When historians look back at 2018, they will say it was the Year of the Woman; a moment when powerful women started taking charge. They’ll be wrong, of course. While it most definitely will be the Year of the Woman, powerful women have been taking charge for years.
Powerful women have built businesses, created political accords, fostered change, and stood up for the rights of the oppressed, winning awards and accolades in the process. In short, these powerful, motivational, and inspirational women keynote speakers serve as role models not just for all women, but for all humanity.
BigSpeak is proud to present the 12 most powerful women keynote speakers for 2018.
Around the world, Huffington is known for her work as the co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post, which won its first Pulitzer Prize in 2012. Repeatedly, she has been named on lists of the most powerful and influential women in the world. Her access to world leaders and entrepreneurs is unparalleled, and her views have shaped our understanding of current events, culture, business, and politics.
Billie Jean King
In her life, King has been a champion in sports and the women’s rights movement and is considered one of the “100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century” by Life. As a competitor, she won 39 Grand Slam titles and as an entrepreneur, she spread the joy of tennis by co-founding World TeamTennis. However, she is best known for the famous tennis match, “The Battle of the Sexes,” where she defeated Bobby Riggs at the Houston Astrodome and fought for women’s equality in front of an estimated worldwide audience of 50 million spectators.
In the world of fashion, Brown is a self-made millionaire, famous for creating a line of simple, flattering and wearable makeup as the founder and former CCO of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics. Her simple approach and her inclusive message of “the secret to beauty is simple—be who you are” has appealed to diverse audiences, making her a sought-after expert in fashion and beauty on television and in print.
Fiorina is a successful entrepreneur and powerful voice for conservative views. She earned her success the old-fashioned way, from the bottom up, starting as a secretary in a small real-estate firm and working smart until eventually becoming the CEO of a major company, Hewlett Packard. As head of Hewlett Packard, Fiorina doubled its revenue to over $80 billion, quadrupled its growth rate to 6.5 percent, and tripled innovation to 15 patents a day. In politics, she has served as Chairman of the American Conservative Union Foundation, ran for the Senate in California, and made a bid for the Republican Presidential nomination.
Davis is an Oscar and Golden-Globe winning actor, world-class archer (at one time ranked 13th nationally), member of the genius society Mensa, and the Founder and Chair of the non-profit Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which helps reduce gender stereotyping. Davis is also an official partner of UN Women, working toward their goal of promoting gender equality and empowering women worldwide.
Alba is a successful Hollywood actress, best selling author of The Honest Life, and the founder and chief creative officer of The Honest Company, whose mission is to provide families with products that are effective, safe, beautiful, accessible, and responsible. Her company has been recognized for its efforts with the ACG Award for Social Responsibility, PC Magazine’s Seal of Consumer Approval in Tech, and the Pioneer in Sustainability Award by the Sustainable Business Council of Los Angeles.
Fortune magazine named her one of the “10 Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs.”
Albright is an American politician, diplomat, and bestselling author. In 1993, she served as the American ambassador to the United Nations and was appointed as the first ever women Secretary of State during the Clinton administration. As Secretary of State, Albright advocated for increased human rights and democracy throughout the world and fought to halt the spread of nuclear weapons from former Soviet countries and rogue nations such as North Korea. Her books Madam Secretary: A Memoir (2003), The Mighty and the Almighty (2006) were both bestsellers.
Yousafzai is an education activist, Nobel Prize laureate, and bestselling author. She is best known for her human rights advocacy, especially in the area of women’s education in her home country Pakistan, where the Taliban had banned girls from attending school. From 2013-2015 Time magazine featured her as one of the most influential people globally and in 2014, at the age of 17, she became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Her book, I am Malala, was an international bestseller.
Stewart is a lifestyle expert, Emmy Award-winning television show host, entrepreneur, and bestselling author. Starting with her own catering business in 1972, Stewart developed a penchant for elegant recipes and a unique visual presentation style that served as a basis for the book Entertaining, published in 1982. Entertaining was the first of 78 books by Stewart, including bestsellers such as Martha Stewart’s Homekeeping Handbook. Today her company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, reaches approximately 66 million consumers across all media platforms each month, sharing her lifestyle expertise.
Warrior is a CTO and entrepreneur recognized for her creative, visionary technology leadership in companies such as Cisco and Motorola. At Cisco, she oversees the technology strategy, including cloud computing and data center/virtualization, security, and architectures for business transformation. While serving as CTO of Motorola, the company was awarded the 2004 National Medal of Technology. She has won many accolades, including being named as one of the “25 Most Influential Women in Wireless,” by Business Insider and one of “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” by Forbes.
Krawcheck is a leadership expert, past president of Global Wealth & Investment Management for Bank of America, and the current Chair of Ellevate, the global professional women’s network. As Chair of Ellevate, she helped created the Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund, the first and only mutual fund of its kind, investing in the 400 top-rated companies in the world for advancing women.