Boss Moves

7 Ted Talks Led by Women That Inspire Change

The TED (Technology Entertainment and Design) conference was created to discuss how these three topics play in society. Since its inception in 2006, TED Talks have included global speakers on a range of topics and in different languages. Ted Talks were designed to make people think about the world around them and the impact that just one person can have. In particular,  some women have presented extraordinary TED Talks on topics that show the intersectionality between women and race, healthcare and so much more.  The following presentations are enriching, not only because they are led by women, but because they seek a call to action to bring about change.

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The Danger of a Single Story – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Novelist, Chimamanda Adichie, describes the danger of subscribing to a single story. She discusses how having only one perspective on anything is detrimental to the learning from and acceptance of people. Adichie even explains how she herself has been guilty of looking at Mexicans and only seeing immigrants due to U.S. media coverage only portraying a single story of the Mexican people. Reading literature written by and about other African people caused her to realize that even books can represent a single story.  Except when someone is brave enough to challenge the ideas they represent. 

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The Most Powerful Woman You’ve Never Heard of – T. Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison

Co-Founders of GirlTrek, T. Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison, bring to light Septima Clark; a teacher of many well-known civil rights activists. GirlTrek is a movement encouraging women to change their lives and communities through walking.  As the largest nonprofit health organization for black women and girls, GirlTrek strives to educate black women with skills they can pass down in their communities. 

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His and hers… healthcare – Paula Johnson

Doctor Paula Johnson creates a dialogue around women’s health and what we as individuals should do to ensure that women are giving adequate care. Johnson explains how many women are misdiagnosed and even dismissed because they don’t always produce the same symptoms as men for the same disease.  She pushes for more research to be done to discover how diseases affect females and what specific treatments work well with the female body. 

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Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders – Sheryl Sandberg

Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg, discusses why there aren’t more women in higher positions. The ways women and men present themselves and their work shows a drastic difference in the perceived confidence and overall success of a woman versus a man. Women began to low ball their accomplishments, while men tend to overreach. She also challenges her audience to see how we praise men for success but scold women for theirs.

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Colorblind or Color Brave- Mellody Hobson

Finance Executive, Mellody Hobson, tackles the uncomfortable topic of race. She rejects the idea of being color blind because, in order to accept racial differences, we have to acknowledge them. With greater diversity in all areas, there’s no limit to the growth and potential the U.S. could have. 

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A Passionate, Personal Case for Education – Michelle Obama

Former First Lady, Michelle Obama, talks to school girls about the importance of education. Coming from a middle-class family, Obama was lucky enough to have had support from role models and people who encouraged her to reach higher. She believes that communities are only as strong as the health of their women and that strength comes from education. Having a strong education allows you to control your own destiny. 

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Me Too is a movement, not a moment- Tarana Burke

Tarana Burke explains the origin of the Me Too movement and how even though some things have changed, the core of the movement remains the same. Although she (and the movement itself) have been ruthlessly attacked online and in person, she continues to push forward. She advises survivors to remember that it’s okay to be protective of your story. 

Written by: Jordan Bennett


"You can’t make decisions based on fear and the possibility of what might happen." - Michelle Obama

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