The 10 Most Inspirational Women of 2008
BettyConfidential.com surveyed its members throughout the country to identify “The 10 Most Inspirational Women of 2008.” These “most inspirational women” motivate our members to reach new heights, and give them the courage and enthusiasm necessary to take the additional steps forward. They also conduct themselves with grace and dignity in the face of criticism and controversy. We thank them for their courage, chutzpah, and for representing American women so well. They are (in order of popularity per BettyConfidential.com members):
#1. Sarah Silverman, Comedian/Actress – She has the wit and a seemingly effortless way of making you laugh and wonder, “Did she just say that?” Through her own special brand of satirical comedy, Silverman addresses social taboos and topics such as racism, sexism and religion.
#2. Oprah Winfrey, Media Mogul – One of the most celebrated women to have emerged from television, Oprah Winfrey is the epitome of what hard work and big dreams can accomplish. As her empire has continued to grow, she has donated her time, talent and financial support to help millions of women, children and families around the world.
#3. (tie) Lisa Ling, Journalist/National Geographic Channel Correspondent – After co-hosting The View, Lisa Ling went on to tackle the grueling service of international investigative reporting. She has since been a voice and informant on global issues ranging from bride burning in India to China’s one-child policy.
#3. (tie) Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives – The Honorable Nancy Pelosi holds a host of groundbreaking roles: the first female, the first Italian-American and the first Californian to serve as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. She has trumped countless obstacles and emerged as one of the most influential woman in the U.S. government.
#5. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court – The Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the first Jewish female justice and only the second woman to serve on the Court. She has made a stand for civil liberties and as number 20 on Forbes magazine’s “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” list in 2007.
#6. Wendy Kopp, CEO and Founder, Teach for America – Wendy Kopp developed a non-profit that transforms recent graduates from the nation’s most prestigious colleges into teachers for some of the most desperate schools in America.
#7. Meg Whitman, Co-founder and CEO, eBay – Worth more than $1 billion in 2007, it’s easy to say Meg Whitman has achieved monetary success. More than that, she has proven to be a leader and a powerhouse in the business arena, serving as CEO and president of eBay and on the board of directors for both Procter & Gamble and DreamWorks Animation.
#8. Leigh Ann Hester, Sergeant, Army National Guard – While serving in Iraq in 2005, Leigh Ann Hester became the first woman since World War II to receive the Silver Star medal (the third highest combat decoration) and the first woman to receive the decoration in close quarters combat.
#9. Katie Couric, Anchor, Managing Editor of CBS Evening News – Katie Couric made a daring move when she left her coveted co-hosting position at the Today show to become the first independent anchorwoman for CBS’ Evening News. Despite publicly-made crude remarks, Couric stood strong in the face of criticism and conducted herself with grace.
#10. Shonda Rhimes, Screenwriter/Director/Producer – Shonda Rhimes made a remarkable rise-from single mother working a range of random jobs, to creator and executive producer of one of the most popular and juicy television shows, Grey’s Anatomy (which won a Golden Globe for Best Drama TV Series in 2007).
Survey guidelines: BettyConfidential.com members voted between March 10th and 28th, 2008. The methodology behind the finalists of “The 10 Most Inspirational Women” contest included, women who: 1) made their mark absent a famous husband, father, or son; 2) really climbed new heights for the advancement of women or children; 3) conducted themselves with grace and dignity in the face of critics; 4) are American (not necessarily American-born, but have lived in the United States most of their life) and 5) are contemporary leading figures.