TED Talks by Women which you should follow

4 minute

TED Talks are a popular platform for disbursing ideas, sharing thoughts, and striking up a discourse worth getting discussed worldwide. A platform that has been predominantly led by men has seen a revolution by women leaders recently, and just like any other field, women leaders have come forward to deliver some influential, impressive, and inspiring talks. Let’s take a look at some of them that you must follow.

1. Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl talks about why there are lesser women in top jobs, fewer women leaders in this world, and her reasons are simple yet very valid. Women tend to give up early in their careers to make room for their families, their children. They don’t attribute their success to their intellect. They underestimate themselves, and they succumb to the social perspective people have of women.
But Sheryl points it out so elegantly and humorously that women need to stop planning their future way of actually starting a family. They need to begin attributing their success to themselves. They need to take the opportunity instead of waiting for it to arrive. And then, perhaps, one day, the world would have more women leaders than the measly numbers we see today.



2. Sakena Yacoobi

An Afghan by birth and having received medical education in the USA, transformed education and healthcare training for women in Afghanistan despite the Taliban proving to be an issue. Though this talk was given sometime back when the Taliban was not as powerful as it is today, the way she worked relentlessly, almost getting confronted and killed by rifle-wielding men when trying to go to the remote locations and help women get jobs, is indeed inspirational and motivational.

Eventually, she succeeded in transforming the mentality of those rifle-wielding men, too, provided them with education, and sought their assistance and security in bringing about a revolution in the mountainous and sequestered locations of the country.


3. Anne-Marie Slaughter

Anne talks about the importance of work-life balance for women as well as men in the workforce. Having worked in the U.S. government for a long time, she realized that caregiving and working are equally imperative, and the lack of a balance between the two has been forcing scores of women to give up their jobs so that they can take care of their families.

If feminism truly needs to be achieved as soon as possible, we need real equality everywhere, and that includes dedicating equal time to our work and family as well as expecting our opposite gender to do the same. The change has arrived, and a few countries of Europe have been striving to achieve real equality. Now, it’s time we make it a priority, for family can’t be ignored, and neither can work be.


4. Meera Vijayann

A journalist by profession, Meera talks about the kind of sexual violence Indian women have to face daily in our streets, our schools, our workplaces, our colleges, and even in our homes. Whenever an outrageous case of violence comes to light, there is a lot of outburst from the media as well as the public, but no one knows what the solution to this is. 

She points it out ever so elegantly that the only way out of this is to speak up. Women need to come forward, use the power of social media and technology to share their experiences. Shun the shame, forget what the society would say, and come forward to speak up.


5. Chimamanda Adichie 

Novelist Chimamanda shares how the sole opinion of a place or people—the single story as she calls it—can often be misleading. Coming from the African country of Nigeria, she saw pity in the eyes of her roommate when she moved to the USA. Pity because her roommate had made an assumption about Nigeria and Nigerians in general, believing that everyone is poor there, lead a horrible life without a proper house to live in or without proper education. However, as she points out, there is a lot more to African countries than just poverty or failing healthcare. 

And that’s the case for everyone. We form an opinion about someone or something, and often that leads us to form prejudiced thoughts and baseless ideas, which we should not. There are always two sides to a coin, and exploring both is imperative to understand one’s culture, lest we come across as ignorant and overly biased.


6. Shonda Rhimes

Shonda is a successful writer whose career spans writing for television shows as popular as Grey’s Anatomy. She talks about a year in her life when she agreed to say ‘yes to everything. Be it public speaking or taking out time to play with her children, she made it a point not to decline anything that scared her. And as she did so, her fears went away.

So, when she was getting bored of the same routine, the same career, this one ‘yes’ somehow changed her life and boosted her career at the same time. The bottom line is that a woman need not hold back on anything. Say yes, take charge, move ahead, be a leader, and find the beautiful opportunities life has to offer.

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