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5 inspiring women on how to be successful & leave the world a better place.

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So you want to do well and do good in the world?

So do most of us. Sadly, the path to creating positive change while balancing a successful (and hey, maybe even profitable) career isn’t always clear. That’s why we’re always keen to read career advice from women who’ve made it big while also working to leave the world a little better than they found it.

Whether your life goals are entrepreneurial, communications-based or techy, these five famous women have words of wisdom you can apply in your own quest for success.

Prepare to be inspired.

1. Elizabeth Broderick: Focus on your own economic independence.

“When I think about success, I think about having a job that I love, one that’s not focused on me but on making the world a bit better off,” Sex Discrimination Commissioner Broderick once told InStyle.

She also emphasised that fundamental to a woman’s success is the ability to stand on her own feet financially.

“I think about having enough economic independence to know that if something happened in my life — if my marriage failed or husband died — I would have the power to maintain economic independence,” she explained.

“That’s really important; having economic independence gives you some power.”

inspiring career women
“When I think about success, I think about having a job that I love, one that’s not focused on me but on making the world a bit better off.” Image via YoutTube.

2. Malala Yousafzai: Get educated.

“Education is powerful.”

That’s the message Malala Yousafzai, the 18-year-old Pakistani activist and survivor of an assassination attempt by the Taliban, has been spreading for years.

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“When we were stopped from going to school in Pakistan, I realised education is very important [and] powerful for women,” Yousafzai, the youngest-ever Nobel laureate, told talk show host Jon Stewart. “The Taliban don’t want women to get an education because with an education women become more powerful.”

Yousafzai’s activism may be geographically distant, but her message remains relevant closer to home.

inspiring career women
“Education is powerful.” Image via Google.

3. Janine Allis: Be strong.

The founder of smoothie chain Boost Juice has helped grow the parent company Retail Zoo’s revenue to more than $350 million.

Her advice? Be strong, and prioritise your businesses’ needs.

“My experiences have taught me over the years to be tougher. Women have more natural empathy and this can be an obstacle in business,” she’s said, according to SmartCompany.

“I am not saying you need to be a hard-nosed business woman, but you need to consider the business needs first.”

inspiring career women
“I am not saying you need to be a hard-nosed business woman, but you need to consider the business needs first.” Image via Google.
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4. Anita Sarkeesian: If you want to see progress, be a part of it.

Feminist gamer, blogger, and creator of video webseries Feminist Frequency Anita Sarkeesian is a trailblazer in the gaming world — and if she has one thing to teach us, it’s that progress won’t just happen by itself.

“If we believe progress is magic and just happens on its own then we won’t do the work to make it happen,” she said at the All About Women conference in Sydney earlier this year.

Instead, she believes everyone has an obligation to act if they want to see real change — and she’s living that mantra through her constant, pro-woman push for equality in her male-dominated industry.

inspiring career women
“If we believe progress is magic and just happens on its own then we won’t do the work to make it happen.” Image via Google.
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5. Ita Buttrose: Have courage – and take what you need.

Legendary media editor, businesswoman, and author Ita Buttrose AO OBE was appointed women’s editor of the Daily Telegraph at just 23, and went on to become the founding editor of Cleo in 1971.

inspiring career women
“Her advice for young women? Be bold, and don’t expect success to be handed to you.” Image via Getty.

Buttrose is not just an incredible creative and business force, though. She’s also been a force for positive change in her community; she’s the current National President of Alzheimer’s Australia, Patron of the Macular Disease Foundation, and Emeritus Director of Arthritis Australia, and she was even crowned 2013 Australian of the Year.

Her advice for young women? Be bold, and don’t expect success to be handed to you.

“Rock the boat. Take a risk. Do something you think will work, so what if it doesn’t? It’s not the worst thing that can happen to you… I have never let the fear of failure stop me from having a go,” Buttrose told Angela Priestley from Women’s Agenda.

“When all is said and done, we alone have the responsibility to shape our lives,” she said. “Life’s rewards appear at the end, not the beginning of the journey.”

So, there you go. Whatever your passion is, everyone has the power to make change: just find what part you want to play.

Which woman inspires you?

Need more inspiration? Here are some fabulous women from around the world:

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