We learn from what we see and get inspired by those who remind us of ourselves. With a hundred movies, books and tv shows with male business leaders it’s hard to find yourself as a woman who wants to get ahead in business. Especially if you aren’t white. Here are 12 amazing female leads who will inspire you to become an entrepreneur.
- Jules Ostin, ‘The Intern’ (2015)
The story of a fashion startup that goes from a kitchen-based affair to a full-fledged company with 200 employees over 18 months, ‘The Intern’ has a strong female lead in Jules Ostin. The fact she has a senior intern, played by Robert DeNiro, and her husband is the one who stays home to care for their daughter. Lifestyle writer Justina Richert, Research papers UK and Writinity, says “It flips gender roles and shows the grit women need to create a business.”
- Vianne Rocher, ‘Chocolat’ (2000)
Come for a younger Johnny Depp and stay for the amazing Ms Rocher. Choclat tells the story of a single mother who opens a chocolate shop in a small orthodox French town and the challenges she faces. From changing minds to empowering individual women, Vianne is an inspiration to us all.
- Kathleen Kelly, ‘You’ve Got Mail’ (1998)
I feel like I can hear everyone yelling this one, Kathleen Kelly played by the fabulous Meg Ryan is an independent bookshop owner. The story tells of her struggles to keep her family business running when threatened by a mega chain company. This is something that even to this day is a concern of the small business owner and her determination and grit are massively inspiring.
- C. J. Walker, ‘Self Made’ (2020)
This is a bit of a cheat as it’s actually a mini-series but one I feel should be given a shout out. Based on the true story of America’s first female millionaire, ‘Self Made’ tells the story C. J. Walker and her hair care business that propelled her into infamy. Octavia Spencer is captivating as always and while the movie does have historical inaccuracies, you’ll find yourself inspired by Madam Walker’s strength and determination.
- Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Dorothy Vaughan, ‘Hidden Figures’ (2016)
Ok we are taking 3 in one go, but if you have seen ‘Hidden Figures’ you will understand why. While the focus is on the deplorable real-life treatment of black women who were the vital mathematicians to make it possible for NASA’s launch of John Glenn into orbit and the fact that they never received the credit they deserved. With an infamous scene of Katherine Johnson explaining that NASA had no bathrooms for her so she had to go across the street to the west campus in order to use the restroom. It is definitely something you should watch to inspire you and to remind you of the struggles of those who have come before.
- Florence Green, ‘The Bookshop’ (2017)
Florence Green is a young widow who wants to open a bookshop in a small town in 1959 as a way to deal with her grief while battling the locals who have already ear-marked the property for a local arts centre they aren’t willing to give up on even though the building is no longer empty. The story isn’t so much about this business itself, but those she inspires along the way including a young girl named Christine.
- Violet Newstead, ‘9 to 5’ (1980)
Violet’s strength and power in this film about women taking back the office shines through this film with a massive force and while not the best representation, maybe don’t poison or kidnap your boss to gain power, the fact the office shines under her leadership is something that can inspire you.
- Coco Chanel, ‘Coco Chanel’ (2008)
“To be irreplaceable, one must be different”. Coco Chanel is a figure that even if you don’t know much about her you still know who she was in some way. In the 2008 biopic we see her growing her business little by little in order to become a success despite having lost her mother and being abandoned by her father. “If you’ve ever felt alone and adrift in the world, Coco Chanel makes you feel like you can still make it” says business blogger James Mullins, Draft Beyond.
- Truvy Jones, ‘Steel Magnolias’ (1989)
Truvy is the owner of the hair salon that becomes the central meeting place of this incredibly famous film who shows that even if you are a boss and leader, you can still be a sympathetic shoulder. She also reminds us that we all need someone to lean on at least one point in our life.
- Rose, ‘Sunshine Cleaning’ (2008)
Crime scene clean-up is a career that people think is not for women given its gruesome nature. In ‘Sunshine Cleaning’, Rose is a single mother who takes on this job in order to save money to pay for her son’s tuition in college. It may not have been her ideal job but this film shows us if we put our minds to something we can succeed.
Overall, there are hundreds of stories out there now with various inspiring female leads and it is definitely worth watching some of these amazing films.
Writer Eula Skiles, Term paper writing service and Lucky Assignments Oxford, is passionate about helping people and sharing her expertise on digital marketing strategies and entrepreneurship. In her spare time, she also writes for the blog at Gum Essays.