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Resilient Women Who Beat the Odds

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Resilient Women Who Beat the Odds

"Choose to be optimistic, it feels better." - Dalai Lama

Covid-19 brought with it more than just a deadly virus. It shone a light on stuff we never would have otherwise seen. 

For example, it gives us time to spend with our beloved family members. The lockdown was the chance to bond, strengthen relationships and create memories that we will all remember for a lifetime. 

As recovery picks up pace, the pandemic has changed the world dramatically. Countries are not only facing an unprecedented health crisis, but a financial slowdown is upon us too. 

Although people are ordered to stay and work from home, remote work is not an option for service crews in fields like retail, dining, and other industries. 

Overnight layoffs, paychecks cuts, and rapid unemployment...everyone are working their ends off to keep the ship from sinking.

Employers and business owners are sadly affected too. With the Circuit Breaker, most sectors have been disrupted, with smaller businesses struggling, many forced to shut down. 

This makes 2020 the worst recession since the Great Depression. 

Hope, motivation, and encouragement are much needed right now. So, let’s take a look at some of the most remarkable success stories from four inspiring women with the resilience of steel

Be not afraid of greatness; some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.” - William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night.

Katharine Graham, Former CEO of Washing Post

Katharine Graham of Washington Post Black & White Photo / Wikimedia Commons
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Graham went from housewife to CEO almost overnight. The reigns at a reputable publishing company were shuffled into her hands after an unfortunate incident. 

Washington Post was already doing pretty well as a publication at the time. It was a family business. At the time, her husband helmed it and she was a housewife and a mother of four children. 

Her husband's affair with a young reporter, his manic depression and alcoholism led to his suicide in 1963. Even though Graham was not taken seriously by many of her male colleagues and employees, she took over and became the first female CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

“I had very little idea of what I was supposed to be doing, so I set out to learn. What I essentially did was to put one foot in front of the other, shut my eyes, and step off the edge.” - Katharine Graham, Personal History.

Finely crafted shhopping bag from Just Divine

Oprah Winfrey, Chairman of Harpo, Inc.

Oprah Winfrey clapping during a show / Wikimedia Commons
Source: Wikimedia Commons

As the first African-American woman to become a billionaire, Oprah Winfrey has come a long way. 

Born and raised in poverty, Winfrey faced molestation as a child, became pregnant at 14, and even lost her premature, infant son.

Even with a traumatic childhood, she was staid in her pursuits, received scholarships, followed her passions, and it led her to be where she is today. 

In 1988, Winfrey founded her own production facility Harpo Studios (which is “Oprah” spelt backwards), a diametric launching pad for her award-winning talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show.  

A co-author of 5 books and the publisher of her own magazine, The Oprah Magazine, she made positive impacts on the lives of others, advocating for education and empowerment of women, children, and families in the United States and around the world.

Victoria Beckham, Founder of Victoria Beckham Ltd.

Victorial Beckham, picture from Wikimedia Commons
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Most of us know Victoria Beckham as THE Posh Spice who has it all - beauty, talent, and brains. 

She’s known as the successful wife of David Beckham who owns and runs her own fashion and beauty line. However, according to BBC News, Victoria Beckham Limited, has not made a profit since it launched in 2008 and reported a loss of £12.3m in 2018.

With over 400 stores worldwide, Beckham claims that this isn’t a vanity project; for her brand to grow and have long-term success, she is willing to work hard, invest, and persist.

Getting success is one thing, maintaining it is a whole other thing. If I want this brand to still be here in 10, 20, 30, 40 years’ time, I need to break even, and then I need to be profitable. We’re on the right track to do that, but it’s not going to happen tomorrow.” said Victoria Beckham in an interview with Financial Times.

Gloxinia Blouse from MICHELLE SCHULZ

Melinda Gates, Founder of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Melinda Gates speaking at the opening of the London Summiton Family Planning
Melinda Gates speaking at the opening of the London Summiton Family Planning
Source: Flickr

Being the founder of one of the world’s largest private charitable organizations, Gates is not new to confronting serious and complex issues like public health care, gender equality, education, climate change, and economic development

Even though the founders admitted that they haven't seen the anticipated impact they have hoped for in the 2018 annual letter, Gates is committed to their education initiatives. 

Amid this current pandemic, she continues to be a megaphone with her thoughts regarding the Trump administration for handling the ongoing crisis through her actions and words

Contributing more than $300 million to the COVID-19 response and bringing up the US caregiving system, she is determined to help reopen and rebuild the economy.


Before you go...We hope you found a glimmer of hope and inspiration from the stories of these 4 wonderful women and use it as a loupe. 

So, if you’re feeling like you are in a funk, remember that you are not alone. Those of us who can work from home, let’s hustle through this

Hardships are bound to happen. But let the words of wisdom from Kelly Clarkson's song shine through when you think the incline is too steep. 

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”.

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