It’s hard to believe it’s been just over 100+ years since the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, where women were granted the right to vote. Much has changed since then in the progression of women equality thanks to powerful female leaders from various industries that have helped paved the way. 

To close Women’s History Month, we’ve gathered here group of entrepreneurs who are highlighting trailblazing women that have impacted them the most.

Shakila Stewart ||  Premier Confidence & Presence Coach

Merri Dee, was a legendary Chicago Broadcasting Journalist, she was one of the first African American news anchors for WGN, mentor and friend who paved the way for women in media while using her platform to advocate for youth adoption. 

As a news anchor, she survived a kidnapping from one of the guest on her show, but she didn’t allow that to stop her from continuing her career in broadcasting. Instead she became an advocate for victims of kidnapping, mentor for women in media and has raised over 30 million dollars for youth charities. Her legacy will live on forever as she has inspired me, “If it is to be, it is up to me!

Jamecia “Socialite” Stoudermire || Owner of Glu Entertainment Concierge, Brand manager of Poetic Justice Jeans, Co-producer of LA FAME LIVE, Director of Community Outreach of Industry Retreats

Queen Latifah has impacted me by always remaining authentic in her journey. She is curvy, beautiful and talented. She successfully continues to reinvent herself with style and grace. She is one bad ass QUEEN and everything I strive to be! 

Melissa R. Hibbért || Beauty Brand Strategy Consultant Founder of SHYFT Beauty Consulting Agency

I admire Oprah because she is authentically herself, lives by faith and understands her purpose. She fully stands in her light and surrounds herself with very smart people who together, as a team, elevate humanity in every area of her business.

Oprah has impacted my life because her journey and story is a testament that anything is possible.  She chose to not be limited by her humble beginnings or traumatic life circumstances, instead she leaned on her intelligence, her God given gift and genuine intentions to become a great woman and mogul. 

Annaliese Puccini || Author of Best Seller AP_Unwritten, Nero Diversity Advocate, Contestant on The Bachelor and Bachelor in Paradise

Betty White has always been someone I have admired for her humor and openness. She was a pioneer and always did everything with grace. She was Americas grandmother. A strong, independent, successful, funny, kind woman and a true inspiration to me. Treating people and animals with a loving heart and positive outlook was infectious! I only wish I could have met her.

Yvette Garcia || Digital Creator

Selena Quintanilla was the woman that taught me to share my gifts! She was the trailblazer in the Latin music community that served as a reminder in my life that our journey is not about perfection, it’s about imperfect steps forward while doing what you love that makes it all worthwhile and touches the most hearts along the way. Her resilience has stuck with me and I’m extremely grateful for that. 

Kelly Chase || TV Personality, Entrepreneur, Speaker, Podcast Host and Social Influencer

Public figures such as Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres and Lady Gaga, are three extraordinary women I have always looked up to. They have faced and overcome so much adversity; hardships that not many of us can even comprehend, nor ever will. They have proved time and time again that we can be, do and have anything we want; we just have to be willing to face our challenges and have the willpower to show up each day with our beautiful light. These women have offered, and continue to offer, kindness, joy, empathy and financial opportunities to so many people. I aspire to be as generous as them one day!

Til then, I will continue my journey of self discovery and healing, and empowering others to do the same, so we too can rise into confident powerhouses too, and be a part of the ripple effect! 

Alicia Monique Blanco || In-Arena host for the Phoenix Suns || Director in Monat

The woman in history I admire most is Selena Quintanilla. I admire her for her passion, confidence, selflessness, style, heart and humor. She has been such a huge influence in every facet of my career! 

Michelle Game || CEO of Game Fitness & Monat Associate Market Mentor

A woman in history I look up to is Meghan Markle. I love how she puts others before herself. She is a selfless woman who still has the strength and courage to go after anything she wants and deserves in life.

