The Best TED Talks for Working Women

best-ted-talks-for-working-womenLadies, what are some of your favorite TED talks for working women? Which ones do you think about the most; which have you heard a ton about but haven’t yet watched? Some of the ones that I think about the most are:


1. Sheryl Sandberg, “Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders

This is the talk that came out before Lean In, and I’ve thought about the talk as well as the book a lot over the years.  Description from the page: “Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg looks at why a smaller percentage of women than men reach the top of their professions — and offers 3 powerful pieces of advice to women aiming for the C-suite.” (Here’s our original discussion on the talk, as well as our Lean In discussion.)


2. Amy Cuddy, “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are

I do the power pose sometimes before phone interviews!  Description from the page: “Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success.”


3. Brené Brown, “The Power of Vulnerability

I actually haven’t watched this one, but I keep hearing amazing things about Brown and her books — this TED talk is a great place to start because it’s only 20 minutes long.  Description from the page: “Brené Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. A talk to share.”


4. Anne-Marie Slaughter, “Can We Have It All?

I’ve thought often about the career choices she made — and while I tend to think that I’m in the weeds now with two young kids, I often think about how she was turning down amazing career opportunities because her teenagers needed her more.  Description from the page: “Public policy expert Anne-Marie Slaughter made waves with her 2012 article, “Why women still can’t have it all.” But really, is this only a question for women? Here Slaughter expands her ideas and explains why shifts in work culture, public policy and social mores can lead to more equality — for men, women, all of us.”


5. Hanna Rosin, “New Data on the Rise of Women

I love everything from Hanna Rosin — her writing is always interesting, on point, and thought provoking. Description from the page: “Hanna Rosin reviews startling new data that shows women actually surpassing men in several important measures, such as college graduation rates. Do these trends, both US-centric and global, signal the “end of men”? Probably not — but they point toward an important societal shift worth deep discussion.”

A few other favorites:

Ladies, what are your favorite TED talks, for working women or overachieving chicks?


best TED talks for working women -- the ones every professional needs to hear!



  1. TO Lawyer :

    I watched the Sheryl Sandberg talk when I was still in law school and it is the one thing that has stuck with me over the last few years… especially the “don’t leave before you leave” advice, which I still have to remind myself (and sometimes friends) from time to time.

  2. Sydney Bristow :

    I’ve read recently that the Amy Cuddy’s co-researcher on the power poses research doesn’t think they work. I can’t remember where I read that though.

  3. Not super pleased to see only white women Ted Talks featured.

    • housecounsel :

      Roxane Gay’s Confessions of a Bad Feminist talk was incredibly inspiring to me.

    • I think that Michele O’Bama would be a great TED-talker, dad say’s. She has been an inspiration to so many of us in the HIVE, and she was a lawyer who wound up marrying the PRESIDENT! YAY!!!!

    • Good videos are good videos, regardless of sex and color. If ted is biased, good message will still reach its audience. It’s teds loss.

    • 2 of her “Other favorites” are people of color FYI.

  4. housecounsel :

  5. This is more about parenting than working, but Julie Lythcott-Haines on the dangers of over parenting is really good. She wrote How to Raise an Adult.

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