Michelle Obama Has Topped a Poll of the 30 Most Inspirational Females of All Time

Researchers surveyed 2,000 parents of girls aged, between six and ten to discover the women from past and present, whose actions and achievements have been the most inspirational, with the former first lady topping the poll (with 34 percent of the vote.)

Actress and activist Emma Watson, (29 percent) and double Nobel prize winning scientist Marie Curie (29 percent) also featured in the list.

From the world of activism, the “First Lady of civil rights” Rosa Parks, Emmeline Pankhurst, Malala Yousafzai and Gloria Steinem all made the list.

And sports stars including Serena Williams (27 percent), England striker Beth Mead (10 percent) and fellow Lioness Lauren Hemp (5 per cent) also made the top thirty.

When it comes to what makes an inspirational woman, 54 percent of those surveyed cited resilience as a key quality, with determination, passion, and compassion also emerging as important traits.

As many as 63 percent of the parents surveyed, said they believed their daughter needed resilience to be successful in the modern world.

The research was commissioned by the LEGO Group, who are aiming to help young girls to achieve their full potential. The toy brand’s ‘Unstoppable FC’ programme offers a variety of opportunities for young girls up and down the country to build resilience and confidence skills, as well as meet inspirational female footballers like Beth Mead, Sam Kerr and Rachel Daly, who will be attending the workshops. https://www.lego.com/en-gb/play-unstoppable/unstoppable-fc

The findings revealed almost a quarter (23 percent) of parents worry their daughter is being held back from achieving her full potential by a fear of failure.

Yet despite this, 89 percent said their daughter is more ambitious than they were at the same age, while a resounding 96 percent feel their daughter has the potential to break down barriers that they were unable to overcome.

Overall, 73 percent of those polled said watching the Lionesses’ progress through the women’s World Cup had been a massive inspiration to their daughter.

Dr Josephine Perry, psychologist, says: “Educating girls to treat failure as a learning experience and bounce back from setbacks is crucial to helping them tackle life challenges.”

Isabel Graham, Head of Marketing at the LEGO Group, says: We’re excited to be offering a number of different workshops to help young girls build their resilience through our ‘Unstoppable FC’ programme. At the LEGO Group we’re committed to breaking down barriers to play, and our research shows learning to recover from setbacks is key to helping children achieve their potential.”


  1. Michelle Obama – 34 percent
  2. Emma Watson – 29 percent
  3. Marie Curie – 29 percent
  4. Serena Williams – 27 percent
  5. Florence Nightingale – 25 percent
  6. Taylor Swift – 24 percent
  7. Rosa Parks – 23 percent
  8. Beyonce – 21 percent
  9. Mother Theresa – 21 percent
  10. Dame Judi Dench – 20 percent
  11. Oprah Winfrey – 18 percent
  12. Jane Austin – 17 percent
  13. Emilia Earhart – 15 percent
  14. Paula Radcliffe – 15 percent
  15. Emmeline Pankhurst – 13 percent
  16. Coco Chanel – 13 percent
  17. Maya Angelou – 10 percent
  18. Jodie Comer – 10 percent
  19. Malala Yousafzai – 10 percent
  20. Linda McCartney – 10 percent
  21. Beth Mead – 10 percent
  22. Frida Kahlo – 9 percent
  23. Harriet Tubman – 7 percent
  24. Florence Pugh – 7 percent
  25. Boudicca – 6 percent
  26. Ruth Bader Ginsburg – 5 percent
  27. Lauren Hemp – 5 percent
  28. Anna Wintour – 4 percent
  29. Sylvia Plath – 4 percent
  30. Gloria Steinem – 3 percent
Dana Zillgitt

Having loved the written word as long as she can remember, Dana has written for I Am That Girl, Man of The Hour, and more. She’s far too comfortable on the open road and in airports. And she can be found on Instagram at honey.thyme or on Twitter at hazelnuthyme. She regularly uses one and tries to keep up with the other. If she’s not buried in a book, Dana can be found at the local coffeehouse, planning her next article or book chapter.