Photo Credit: Melinda Gates Instagram
We’re going full speed ahead in celebrating inspiring, independent women who are forging their own paths. Today, we wanted to feature five incredible women who are making the world a better place through their passion, determination, and creativity. From savvy female entrepreneurs to globally minded philanthropists, these five leading ladies are changing lives and defying traditional gender roles with their ideas and initiatives.
(Photo Credit: KK Ottesen/FTWP)
Nearly everyone has heard about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, but not everyone knows a lot about the woman that works tirelessly behind it as its co-chair. As part of her work, Melinda does site visits to low-income countries where she sits down with local women and families to learn about what problems they’re facing and how to make their lives easier, safer, and better. Many of the initiatives funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which includes billions of dollars spent to fund vaccines, healthcare clinics, contraception, and more in developing countries, have been based on Melinda’s on-the-ground work.
Photo Credit: Fenty Instagram
A pop star, style icon, and beauty mogul, Rihanna is a household name — but did you know she’s also a leading force in philanthropy? In 2012 she founded the Clara Lionel Foundation, an organization dedicated to raising funds for education and emergency preparedness programs on a global scale. Since its inception, CLF has helped make a change in places like Malawi, Texas, the Philippines and more.
Photo Credit: Jessica Meir Instagram
We’re celebrating a dynamic duo — Jessica Meir and Christina Koch. Late last year, these two trained and talented astronauts set out from the International Space Station to replace a power controller, successfully completing NASA’s first-ever all-women spacewalk. It wasn’t the last intergalactic feat for them — this January both completed the second all-female spacewalk, completing upgrades to the station’s power grid.
Photo Credit: ChefLorenaGarcia.com
One of the brightest stars in today’s culinary world, Chef Lorena Garcia is more than just a phenomenal chef. To help battle childhood obesity, she launched Big Chef, Little Chef — a project that aims to help kids and their families adopt healthier eating habits. To achieve her vision, Chef Lorena and the Big Chef, Little Chef project host hands-on cooking classes, workshops, seminars and more to educate kids and their parents about healthy eating, meal prep, nutrition, and more.
Photo Credit: KendraScott.com
A CEO, philanthropist, designer and mom, Kendra Scott is no stranger to wearing many different hats. In 2002, she designed her first jewelry collection. Not long after, she’d turned her passion for creative design into a billion-dollar-brand known around the world. But being a savvy businesswoman isn’t the only reason we want to commend Kendra. The fashion and jewelry mogul also dedicates lots of time and resources to giving back to the community through fundraising and awareness events (plus over $5 million donated annually). Her Kendra Cares program is as unique as it is impactful — the international project brings creative arts to pediatric hospitals, allowing patients and their caregivers to take a break from reality and design their own pieces of customized jewelry at no cost.
Each of the women featured is an inspiration to people everywhere. Through their hard work, big ideas and fearless determination to challenge the status quo, they are leading the charge for gender equality and also paving the way toward a better, brighter future. We hope reading about their stories will inspire you to strive to improve the world around you and the lives of others beyond Women’s History Month.