Every year, brilliant women make meaningful contributions to society and change the world. Whether they start their own non-profit organization or use their Hollywood fame to advocate for social change, these women know how to set an example for future generations. Here are 7 outstanding women who we can all admire for their inspiring character and exceptional class. You’re bound to be inspired by at least one of these women. 

Kate Middleton

Getty Images

Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, is admired worldwide for her charm and elegance. She graduated with an honors degree in art history from the University of St. Andrews. She is the UK’s first royal bride to hold a university degree! Kate is a passionate mental health advocate. She co-founded the Heads Together initiative, a campaign that tackles mental health stigmas and raises funds for mental health services. In January 2018 she announced the launch of Mentally Healthy Schools, a website designed to provide support for primary school students’ mental health through lesson plans, activities, and more.  

Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn, silver screen star of the 20th century, was the face of Old Hollywood glamour. She won two Academy Awards, three Golden Globes, an Emmy, and even a Grammy. Audrey spearheaded many humanitarian efforts, too. She made over fifty trips to Third World countries and raised support for UNICEF as an advocate for children. She faced a phobia of public speaking but nevertheless gave speeches, press conferences, and interviews to raise awareness for the causes she held dear. Audrey additionally testified before the House Select Subcommittee on Hunger in 1989 and spoke to members of Congress about world poverty.

Serena Williams

Getty Images

A four-time Olympics gold medalist, Serena Williams gives new meaning to the words “perseverance,” “dedication,” and “achievement.” She is the second African-American woman in history to win a Grand Slam title. In 2009, Serena was named Sports Illustrated’s “Best Female Athlete of the Decade.” Serena makes an impact off the court, too. In 2017 she was named ambassador for the Allstate Foundation Purple Purse, an organization that raises awareness about domestic abuse.

Reese Witherspoon

Best known for her starring roles in Legally Blonde, Sweet Home Alabama, and Cruel Intentions, Reese Witherspoon is a total powerhouse. She is an Oscar-winning actress, Emmy-winning producer, notable philanthropist, and most recently, an author! Her media brand, Hello Sunshine, shares strong women’s stories through film, television, audio, a newsletter, and social channels.

Emma Watson

Getty Images

Emma Watson, actress and social activist, rose to fame after starring as Hermione in the Harry Potter movies. She made education a priority and attended two top schools: Brown University and Worcester College of Oxford University, where she graduated with a degree in English in 2014. The same year, she was appointed a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and assisted with the launch of HeForShe, a UN campaign that focuses on bringing men into the gender equality dialogue. Emma seeks to rejuvenate the public’s conception of “feminism” by giving men a place in the movement.

Amal Clooney

Getty Images

She is one of the most accomplished human rights lawyers in the world. Amal Clooney has represented numerous high-power clients, including Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Amal consistently advocates for imprisoned journalists and women abused under ISIS. She additionally co-founded the Clooney Foundation for Justice, an organization that advocates for the rights of individuals unfairly targeted by oppressive government regimes.


A self made woman, Oprah refused to let the conditions of her birth determine her outcome in life. She was born into extreme poverty, but adversity made her resilient and fueled her ambition. With an estimated net worth of $2.5 billion, she is a successful actress, director, producer, entrepreneur, TV personality, and philanthropist. Passionate about women’s education, she founded The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, a school designed to develop the leadership skills of young women in South Africa. Oprah shows us that, no matter how successful we become, we should always make an effort to give back.

Jenn B