International Women's Day.

Published: 07th March 2018

As women around the world celebrate International Women's Day, an Australian survey has revealed it's the opinionated women who are held in the highest regard. This is great news for mums of girls who are looking for great role models, held as examples of women who are not only high achievers but who are held high in terms of national respect.

According to a study by global media and technology company Pureprofile, Australia's foreign affairs minister Julie Bishop ranks number one when it comes to local popularity. Michelle Obama, Julia Gillard, Hillary Clinton, Margaret Thatcher - and even Pauline Hanson — all made the Top 20.

PureProfile surveyed 1,000 people who were each asked to name who in the public eye was their biggest female inspiration.

Interestingly, there are no Kardashians, Jenners or Hadids to be seen as the list was dominated by women seen as strong and vocal - with Oprah Winfrey coming out top overall.

Julie Bishop sits fourth position overall; behind Oprah Winfrey in first place and Michelle Obama in second, and Queen Elizabeth II in third position.

It's clear that women working in, or linked to politics are making a huge impact on the public's perception of what constitutes an inspirational woman. Julia Gillard, Hillary Clinton, Pauline Hanson and the late Margaret Thatcher also received some of the most frequent nominations.

Women working in the media as presenters, talk show hosts and journalists also made up the bulk of the top nominations, with Ellen DeGeneres, Carrie Bickmore and Ita Buttrose joining Oprah Winfrey within the top 20 most voted for names.

Within the performer sector, the top names the public offered as their most inspirational women were actresses Emma Watson, Nicole Kidman and Angelina Jolie, and singers Pink and Beyoncé. Those best known for humanitarian roles – Saint Mother Theresa and Turia Pitt – also featured within the top 20 list.

Mother of four girls, Emily Bender said it's great to see such amazing role models girls of all ages can look up to.

“When I was young, our role models were mostly movie stars and singers so it's fantastic to see that, these days, we have even more amazing talented and outspoken women to look up to,” Emily said.

“It would have been pretty disappointing if people had listed all the Kardashian sisters or top models because, let's face it, we all know women are capable of achieving much more than our looks.”

“I think mothers all around the world should be encouraging their girls to read about the achievements of some of the women on this list because there's no reason the girls can't strive to achieve similar great things too!”

Despite accusations of tall poppy syndrome, it's clear Australians are being inspired by Australians, with more local names present in the list than any other nationality.

Most inspiring Australian Women:

  1. Julie Bishop
  2. Julia Gillard
  3. Nicole Kidman
  4. Carrie Bickmore
  5. Ita Buttrose
  6. Pauline Hanson
  7. Turia Pitt
  8. Cathy Freeman
  9. Olivia Newton-John
  10. Rosie Batty

Most inspiring women overall:

  1. Oprah Winfrey
  2. Michelle Obama
  3. Queen Elizabeth II
  4. Julie Bishop
  5. Emma Watson
  6. Julia Gillard
  7. Saint Mother Theresa
  8. Pink
  9. Margaret Thatcher
  10. Ellen DeGeneres

Who is your biggest female inspiration? 

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