Get Inspired by the Most Influential Women of 2018 for your Best Year Yet

In the spirit of the New Year, Formé looked back at what women have had the largest impact on our 2018. Scroll through our slideshow to see for yourself the empowering works of these superwomen who make it their job to shake things up and push the boundaries of possibility every day. Read their stories and get inspired to take on 2019.

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Meghan Markle
Duchess of Sussex

“It is said that girls with dreams become women with vision. May we empower each other to carry out such vision- because it isn’t enough to simply talk of equality. One must believe it. And it isn’t enough to simply believe in it. One must work at it. Let us work at it. Together. Starting now.”

Meghan Markle joined the Royal family in her May 2018 marriage to Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex. A fashion icon and talented actress as well, Markle uses her global platform to advocate for gender equality and the empowerment of women.

 

Tarana Burke
Founder of the #MeToo Movement

"On one side, [#MeToo is] a bold declarative statement that 'I'm not ashamed' and 'I'm not alone.' On the other side, it's a statement from survivor to survivor that says 'I see you, I hear you, I understand you, and I'm here for you or I get it."

Burke started the #MeToo movement to encourage women to show solidarity with one another in 2006, but it went viral at the end of 2017 after a tweet. By January 1, 2018 more than 300 women of Hollywood joined the anti-harrassment coalition and the cause became the champion of the Women’s March rally in January 20, 2018. It has since created a national conversation about sexual violence and gender equality.

 

Michelle Obama
Former First Lady

"You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.”

Michelle spent eight years as first lady and established herself as a global role model, playing a key role in advocating for poverty awareness, education, health, and women empowerment. She released her self-written memoir "Becoming" in November, where she inspires young women to face adversity head on and shoot beyond set dreams. It sold more than 1.4 copies in its first week.

 

Chloe Kim
USA Snowboarder

"The one thing I learned is to just give everything a shot. You don't want to live in regret."

Kim won the women's halfpipe gold medal at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Games, in front of family that still live in her parents' native country of South Korea. The 17-year old is the youngest woman in history to win an Olympics snowboarding medal.

 

Peggy Whitson
Astronaut, Chief of NASA

"I would certainly encourage young people to pursue their dreams. It isn’t always an easy path, but it’s worth going after. And I figure if a farmer’s daughter from Iowa can become an astronaut, you can be just about anything you want to be.”

The record breaking astronaut retired in June 2018. Whitson was the first female commander of the International Space Station and the first female chief of the NASA astronaut office. She is now the most successful astronaut in the history of the United States, having spent a record-breaking 665 cumulative days in space and contributing to hundreds of scientific experiments while she was there.

 

 

Oprah Winfrey
Entrepreneur

“For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dared to speak their truth to the power of those men. But their time is up.”

Oprah Winfrey became the first black woman to accept the Cecil B. DeMille award – the Golden Globes' highest honor - in January 2018. She championed the #MeToo movement in her powerful, show-stopping acceptance speech that touched on sexual abuse, racial injustice, and women empowerment.

 

 

 Taylor Swift
Singer/Songwriter

In Swift's AMAs acceptance speech: "I just want to make a mention of the fact that this award and every single award given out tonight were voted on by the people and you know what else is voted on by the people? Is the midterm on November 6. Get out and vote, and I love you guys."

Swift used her social media platforms to encourage people to vote in November's Midterm elections - the first time she has ever made a politically charged post. In what has been dubbed the "Taylor Swift Effect," more than 166,000 people across the United States submitted new registrations with about 42 percent of the registrants falling between the ages of 18 to 24 in the days following Swift's post. Youth turnout in this election was the highest it's been since the voting age was dropped to 18 in 1971.

Nice Nailantei Leng’ete
CEO and founder of Safe Hands for Girls in Kenya

"My hope is that every young girl can become the woman of her dreams. If she really wanted to be a doctor or a teacher, I want to make sure that we are giving them that platform. We are protecting them from all these harmful practices, and they are able to become anything they want to become in life."

Nice has saved an estimated 15,000 girls around Kenya from the cut as a project officer with Amref Health Africa. She is the first woman in history to be allowed to address Maasai village elders, convincing them that alternative coming-of-age ceremonies will be healthier for girls and better for communities. Her goal is to bring female genital mutilation to an end by 2030.

 

Millie Bobby Brown
Actress

“I will shine a light on the issues that vulnerable children and young people have suffered around the world including representing them at places where they haven’t yet had a seat at the table and most of all, I will make sure children and young people know their rights.”

Millie, only 14, is the tween supernatural star of the Netflix hit "Stranger Things." She is the youngest person ever to make the Times 100 list, the youngest ever UNICEF Goodwill ambassador, and the most followed person on Instagram in her age group with 18.2 followers.