Role Models Who are Advancing the Future of Women

At Her Story of Success, we have the honor of celebrating women’s stories and achievements through the work we do every day. We’re so inspired by every woman who has appeared on the podcast, spoken at our events, or provided mentorship through our blog and social media.

And while Women’s History Month may be coming to a close, we think that conversations about women’s empowerment should continue throughout the whole year.

If you’re looking for a fresh dose of inspiration, or you want to learn more about some of the ways you can get involved with advancing the future of women across the world, here are six women you should know:

Mickey Guyton

“I have a responsibility to hold the door open for other women of color.”

Even though the country music industry routinely makes it difficult for women, and especially women of color, to gain recognition, Mickey Guyton is breaking down barriers for herself and the next generation of Black country artists. Mickey, who’s best known for powerful songs like “Black Like Me” and “What Are You Gonna Tell Her?” recently became the first Black female solo artist to earn a Grammy nomination in a country category. She’s also been nominated for two Academy of Country Music Awards and has gained a loyal following despite the lack of airplay she’s received on country radio. 

Dolly Parton in front of Grammy wall

Dolly Parton

“Find out who you are. And do it on purpose.”

At the age of 75, you might expect Dolly Parton to be slowing down or stepping away from the spotlight. But the country icon, actress and philanthropist continues to make her mark on the world. Dolly is a shrewd businesswoman who’s capitalized on her musical fame with acting roles, an upcoming fashion line, and even a theme park, but she’s also dedicated to helping others. Dolly donates huge amounts of her wealth through philanthropic efforts including the Dollywood Foundation and Dolly’s Imagination Library, which provides children with more than 10 million books each year. Most recently, Dolly made headlines for donating $1 million to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center to help fund the Moderna vaccine for COVID-19. 

Alice Wong

We should not make disabled lives subject to debate.”

Disabled people are extremely underserved and underrepresented in American politics and media, but Alice Wong is working to change that. Alice is a disabled activist, writer and consultant who created the Disability Visibility project, an online community that creates, shares and amplifies disability media. Alice also works with other prominent disability organizations, including, #CripLit on Twitter, the Access is Love campaign, and #CriptheVote — a nonpartisan movement encouraging the political involvement of disabled people. Her work has been widely published in major media outlets, she served on the National Council on Disability under President Obama, and she’s been honored with many awards for her advocacy. 

Whitney Wolfe Herd

“We must ensure we are providing women with opportunities that allow them to reach their full potential.”

Even when women break through into male dominated industries like tech, they often encounter enormous resistance and even harassment. Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe Herd experienced that firsthand when she was the co-founder and vice president of marketing at Tinder. When she left the company in 2014, Whitney filed a sexual harassment lawsuit and faced major online harrassment as a result. However, Whitney didn’t let this hold her back and decided to create a new dating app experience. Today, Bumble is the second-most popular dating app in the U.S., empowering women to make the first move while also offering services for networking and friendship. And when Bumble went public earlier this year, Whitney joined the small club of women self-made billionaires. 

Alicia Garza

Alicia Garza

“Our lives matter.”

Black Lives Matter has grown into a global movement, but it started with a Facebook post in 2013. After George Zimmerman was acquitted in the killing of Trayvon Martin, Alicia Garza took to Facebook and wrote “A Love Letter to Black People.” The post, which ended with the words “Our lives matter,” inspired the Black Lives Matter hashtag and the global movement that followed. In addition to co-creating #BlackLivesMatter and the Black Lives Matter Global Network, Alicia is the founder of Black Futures Lab, co-founder of Supermajority, strategy and partnerships director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and an author and podcast host. 

Amanda Gorman reciting the inaugural poem

Amanda Gorman

“And so we lift our gazes no to what stands between us, but what stands before us.” 

In many ways, poetry is an underappreciated art form in modern-day America, so when Amanda Gorman’s poem became one of the most widely-discussed parts of President Biden’s inauguration, it was even more significant. At 23, Amanda became the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history, and shortly after that, she was the first poet ever commissioned to write a poem for the Super Bowl. Amanda is the author of The Hill We Climb and The One for Whom Food is Not Enough, and she founded One Page One Pen, an organization that provides underserved youth with free creative writing programs. Beyond that, Amanda has become a voice for American youth in the midst of one of the most divisive times in U.S. history. 

If you’re a business owner or leader who wants to help shape the future of women through mentorship and empowerment, contact us today. We offer a wide range of sponsorships, event production and other opportunities, and we’d love to work with you!