Every now and then, we all need a pep talk. Not from that friend who tells you everything will be ok, but from the friend who calls you out. The straight-shooter who tells you to get it together, fix up, and look sharp. For those moments when you need a mental pick-me-up or just want to be inspired to be a better version of you, here are a few of our favorite TED Talks by women we think you should add to your rotation.
Sheryl Sandberg: Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders
One of the most influential voices on the subject of women in the workplace, Sandberg sounds off on women underestimating their abilities, worrying about being likable, and making men do equal work at home. Her sense of humor grounds her remarks, which serve to put us on notice for recognizing how amazing all of us actually are and doing something about it.
Mellody Hobson: Color Blind or Color Brave?
Chicago native and Ariel Investments President Hobson gives an insightful speech on why recognizing racial and cultural differences makes for better business practices and an even better society. Her anecdote about once being mistaken for “the help” at a formal event at which she was a guest underscores the dangers of preconceived notions both in and out of the office.
Roselinde Torres: What it Takes to Be a Great Leader
Torres has spent more than two decades studying business leadership development programs. More specifically, she looks at why some succeed while others do not, even at a time when the amount of money being invested in these programs is on the rise. Here, Torres highlights the traits that make an effective leader in the 21st century.
Julie Burstein: 4 Lessons in Creativity
The writer and radio producer speaks about creating in the face of challenge, self-doubt, and loss, using the life experiences of artists as a backdrop. Burstein’s speech features insights from filmmaker Mira Nair, writer Richard Ford, and sculptor Richard Serra.
Dame Stephanie Shirley: Why Do Ambitious Women Have Flat Heads?
During the 1960’s when many women were dealing with the limitations of low glass ceilings, Shirley was busy founding an all-female software company that was eventually valued at $6 billion. Here, she gives a sassy and funny account of the condescending attitudes that driven, successful women like her faced not too long ago. We dare you not to be annoyed at her explanation for why ambitious women have flat heads.