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Women’s History Month: Celebrating trailblazing women around the world – part 1

Image featuring Greta Thunberg, Malala Yousafzai, Christiane Amanpour and Dr. Jane Goodall

Learn from 4 female communicators who inspire change through their strategic storytelling

Many of the world’s most influential change-makers are compelling communicators—people who use strategic storytelling to:

  • Raise awareness about important—and sometimes ignored—issues that deserve attention
  • Provide clarity and transparency 
  • Help others bring bold ideas to life 
  • Broaden our perspectives
  • Create trends 
  • Spark dinner and happy-hour conversations
  • Plant brands, jingles and narratives into our hearts and minds

In honor of Women’s History Month, here are a few international trailblazers whose transformational communication skills inspire us year-round.

Greta Thunberg: activist, speaker, author

  • She’s proving no one is too small to make a difference, which is also the title of her best-selling book, published in 2019.
  • As a 15-year-old, Thunberg skipped school to protest for moreand fasteraction against climate change.
  • Her perseverance and grit brought to light the urgency of climate action and inspired over 7.6 million people to join her global climate rally.
  • Thunberg has been named TIME Magazine’s youngest “Most Influential Person Of The Year.” (2019)
  • Also in 2019, she received the Right Livelihood Award for “inspiring and amplifying political demands for urgent climate action reflecting scientific facts.”
  • In 2020, Thungberg won the Gulbenkian Prize For Humanity for “mobilizing younger generations for the cause of climate change and her tenacious struggle to alter a status quo that persists.”
  • Her tenacity inspires us as change communicators because it takes perseverance to navigate and adopt change. 

Malala Yousafzai: activist, speaker, author 

  • At age 11, she gave her first speech: “How Dare the Taliban Take Away My Basic Right to Education?” and began blogging for the BBC, documenting the banning of education for girls and the Taliban burning 400+ schools. (2008) 
  • After surviving an assassination attempt at age 15, Malala became a symbol for the equal right to education for girls all over the world. 
  • Yousafzai has earned over 40 awards and she has been the youngest: 
    • Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, age 17 (2014)
    • United Nations Messenger of World Peace, age 20 (2017)
  • Today, Yousafzai heads her own film and TV production company to continue her own and others’ noteworthy communication campaigns.
  • Her courage to use her voice for change inspires us to be the change. 

Christiane Amanpour: journalist, speaker, author

  • She was the first female foreign correspondent and front-line war reporterand she had the first-ever all-female crew.
  • Despite strong criticism and efforts to silence her, Amanpour shared the atrocities of ethnic cleansing and genocide during the Bosnian War. 
  • Her courage and storytelling ability to share live reports of the horrors of war and the subsequent refugee camps inspired action across the globe, and continue to inspire us as storytellers. 
  • She is the preeminent international journalist and the chief international anchor at CNN and host of Amanpour & Company on PBS, and she continues to fight for equality for female journalists.
  • Her ability to communicate tough topics to the world have earned our admiration and many awards, including: 
    • Order of the British Empire for services to journalism (2007)
    • UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Freedom of Expression and Journalist Safety (2015)

Dr. Jane Goodall: scientist, speaker, author

  • Dr. Goodall created the scientific field-research methodology that set the global standard for behavioral studies.
  • By quietly listening and observing, she gained the trust of wild chimpanzees well enough to discover they make and use tools, just like humans. Her findings redefined what “human” means. 
    • She has changed many hearts and minds by using this same approachcarefully listening and observingwith people.
  • Dr. Goodall has received at least 45 prestigious awards and honors for her achievements, including:
    • United Nations Messenger of Peace (2002)
    • Dame Commander, the highest rank within the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (2003)
    • Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication (2022)

Nothing beats authenticity when you’re communicating about change

Regardless of where they live, the women above remain dedicated to their mission and have each found a way—their own way—to convey their message in a manner that encourages people to listen, engage and take action to bring change. They’re true communicators! 

With no shortage of trailblazers like them, we’ll feature some of our favorite U.S.-based change-makers in part 2 of this blog series.

Pivot Strategies is a certified woman-owned business committed to opening more doors to more women communicators. Click here to learn about our work and connect.

Read “Women’s History Month: Celebrating trailblazing women around the world – part 2.

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