playlist

TED Talks by strong women leaders

Who should run more of the world? Women. Until then, enjoy these talks by awesome women who lead fiercely and fearlessly.

Checking your list
  1. 14:51
    Christiana Figueres The inside story of the Paris climate agreement

    What would you do if your job was to save the planet? When Christiana Figueres was tapped by the UN to lead the Paris climate conference (COP 21) in December 2015, she reacted the way many people would: she thought it would be impossible to bring the leaders of 195 countries into agreement on how to slow climate change. Find out how she turned her skepticism into optimism — and helped the world achieve the most important climate agreement in history.

  2. 14:58
    Sheryl Sandberg Why we have too few women leaders

    Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg looks at why a smaller percentage of women than men reach the top of their professions — and offers 3 powerful pieces of advice to women aiming for the C-suite.

  3. 18:44
    Shonda Rhimes My year of saying yes to everything

    Shonda Rhimes, the titan behind Grey's Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder, is responsible for some 70 hours of television per season, and she loves to work. "When I am hard at work, when I am deep in it, there is no other feeling," she says. She has a name for this feeling: The hum. The hum is a drug, the hum is music, the hum is God's whisper in her ear. But what happens when it stops? Is she anything besides the hum? In this moving talk, join Rhimes on a journey through her "year of yes" and find out how she got her hum back.

  4. 15:23
    Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala How Africa can keep rising

    African growth is a trend, not a fluke, says economist and former Finance Minister of Nigeria Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. In this refreshingly candid and straightforward talk, Okonjo-Iweala describes the positive progress on the continent and outlines eight challenges African nations still need to address in order to create a better future.

  5. 12:59
    Madeleine Albright On being a woman and a diplomat

    Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright talks bluntly about politics and diplomacy, making the case that women's issues deserve a place at the center of foreign policy. Far from being a "soft" issue, she says, women's issues are often the very hardest ones, dealing directly with life and death. A frank and funny Q&A with Pat Mitchell from the Paley Center.

  6. 14:02
    Leila Hoteit 3 lessons on success from an Arab businesswoman

    Professional Arab women juggle more responsibilities than their male counterparts, and they face more cultural rigidity than Western women. What can their success teach us about tenacity, competition, priorities and progress? Tracing her career as an engineer, advocate and mother in Abu Dhabi, Leila Hoteit shares three lessons for thriving in the modern world.

  7. 7:10
    Nadia Lopez Why open a school? To close a prison

    Our kids are our future, and it's crucial they believe it themselves. That's why Nadia Lopez opened an academic oasis in Brownsville, Brooklyn, one of the most underserved and violent neighborhoods in New York — because she believes in every child's brilliance and capabilities. In this short, energizing talk, the founding principal of Mott Hall Bridges Academy (and a star of Humans of New York) shares how she helps her scholars envision a brighter future for themselves and their families.

  8. 13:39
    Dame Stephanie Shirley Why do ambitious women have flat heads?

    Dame Stephanie Shirley is the most successful tech entrepreneur you never heard of. In the 1960s, she founded a pioneering all-woman software company in the UK, which was ultimately valued at $3 billion, making millionaires of 70 of her team members. In this frank and often hilarious talk, she explains why she went by “Steve,” how she upended the expectations of the time, and shares some sure-fire ways to identify ambitious women …

  9. 21:04
    Martine Rothblatt My daughter, my wife, our robot, and the quest for immortality

    The founder of Sirius XM satellite radio, Martine Rothblatt now heads up a drug company that makes life-saving medicines for rare diseases (including one drug that saved her own daughter's life). Meanwhile she is working to preserve the consciousness of the woman she loves in a digital file ... and a companion robot. In an onstage conversation with TED's Chris Anderson, Rothblatt shares her powerful story of love, identity, creativity, and limitless possibility.

  10. 17:03
    Sakena Yacoobi How I stopped the Taliban from shutting down my school

    When the Taliban closed all the girls' schools in Afghanistan, Sakena Yacoobi set up new schools, in secret, educating thousands of women and men. In this fierce, funny talk, she tells the jaw-dropping story of two times when she was threatened to stop teaching — and shares her vision for rebuilding her beloved country.

  11. 16:05
    Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi An interview with the founders of Black Lives Matter

    Born out of a social media post, the Black Lives Matter movement has sparked discussion about race and inequality across the world. In this spirited conversation with Mia Birdsong, the movement's three founders share what they've learned about leadership and what provides them with hope and inspiration in the face of painful realities. Their advice on how to participate in ensuring freedom for everybody: join something, start something and "sharpen each other, so that we all can rise."

  12. 21:47
    Mary Robinson Why climate change is a threat to human rights

    Climate change is unfair. While rich countries can fight against rising oceans and dying farm fields, poor people around the world are already having their lives upended — and their human rights threatened — by killer storms, starvation and the loss of their own lands. Mary Robinson asks us to join the movement for worldwide climate justice.

  13. 17:07
    Linda Cliatt-Wayman How to fix a broken school? Lead fearlessly, love hard

    On Linda Cliatt-Wayman's first day as principal at a failing high school in North Philadelphia, she was determined to lay down the law. But she soon realized the job was more complex than she thought. With palpable passion, she shares the three principles that helped her turn around three schools labeled "low-performing and persistently dangerous." Her fearless determination to lead — and to love the students, no matter what — is a model for leaders in all fields.

  14. 18:48
    Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly Be passionate. Be courageous. Be your best.

    On January 8, 2011, Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was shot in the head while meeting constituents in her home town of Tucson, Arizona. Her husband, the astronaut Mark Kelly, immediately flew to be by her side. In this emotional conversation with Pat Mitchell, the pair describe their lives both before and after the accident — and describe their views on responsible gun ownership.

  15. 14:16
    Julie Lythcott-Haims How to raise successful kids — without over-parenting

    By loading kids with high expectations and micromanaging their lives at every turn, parents aren't actually helping. At least, that's how Julie Lythcott-Haims sees it. With passion and wry humor, the former Dean of Freshmen at Stanford makes the case for parents to stop defining their children's success via grades and test scores. Instead, she says, they should focus on providing the oldest idea of all: unconditional love.

  16. 19:18
    Halla Tómasdóttir It's time for women to run for office

    With warmth and wit, Halla Tómasdóttir shares how she overcame media bias, changed the tone of the political debate and surprised her entire nation when she ran for president of Iceland — inspiring the next generation of leaders along the way. "What we see, we can be," she says. "It matters that women run."