active athlete in her Action Track Chair.
91. Heather Avis
Heather Avis strives to be part of an inclusive world where everyone belongs and is valued, no matter their differences. She’s the mother of three adopted children, two of whom have Down syndrome. This led her to create an inclusive national advocacy organization and host The Lucky Few Podcast with other moms raising children with Down syndrome.
92. Stephanie Norman
Stephanie Norman’s career path in coaching started as an assistant coach in Canada, Hawaii, and Oregon before moving to the role of assistant coach for the Louisville Cardinals, where she was named the WBCA Assistant Coach of the Year and has helped lead the team to ten Sweet 16 appearances, six Elite Eight appearances, and three Final Fours. As the associate head coach for the Cardinals, she’s proven that coaching doesn’t have to be a male-dominated career.
93. Janine Latus
She’s one of the most powerful speakers you’ll find on abusive relationships and sexual assault. Janine Latus is the author of If I Am Missing Or Dead, a look at a note her younger sister taped to the inside of a desk drawer. When her sister Amy was found murdered, Janine was also doing some soul searching after leaving an abusive marriage. It led Janine onto a path for empowering women to look inward at what made them enter into physically or emotionally abusive relationships and how to break the cycle of abuse.
94. Aundrea DeMille
She’s the author of Is It Racism? How to Heal the Human Divide. Aundrea DeMille is also the host of The Wake Up Stories podcast and strives to help people recognize and stop hurting people because of unconscious bias and develop the tools to address problems without making others feel attacked. Using her expertise, Aundrea DeMille helped the Lieutenant Governor and Governor write the equity, diversity, and inclusion policies for the state of Utah.
95. Melanie Collins
Sports reporting is still a mostly male-dominated career. Per ESPN, only 14.4% of sports journalists in 2021 were women. Melanie Collins has crossed that barrier. In 2018, she joined CBS Sports as a reporter on The NFL on CBS. She also hosts Big Break and Driver vs. Driver on Golf Channel. She’s built a solid career in sports reporting, starting at Yahoo! Sports and moving to First Take on ESPN and SportsNation.
96. Deborah Metts
Deborah Metts specializes in startups. She’s worked with some of the world’s biggest fashion retailers and brands, including Calvin Klein, Max Mara, and Nicole Miller. She’s a whiz in SaaS and SaaS operations, innovation, e-commerce, and marketing. Book her to talk about her experience over a decade in the world of luxury retail branding, e-commerce, and management.
97. Molly Morrison
She’s known for creating Twitter’s largest Memphis Grizzlies fan page. She ran it quietly until her 18th birthday when she was finally able to reveal her ownership. At that point, Molly Morrison created a personal account that quickly grew to 50,000 followers in under two years. It led to her launching the Made in Memphis Show and hosting Burners and Basketball and writing for SB Nation’s Memphis Grizzlies blog.
98. Scout Bassett
As an infant, Scout Bassett lost her leg in a chemical fire. She’d been found on the side of the street and spent seven years in a Chinese government-run orphanage. An American couple adopted her when she was seven, a year after she’d created a DIY prosthetic leg in order to walk around. She was given a prosthetic running leg at the age of 14 and that led to a long athletic career and recognition as one of the world’s greatest Paralympic athletes.
99. Mike Domiritz
Mike Domitrz is the founder of The Center for Respect, an organization that holds workshops and presentations focusing on positive changes in workplaces, military branches, educational institutions, etc. He’s an expert in sexual harassment and is known for his “Asking First” program.
100. Kate Lanz
Kate Lanz holds an MBA and BSc in Psychology and is the author of All the Brains in the Business: The Engendered Brain in the 21 st Century Organization . She runs a corporate coaching practice today that specializes in applied neuroscience, but before that, she broke through barriers to become both the first female and youngest International General Manager of Diageo.
No matter why you need to book one of the 100 top female empowerment speakers, our selection of diverse, empowered women and even a few men are outstanding speakers. They work tirelessly for positive change for organizations and individuals or to share their stories about becoming strong, successful professionals, individuals, and leaders.
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