Today marks Women’s Equality Day, passed by Congress in 1971 as a day to celebrate not only the passing of the 19th Amendment, but also as a day to reflect on how far women’s right have come, and where they still need to go.
To that end, here are several words from notable leaders around the world (want more? Our partner untapt has more).
“The test for whether or not you can hold a job should not be the arrangement of your chromosomes.” – Bella Abzug, the Congresswoman who introduced the bill that allowed this day to be recognized
“As you move up — as you engage more and more people in the company and take on broader roles — this idea of quote-unquote ‘looking the part’ becomes more and more of a challenge when you don’t look the part,” she said. “But there’s nothing I can do, or wanted to do, about being a black female — I kind of like both of those things. So at the end of the day, the people who were around me had to do a little bit more adjusting than I did.” – Ursula Burns, CEO Xerox
“At the end of the day, both men and women who become CEOs have showed tenacity and hard work to succeed in their careers. It takes not just skills but also extreme dedication and commitment. And regardless of gender, CEOs are measured by the same criteria – the growth and success of the business.” – Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube
“One of the biggest problems women have is they work really hard and put their heads down and assume hard work gets noticed. And hard work for the wrong boss does not get noticed. Hard work for the wrong boss results in one thing – that boss looks terrific, and you get stuck.” – Ruth Porat, CFO Alphabet
“The most important factor in determining whether you will succeed isn’t your gender, it’s you. Be open to opportunity and take risks. In fact, take the worst, the messiest, the most challenging assignment that you can find, and then take control.” – Angela Braly, CEO of WellPoint
“A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman. But the search to find that voice can be remarkably difficult.” This “voice” is your best tool in the board room, when talking to investors, when finding partners and when pitching to clients. Once you find your voice, hone it and practice.” – Melinda Gates, Co-Founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
“I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.” – Estée Lauder
“Men selectively listen. When that happened, I’d stop the conversation and say, ‘Do you realize I said that 10 minutes ago?’ Women have to take responsibility for the dynamic around them. You can’t just say, ‘Woe is me.'” – Maggie Widerotter, CEO of Frontier Communication