By now you’ve most likely at least heard of TED talks. From business women, to authors, actresses and activists, the TED Talk stage has welcomed truly incredible women discussing topics ranging from sexism, abuse, gender equality, advancement in society, education and so much more. In honour of all women speaking out, we have complied a list of some of our favourite and most inspiring TED Talks by Women About Women.
Most Inspiring TED Talks by Women About Women
Why You Shouldn’t Be a ‘Good Girl’ by Camilla Lundin
In her inspiring TEDx Talk, Camille discusses the importance of the language we use when speaking to or about women. This is holds special truth when it comes to raising girls, showing that the way we praise them and the words we choose to use have very real consequence.
‘When a girl gets that grade she worked hard for in school, don’t call her a good girl. Call her persistent and tell her she can be anything she wants. And when a girl won that soccer game, don’t call her a good girl. Give her a compliment for the times she fell on the ground, and got up again. Call her strong. And when a girl gets that new job she applied for, don’t call her a good girl. Call her brave for taking a risk, getting out of her comfort zone to start a new chapter of her life’.Camille Lundin
ADHD in Girls and Women by Martha Barnard-Rae
Using her own experience with her ADHD diagnosis in her TEDx Talk, Martha talks us through how something which is often seen as a disadvantage, can in fact be turned into a real strength. She also goes into the difference of how ADHD presents itself in women vs men and how this difference means that women are often diagnosed later in life; often once they have children due to the demands that this puts on them as mothers.
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Chimamanda is the bestselling author of Americanah and Half of a Yellow Sun. But she is also the brilliant mind behind the personal and powerful essay ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ (click here to read our article on Best Feminist Books to Read in 2023). In her TEDx Talk, Chimamanda describes the difference between women and men from their biological differences all the way to gender disparity, privilege and education. No wonder it has made its way onto our list of Most Inspiring TED Talks by Women About Women.
“My own definition of a feminist is: a feminist is a man or a woman who says ‘yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today. And we must fix it. We must do better.'”Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
I’ve Lived as a Man & as a Woman – Here’s What I Learned by Paula Stone Williams
You know the age old saying ‘walk a mile in my shoes’. Having been assigned the male gender at birth, Paula is a woman who can say she has experienced life as both genders. In her TEDx Talk, she takes a hard look at how society’s treatment of her as a man and then a woman differs and the lessons we can all learn from her experience.
What Does The Quran Really Say About a Muslim Woman’s Hijab by Samina Ali
In this informative TED Talk, novelist Samina Ali takes us on a journey back to Prophet Muhammad’s time to reveal what the term “hijab” really means — and it’s not the Muslim woman’s veil! So what does “hijab” actually mean, if not the veil, and how have fundamentalists conflated the term to deny women their rights? This surprising and unprecedented idea will not only challenge your assumptions about hijab but will change the way you see Muslim women.
Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders by Sheryl Sandberg
Having served as Meta Platform’s COO up until August 2022, needless to say Sheryl knows a thing or two about navigating the business world as a woman. In her TED Talk, she sheds light on the reasons and inequalities that mean that women are still often missing from top roles and what we can do about it.
“If you ask men why they did a good job, they’ll say, ‘I’m awesome. Obviously. Why are you even asking?’ If you ask women why they did a good job, what they’ll say is someone helped them, they got lucky, they worked really hard,”Sheryl Sandberg
How Online Abuse of Women Has Spiraled Out of Control by Ashley Judd
Last but certainly not least on our list of Most Inspiring TED Talks by Women About Women. Less than a year before publicly speaking out against Harvey Weinstein, Ashley Judd uses her TED Talk to address the abuse of women online and the lack of action from Silicon Valley against cyber-bullying. As a famous actress, Ashley uses her own experience with online hate and bullying to help women defend themselves online.
“Girls’ and women’s voices and our allies’ voices are constrained in ways that are personally, economically, professionally and politically damaging. And when we curb abuse, we will expand freedom,”Ashley Judd