5 TED Talks to inspire working women

We all need a little inspiration from time to time.  From leadership to time management and work-life balance (or are we calling it work-life mix these days?), here are 5 of my favourite TED Talks to motivate and inspire working women.

1.Why we have too few women leaders | Sheryl Sandberg

I’m sure there are no surprises that this one made my list! The talk that inspired Sandberg’s book (that inspired the name for this site). Sandberg shares three ideas that she believes will help women to stay in the workforce and result in more women leaders: sit at the table, make your partner a real partner and don’t leave before you leave.

2. My Year of Saying Yes to Everything | Shonda Ryhmes

Shonda Rhimes’ talk about ‘the hum’ is captivating.  The ‘hum’ is the feeling that keeps her striving for greatness.  Rhimes talks about her personal journey losing ‘the hum’ and how saying yes to playing with her children helped not only get her ‘hum’ back, but really understand what the ‘hum’ should be.  This is a must-watch and one of my all-time favourite talks.

3. We Should All Be Feminists | Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Unlike many feminist manifestos, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s talk is an unconfrontational look at gender equality. Adichie shares stories of her upbringing in Nigeria to demonstrate the stark gender inequality that still exists today. She then proposes that we plan for a happier, fairer world and argues that we can achieve this by starting with changing the way we raise our children. Adichie’s talk was made all the more famous when she was sampled in Beyoncé’s song Flawless.

4. How to gain control of your free time | Laura Vanderkam

Laura Vanderkam says that time management is not about saving bits of time here and there, but about finding more time for what matters to us in the time we have.  There are 168 hours in a week. That’s plenty of time do do the things we love. ‘We don’t build the lives we want by saving time. We build the lives we want and then time saves itself.’

If you love this talk, you might also like to check out my post on Vanderkam’s book I Know How She Does It.

5. Can we all “have it all”? | Anne-Marie Slaughter

Anne-Marie Slaughter talks about how her decision not to take a high-powered job made her reassess her feminist narrative. She argues that having an equal number of women to men in positions of power is only half the answer to male/female equality. In addition to this, society needs to value family life and caregiving and see these things as of equal importance to work and breadwinning.  In order to do this we need to re-socialise men to see that caregiving is ‘cool’ for men.

TED Talks are some of my favourite talks to listen to and this list is by no means complete (in fact, I’ve already got 3 of my next 5 ready to share with you!). Share your favourite TED Talks with me in the comments below.


  1. Nicole | The Professional Mom Project | 10th Feb 17

    These look awesome and I love TED talks they’re always so inspiring. Can’t wait to listen to these 5. Thanks for the suggestions.

  2. Laura - Threesypeasy | 14th Feb 17

    These are fab. I’ve recently been introduced to TED TV and this list is a fab place to start……especially Shonda Rhymes – love her programmes! #globalblogging

  3. Gloryanna | 14th Feb 17

    We should all be feminists is one I have listened to and I LOVED IT! This is a great list! Pinning for later!

    • Lucy | Leaning In | 15th Feb 17

      I’ve listened several times. I love it too. ???? Thanks Gloryanna.

  4. Ayanna | 14th Feb 17

    These are awesome! I will definitely be spacing out listening to these, so I can really take them in. Thanks for this!

  5. Channing Callahan | 15th Feb 17

    I love Shonda Rhimes but I haven’t watched her ted talk all the way through yet. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the lizzie valaquez ted talk, but it was AMAZING……I mean she had me in tears!

    • Lucy | Leaning In | 16th Feb 17

      I don’t think I have, but looks like I’ll be watching tonight. Thank you for the suggestion 🙂

  6. Emmi | 15th Feb 17

    Thank you for the suggestions! I’m looking forward hearing all of them later!
    Thank you for sharing! #globalblogging

  7. Alana - Burnished Chaos | 15th Feb 17

    I love TED talks, they’re always so inspiring x

  8. Helen @Talking_Mums | 16th Feb 17

    I do love TED talks, I should listen to them more often. Lots of inspiring people out there. Particularly like the one by Anne Marie Slaughter.

  9. One Messy Mama | 16th Feb 17

    I’ve never heard of TED talks. Looking forward to watching them! #globalblogging

  10. Hayley@ Mission: Mindfulness | 16th Feb 17

    I really want to watch 3 and 4. I am a sucker for Amy Cuddy’s Ted Talk too. #globalblogging xx

    • Lucy | Leaning In | 19th Feb 17

      The body language one? She has a couple I think. I keep listening to the body language one but for one reason or another I never make it all the way through. I’ll listen, just for you! 🙂

  11. Bridie By The Sea | 20th Feb 17

    I’ve never heard of TED talks but these are really inspiring. Thanks for sharing with #dreamteam x


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *