Careers

Our favourite powerful women share their wisdom on careers

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From Tina Fey to Jessica Ennis, Michelle Obama to Lena Dunham, check out these inspirational pieces of advice from our favourite ever powerful career women…

  • Tina Fey

    Actress, comedian and writer of 30 Rock

    "Don’t waste your energy trying to educate or change opinions; go over, under, through, and opinions will change organically when you’re the boss.

    "Or they won’t. Who cares? Do your thing, and don’t care if they like it."

  • Amy Poehler

    Comedian, actress and writer of Parks and Recreation

    "If you can speak about what you care about with a person you disagree with, without denigrating or insulting them, then you may actually be heard - and you might actually change their mind."

  • Michelle Obama

    First Lady of the United States of America, lawyer

    "One of the lessons that I grew up with was to always stay true to yourself and never let what somebody else says distract you from your goals. And so when I hear about negative and false attacks, I really don't invest any energy in them, because I know who I am."

  • Mindy Kaling

    Actress, comedian, writer and director

    "I never want to be called the funniest Indian female comedian that exists. I feel like I can go head-to-head with the best white, male comedy writers that are out there.

    "Why would I want to self-categorise myself into a smaller group than I'm able to compete in?"

  • Lena Dunham

    Actress, writer, first female to win a Guild Award for Outstanding Director, creator and star of HBO's Girls

    "It's very easy for me to say what success is.I think success is connecting with an audience who understands you and having a dialogue with them.

    "I think success is continuing to push yourself forward creatively and not sort of becoming a caricature of yourself."

  • Kathryn Bigelow

    First woman to win the Academy Award for Best Director with Hurt Locker

    "If there's specific resistance to women making movies, than I choose to ignore that as an obstacle for two reasons; I can't change my gender and I refuse to stop making movies."

  • Oprah Winfrey

    Chat show host, actress, producer and CCO

    "Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness."

  • JK Rowling

    Author, and creator of the Harry Potter series

    "It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might has well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default."

  • Nigella Lawson

    Journalist, broadcaster and TV chef

    "You need a balance in life between dealing with what`s going on inside and not being so absorbed in yourself that it takes over."

  • Jessica Ennis-Hill

    Olympic heptathlon champion

    "I believe we all have a journey. I was once a small girl from Sheffield, dealing with bullies and normal teenage insecurities, but I always believed. And when you do that, life can get unbelievable."

  • Kristen Wiig

    Actress, comedian and writer

    "Don't become something. Just because someone else wants you to – or because it's easy. You won't be happy."

  • Caitlin Moran

    Columnist, comedian, author

    “Ladies, we are at a massive disadvantage in the workplace. Your male peers are flirting with their male bosses constantly. The average workplace is like f*cking Bromancing the Stone. That’s basically what male bonding is. Flirting. They’re flirting with each other playing golf, they’re flirting with each other going to the football, they’re flirting with each other chatting at the urinals – and, sadly, flirting with each other in after-hours visits to strip clubs and pubs. They are bonding with each other over their biological similarities. If the only way you can bond with them is over you biological differences, you go for it. Feel pressurised to actually f*ck them if you do? Then don’t flirt. Find it an easy way to just crack on? Then crack on – and don’t blame other women for doing it.”

  • Josie Long

    Stand-up comedian and broadcaster

    "I'm a feminist. That's not creepy for me to say. I don't like to bang any less because of it."

  • Lily Allen

    Music artist and writer

    "People are still under the impression that every woman who is successful must be being controlled by a man. I'm the boss."

  • Angelina Jolie

    Actress, Special Envoy of UN High Commissioner for Refugees, director

    "I've realised that being happy is a choice. You never want to rub anybody the wrong way or not be fun to be around, but you have to be happy. When I get logical and I don't trust my instincts - Thats when I get in trouble."

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