We wear our title of female-led business proudly every day, but especially during Women’s History Month. Our own fearless female leader, Darlene, founded Hollywood Public Relations in 2011 when she put a sign on a door in Scituate Harbor, Mass. And today, we’ve grown to a team of 12 kickass PR pros (a majority of us are women, go figure), who fiercely believe in the power of women.
Over the last month, we’ve been dishing on our choices for female leaders who inspire us most, here and here. And we’re rounding those all up today. Without further ado, here are some of the most inspiring boss babes the world has seen.
The definition of a role model, Malala Yousafzai was able to not only find her voice, but use it to fulfill her calling as education activist at only 17-years-old. After facing ultimate adversity for her cause in the form of an assassination attempt, she went on to be recognized globally for her work as an advocate for the right to educate women. Malala proves that there is no minimum age or experience when it comes to changing the world. All it takes is courage.
Darlene chose Madeleine Albright as her most inspiring female leader, and we’re totally on board. Madeleine blazed the trail as our country's first female Secretary of State and the highest-ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government at the time of her appointment. And the phrase she coined still rings true today: "There is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women." PREACH.
Has there ever been a list of influential women that didn’t include Oprah Winfrey? Courtney nominated Oprah because she has overcome many obstacles and adversity to become an amazing woman – not only on-screen but as a philanthropist for children (and animals too).
“I’m going with Ellen DeGeneres. My mom and I used to say, ‘WWED’ – what would Ellen do – because she is always positive and looking to make light of a situation, but never at someone else’s expense.” We couldn’t agree more. Ellen straddles the line between humor and humility with grace. She is an excellent role model for women and advocate for the LGBTQ community. Besides, what would Finding Nemo be without Dory?!
As a black woman, fitness guru and business owner, Hannah Bronfman defines “cool girl.” She is the founder of her own website, HBFIT, which features fitness tips, healthy eats and other changes you can make to lead a more positive lifestyle. She’s also an Adidas ambassador and a DJ at fashion parties by night (how cool is that?!). This girl boss does it all, proving to be a major source of inspo (if not #fitspo) for HPR’s resident millennials.
Not that we’re biased toward the woman who created the most-loved book series in the universe (any PotterHeads here?), but J.K. Rowling made this list with ease. Aside from her relentless determination to get her work published and crazy success since, she is also a philanthropist, starting her own charity and supporting many others in anti-poverty, children’s welfare and multiple sclerosis. Not to mention, she loves roasting trolls on Twitter.
Going against the grain, Brooks’ pick is her mother, Jane. A two-time entrepreneur who taught Brooks and her sister that women can have career and family, Jane led by example. A born feminist, she hosted bonfire parties where she manned the chainsaw, threw back whiskey with the boys and wasn’t afraid of getting her hands dirty. She created and sold two successful businesses, all while raising two daughters. Every day she reminded them that strong women can do anything they put their minds to and rise through any ranks, regardless of gender. Still to this day, she’s their biggest cheerleader.
And, of course, no round-up of strong women would be complete without one of our very own. Our boss babe, Darlene, is a true trailblazer for female small business owners everywhere, who allows her employees to make mistakes, to learn and grow. She’s a rock-star mom to two girls and several animals, both furry and scaly, inspiring all of us to lead with the same poise – and to never shy away from a cocktail.
But, we’d be remiss to leave out our male colleagues, Jeff, Palmer and Jon, who gracefully handle 40 hour workweeks with a pack of alpha females. For safety’s sake, let’s just say they think all of us are equally inspirational.
Here’s to the women who’ve raised us, known us and inspired us. Happy Women’s History Month.
- Brooks Wallace and Deanna Haas
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