“Make it happen. Three little words can mean so much. These particular ones are this year’s mantra and theme for International Women’s Day on March 8. It brings into focus the incredible hurdles passed and the too-many-to-count achievements made by women who’ve gone before. It also reminds us of the work still ahead — the gap in equality that needs to be closed (it bears repeating that in the United States, a woman still earns just 77 cents to a man’s dollar).

“Here are just a few women on the international scene who are moving and shaking… and who motivate us just by continuing to make things happen. And while we’re on the topic of ladies who inspire us, I’d be remiss if I didn’t include my mother Reva — who was instrumental in my own journey to becoming a working mother, business owner and CEO.” — Tory

Angela Merkel, German Chancellor
Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese opposition leader, Nobel Prize laureate

Ava DuVernay, director

Cindy Sherman, artist
Dilma Rousseff, first female President of Brazil

Dina Powell, head of Goldman Sachs Foundation

Francoise Gilot, artist

Gloria Steinem, journalist and activist

Geun-Hye Park, first female President of South Korea

Hillary Clinton, former US Secretary of State

Jane Rosenthal, film producer

Joan Didion, author

Judith Regan, publisher

Malala Yousafzai, activist, Nobel Prize laureate

Marina Abramovic, artist

Melinda Gates, philanthropist
Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo
Miuccia Prada, designer and iconoclast
Oprah Winfrey, media mogul and philanthropist

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court
Toni Morrison, author

First column, left, from top: Angela Merkel, photographed by Oliver Weiken/EPA/Corbis, Dilma Rousseff by Mario Tama/Getty Images, Gloria Steinem by Ron Galella/WireImage, Joan Didion by Julian Wasser/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images, Marina Abramovic by Paul Zimmerman/WireImage, Oprah Winfrey by Splash News/Splash News/Corbis; second column: Aung San Suu Kyi by Vance Jacobs, Dina Powell by Noa Griffel, Hillary Clinton by Taylor Hill/Getty Images, Judith Regan by Baldomero Fernandez/Corbis, Melinda Gates by Paul Zimmerman/WireImage, Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Reuters/Corbis; third column: Ava DuVernay by Charley Gallay/Stringer, Françoise Gilot by Fred W. McDarrah/Getty Images, Indra Nooyi by Matthew Staver/Bloomberg via Getty Images, Kara Walker by Mike Coppola/Getty Images, Michelle Bachelet by Nancy Coste/Corbis, Toni Morrison by Ian Langsdon/EPA/Corbis; fourth column: Cindy Sherman by Mireya Acierto/Getty Images, Geun-Hye Park by Kim Kyung-HoonI/Reuters/Corbis, Jane Rosenthal by Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic, Malala Yousafzai by Mike Marsland/WireImage, Miuccia Prada by Stefania D’Alessandro/Getty Images for Prada, Michele Brachelet by By Taylor Hill/ Getty Images, Tory’s mother Reva

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