Women are underestimated. This is known. We are. There are so many strong, intelligent and brave women yet, we are seen for our aesthetic and how well we can fit in the box that generations past have created for our ‘comfort’.  I say no to this, and so do these women. Here are five of the women who inspire me to reject stereotypes and pursue whichever career I want, every single day. Let yourself be inspired, female or male; these are individuals that deserve the respect they have earnt.

Sheryl Sandberg

The Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Facebook; graduating with a BA in Economics from Harvard in 1991, and achieving her M.B.A from Harvard Business School in 1993, this lady is not known for anything other that her incredible business mind that has helped Facebook to grow into the phenomenon that it is now. Many people don’t realise that she is as influential as Mark Zuckerberg, but she was scouted by him in 2007, and from then on, she has been the battery that keeps the company ticking over like clockwork.

Gwynne Shotwell

The current president and COO at SpaceX, Elon Musk’s aerospace manufacturer, she was one of their first employees and has been with the company through its growth. With a BA/BSc from Northwestern University and a Master of Science degree from the same institution, this lady has earned her place in this list. She is included in Forbes 100 Power Women 2018, at number 59, and with these achievements, it is no wonder that this woman is such a power force in the world of aerospace.

Feng Ying Wang

As the CEO of the Great Wall Motor Company Limited, this formidable woman has recently formed a deal with the world-renowned BMW. Since the founding of the company in 1984, this company has become the largest manufacturer of SUV and pick-up trucks in China. But this is not enough for this lady, as she seeks to break into the market in India by 2020/2021. Despite the 25% tax that Donald Trump’s government placed on car exports from China, Wang has continued to plough through the obstacles and remain in the Forbes 100 Power Women 2018 at number 56.

Ananya Asthana

This 15-year-old Sophomore is the founder of Women in STEM, Illinois, after being inspired by the global campaign: WiSTEM (Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). One of her main aims is to bridge the gap that has been getting wider, between “social justice channels and academic fields”; her goals are not centred on successful women, which in fact makes her even more of an inspirational figure for women in these fields, to seek opportunities for everyone from all backgrounds.

Sheila O’Donnell

An incredible architect and most recently named Women in Architecture’s:  Architect of the Year 2019, Sheila makes up one half of the O’Donnell & Tuomey architectural team, founded in 1988, in Dublin, that received the RIBA Royal Gold Medal 2015, along with many other prestigious titles. Being in a partnership with John Tuomey, O’Donnell can sometimes work in the shadow of the architectural pioneer that was Zaha Hadid, but she is now at the height of her career and proving that women in architecture can be the curators of magical experiences.

Whether you are an engineer, chemist, aspiring astronaut or dreaming of following in the footsteps of one of these women, they have proved that you should not allow anything to hold you back. Women in science, in technology, those in engineering, or mathematics, all have inarguably some of the best minds in the world. And because they can rock a kitten heel just as well as a lab coat, just shows we have far more potential and capability than the eye sees.