Em Weis || Casting Director for Unplanned Movie || Co-Founder of || CISM Certified To Help People With Grief & Trauma || Advocate for AlterCall

Women empowerment means teaching people how to treat you, establishing healthy boundaries and not apologizing for who you are or what you believe in. It means leading by example and never having to preach a sermon by using words. Feeling empowered enables me to serve others effectively, especially when I share my story of how I overcame pain, trauma and heartache in my life.  

Mother Teresa and Maya Angelou are the two women in history who have inspired me the most. Mother Teresa’s empathy and compassion for others is what this world needs more of. My favorite quote is, “When someone shows you who they are believe them.” ~ Maya Angelou 

Photo By Carl Scarff

SoulFia Perez King || Founder of  Bunsology Body

Growing up in a family full of soul, love and church––Aretha Franklin has influenced me most. From her impact in music to the streets of the deep south to help bring awareness to Women’s rights and inequality. Aretha has definitely changed & impacted my life in all ways! 

Shelly Hill || Business Accelerator Coach and Founder of TAG Mechanism, Entrepreneur and Co-Founder/CSO of Modern Monarch

When I take a look back at some of the amazing women that have influenced and inspired my life, I would have to say the top two women would be Princess Diana and Amal Clooney.  

Princess Diana was full of grace and empathy. She changed how millions of people around the world including women on how they viewed a working mother and what that should be. She faced many challenges in her role and overcame each and every one of them through her style, laugher, humbleness and compassion. She would walk into a room and grab the attention of those that could create change for the world.  Diana had a sense of dedication to millions of charities. Giving back to others was a huge part of her life and role. I strive everyday to give back to more women and within my community through coaching and charitable work. To do my part everyday has a lot to do with Princes Diana and what she gave not only to me but to the world.

When I first saw that Amal Clooney was speaking at an event I was attending I became so inspired by her story and how she was creating impact and fighting in the world of not only international law but within human rights. She shared stories of women and girls around the world as what they were facing and what they overcame to live a normal life. I couldn’t believe that I didn’t know what was actually happening in the world today.  Was I that naïve? Her actions when she brought awareness and a call to action to the attendees of that conference, especially the women, moved me.  We needed to do our part to protect our children and she inspired me to do more! Amal is full of grace, wisdom and empathy. A strong woman standing up for those who do not have a voice. 

JaimeLynn Harum ||CEO of Kingston Global || CEO/Founder of Modern Monarch

When people ask who influences me…most aren’t surprised to hear my answer be Audrey Hepburn. But it’s not due to her 5-time Oscar nominees, impeccable fashion, entertainment accolades, or stunning beauty. Audrey gave up her dreams to help others achieve theirs. Even after she died, she is still remembered as an inspiring, beautiful woman. Hepburn’s ability to overcome her childhood, become the highest paid actress in the world of her time, and use her fame to help others truly inspired everyone around her.

She worked tirelessly for impoverished children around the world as a Goodwill Ambassador of UNICEF. It didn’t matter if the crisis was a famine or drought or disease, Audrey Hepburn worked for children all over the globe. And as a single mother, I respect her dedication to making such a difference with her voice and her platform.

Jill Adams || DUSA Safety/Owner || JB Soul/Coach || Modern Monarch/Co-Founder & COO 

When we look to our past, we become even more grateful for the women who have blazed the trails before us.  Ella Fitzgerald is one woman that has made an impact on my life and many others.  Her songs were sung acapellla throughout the house growing up as if the were hymns.  Her determination to pursue, preserve and maintaining hope in the midst of tribulation, still spark resilience within myself today. She paved the way for other women to honor their true authenticity and dreams by being steadfast in her pursuit knowing that they were possible.   

Ella was tenacious throughout her career; her courage, resilience, and vision. She taught us that being ‘unique’ is a quality that can never be replaced or exceeded. 

Being especially true in 2022, “It isn’t where you come from, it’s where you’re going that counts.”  —Ella Fitzgerald

As music fill and fuels every area of so many peoples lives still today. I am grateful to the pioneering women like Ella Fitzgerald who took to the stages so many years ago and paved the way for the stories we all connect with today through song. 

Article Featured Image: U.S. Embassy & Consulate in the Republic of Korea


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