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15 Inspirational Quotes From Female Pioneers Who Have Made History

15 Inspirational Quotes From Female Pioneers Who Have Made History

Women were once the quiet changers of history. Thankfully, times are changing and we can openly celebrate women’s successes, achievements and stories. These 15 women are testament to the strength of female pioneers around the world. Read their inspiring quotes on everything from the importance of education to cultivating your passion.

1. Melinda Gates: On finding your voice

“A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman. But the search to find that voice can be remarkably difficult.” – Melinda Gates, philanthropist, co-founder and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

2. Anita Roddick: On entrepreneurship

“Nobody talks about entrepreneurship as a survival, but that’s exactly what it is and what nurtures creative thinking. Running that first shop taught me business is not financial science; it’s about trading: buying and selling.” – Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop.

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3. Emmeline Pankhurt: On women’s right to equality

“If it is right for men to fight for their freedom, and God knows what the human race would be like today if men had not, since time began, fought for their freedom, then it is right for women to fight for their freedom and the freedom of the children they bear.” Emmeline Pankhurst, British political activist and suffragette.

4. Kathryn Bigelow: On overcoming obstacles

“If there’s specific resistance to women making movies, I just choose to ignore that as an obstacle for two reasons: I can’t change my gender, and I refuse to stop making movies.” – Kathryn Bigelow, first woman to win Academy Award for Best Director.

5. Maya Angelou: On strength of character

“A wise woman wishes to be no one’s enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone’s victim.” – Maya Angelou, African-American author, poet, dancer, actress and singer.

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6. Malala Yousafzai: On education

“I don’t mind if I have to sit on the floor at school. All I want is education. And I’m afraid of no one.” – Malala Yousafzai, young education activist and author from Pakistan.

7. Rosie The Riveter: On determination

“We can do it!” – Rosie The Riveter, Fictional icon of WW2 propagating women working in factories to support the war effort.

8. Julia Child: On cultivating passion

“Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” – Julia Child, American chef, author and television personality.

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9. Betty Friedan: On welcoming life experience

“Aging is not ‘lost youth’ but a new stage of opportunity and strength.”— Betty Friedan, American writer, activist and feminist.

10. Rosa Parks: On overcoming fear

“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.” — Rosa Parks, African-American civil rights activist

11. Mae C. Jemison: On living your dreams

“Don’t let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity. It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.”— Mae C. Jemison, first African-American woman astronaut.

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12. Mother Theresa: On individual impact

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” – Mother Teresa, Christian missionary

13. Shami Chakrabarti: On channeling anger

“Rebels don’t produce change, because they are fanning their own anger. You have to learn to save your outrage and focus.” – Shami Chakrabati, human rights activist and UK, director of advocacy group, ‘Liberty’. 

14. Aung San Suu Kyi: On the fight for freedom

“Human beings want to be free and however long they may agree to stay locked up, to stay oppressed, there will come a time when they say ‘That’s it.’ Suddenly they find themselves doing something that they never would have thought they would be doing, simply because of the human instinct that makes them turn their face towards freedom.” – Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese opposition politician and democracy advocate.

15. Rita Dove: On the power of imagination

“You have to imagine it possible before you can see something. You can have the evidence right in front of you, but if you can’t imagine something that has never existed before, it’s impossible.” — Rita Dove, first African-American poet laureate of the U.S.

Featured photo credit: Brian Stansberry via commons.wikimedia.org

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

Why Working 9 to 5 Is Outdated

Why Working 9 to 5 Is Outdated

Bristol is the most congested city in England. Whenever I have to work at the office, I ride there, like most of us do. Furthermore, I always make sure to go at off hours; otherwise, the roads are jam-packed with cars, buses, bikes, even pedestrians. Why is that? Because everyone is working a traditional 9 to 5 work day.

Where did the “9 to 5” Come From?

It all started back in 1946. The United States government implemented the 40 hour work week for all federal employees, and all companies adopted the practice afterwards. That’s 67 years with the same schedule. Let’s think about all the things that have changed in the 67 years:

  • We went to the moon, and astronauts now live in space on the ISS.

  • Computers used to take up entire rooms and took hours to make a single calculation. Now we have more powerful computers in our purses and back pockets with our smartphones.

  • Lots of employees can now telecommute to the office from hundreds, and even thousands of miles away.

In 1946 a 9-5 job made sense because we had time after 5pm for a social life, a family life. Now we’re constantly connected to other people and the office, with the Internet, email on our smartphones, and hashtags in our movies and television shows. There is no downtime anymore.

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Different Folks, Different Strokes

Enjoying your downtime is an important part of life. It recharges your batteries and lets you be more productive. Allowing people to balance life and work can provide them with much needed perspective and motivation to see the bigger picture of what they are trying to achieve.

Some people are just more productive when they’re working at their optimal time of day, after feeling well rested and personally fulfilled.  For some that can be  from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m; for others, it could be  2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

People have their own rhythms and routines. It would be great if we could sync our work schedule to match. Simply put, the imposed 8-hour work day can be a creativity and morale killer for the average person in today’s world.

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Productivity and Trust Killer

Fostering creativity among employees is not always an easy endeavor, but perhaps a good place to start is by simply not tying their tasks and goals to a fixed time period. Let them work on their to-do list at their own pace, and chances are, you’ll get the best out of your employee who feels empowered instead of babysat.

That’s not to say that you should  allow your team to run wild and do whatever they want, but restricting them to a 9 to 5 time frame can quickly demoralize people. Set parameters and deadlines, and let them work at their own creative best with the understanding that their work is crucial to the functioning of the entire team.

Margaret Heffernan, an entrepreneur who previously worked in broadcasting, noted to Inc that from her experience, “treating employees like grown-ups made it more likely that they would behave the same way.” The principle here is to have your employees work to get things done, not to just follow the hands on the clock.

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A Flexible Remote Working Policy

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer famously recalled all her remote workers, saying she wanted to improve innovation and collaboration, but was that the right decision? We’ve all said that we’re often more productive in a half day working from home than a full day working in the office, right? So why not let your employees work remotely from home?

There are definitely varying schools of thought on remote working. Some believe that innovation and collaboration can only happen in a boardroom with markers, whiteboards and post-it notes and of course, this can be true for some. But do a few great brainstorms trump a team that feels a little less stressed and a little more free?

Those who champion remote working often note that these employees are not counting the clock, worried about getting home, cooking dinner or rushing through errands post-work. No one works their 9-5 straight without breaks here and there.  Allowing some time for remote working means employees can handle some non-work related tasks and feel more accomplished throughout the day. Also, sometimes we all need to have a taste of working in our pajamas, right?

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It’ll be interesting to see how many traditional companies and industries start giving their employees more freedom with their work schedule. And how many end up rescinding their policies like Yahoo did.

What are your thoughts of the traditional 9-5 schedule and what are you doing to help foster your team’s productivity and creativity? Hit the comments and let us know.

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