As ambitious women, we often have our eyes set on a goal, but it is always helpful to admire those powerful women who came before us that can continue to serve as an inspiration to women everywhere. Here are just five of those women. I am confident when you read this article you too can identify and be inspired by at least one of these women.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Before the former First Lady became known globally, she worked serving those that were unable to help themselves. Eleanor Roosevelt grew up in a wealthy family who valued community service.  Although, she grew up in a wealthy family, she strived on providing for those less fortunate, as a citizen, student and later a public figure. She is an example of the importance to give back to those less fortunate.

Margaret Thatcher

A female who became Britain’s first Prime Minister and the only Prime Minister in the 20th Century to win three consecutive terms. She was not born into royalty by any means, however, her determination, drive and courage allowed her to be recognized as the most renowned political leaders since Winston Churchill to many. A former chemist who encourages females today to recognize the importance and capability women have in male dominated societies.

Meg Whitman

CEO of HP and EBay, many see this female as someone who has never failed.  Surprisingly, Ms. Whitman has experienced failure as she lost her bid in 2010 for California governorship.  Her 2010 loss did not affect her. She continues to be a success in the technology industry.  Ms. Whitman has transformed the HP title. Although she has announced stepping down as CEO, she will be remembered by many females as an inspiration. She allows me to apply a term I have recently taken favor to, “failure is temporary, giving up is permanent.”

Oksana Chosvitina

Known as the oldest Olympian to compete.  A 41 year old gymnast, competing in an industry that is suited for the young, does not believe in age holding her back from achieving her dreams. When I read about this individual, it encouraged me that whatever goal one has in mind, you must believe that you can achieve the goal. Believing in yourself is more powerful than having others believe in you.

Condoleezza Rice

Political Scientist, Diplomat and educator. Ms. Rice grew up to become the first African American and first woman to become provost at Stanford University, later leading to becoming the African American female Secretary of State. Despite her international recognition in governmental relations she continues to work towards her true passion of strengthening our educational system as a faculty member at Stanford University.  Ms. Rice has taught females to not be ashamed of their intelligence, rather to be prideful and utilize their intelligence to better the world.

Alexa S