Posted by: hillarydiehl11 | January 30, 2014

20 Inspiring Women to Follow on Twitter

20 Inspiring Women to Follow on Twitter

I stumbled across this article on Twitter, and honestly, I don’t know how I feel about it. Regardless, I found it very relevant to this course because it could offer an interesting spin to our discussions on women and leadership.

According to this article, men have more prestige, power, and influence on Twitter than women do – regardless of the fact that there are more female “Tweeters”. I hate to say it, but women having less influence than men on Twitter is potentially a reflection of the lack of women in leadership roles in the real world. Twitter is deeply integrated into our current society, and nearly all successful businessmen/women have a Twitter or social media presence. Why? Because it’s a way for one’s voice to be heard in this fast-paced, technological period of time that is so difficult to thrive in.

So, what does it mean when we realize that people simply just aren’t paying as much attention to women on Twitter as they are to men? Does this in any way signify that people don’t listen to women as much as men in general? While part of me thinks that this connection that I’m making between women, leadership, and influence is silly, I’m still going to have to say that yes – I believe this is a reflection of how things are in the real world. Whether we want to admit it or not, Twitter has a huge influence over our society, and it speaks volumes when women are simply not being highlighted and heard in the digital world.

This being said, I also found this article to be very uplifting in many ways. This list gives the Twitter accounts of 20 well-educated, talented, and inspiring women that I had never even heard of before – which is exactly what we need to see more of. Browsing though their short backgrounds and their Twitter profiles, I found that this is a diverse list of women who all have different skills, yet are all strong leaders in their own ways. And these women have something to say. So why aren’t people listening to them like they’re listening to men?

Many of the things we’ve read and talked about in class suggest that people aren’t listening to women as leaders because they aren’t putting themselves out there enough. This list makes me think otherwise. Many of these women have very strong, educated opinions (especially political) that they are voicing publicly on social media for the world to read. For some reason, we just all have this mindset that men should be taken more seriously and have the most educated thoughts. Yet, these are women that want to be (and should be) heard, and want to rank at the same level with men.

As I said before, I don’t really know how I feel about this article or this argument that I am making. It’s something that I never really thought of or considered until I stumbled across this article and started thinking about how it could relate to leadership. If nothing else, this article showed me a list of a few bad-ass women who stand up for what they believe in and exert leadership in their daily lives. Yes, some of you may be thinking “it’s just social media”, but in today’s popular culture, Twitter can be a huge way to get your voice heard and impact people. These are women who I’d love to learn more about outside of social media.

I’d love to hear what my other classmates think about this argument. Agree? Too radical? I’m open to opinions.


  1. I think your argument makes a lot of sense, however I don’t really agree with it. I don’t want to brush twitter off by saying “it’s just social media,” because like you said social media is pretty huge in this generation. However, the reason everyone uses twitter is different. Some people use it to keep in touch with friends from far away, some people use it to keep up with current events, and some people just use it to creep on guys/girls. I originally joined twitter to keep up with all my sports teams, so I follow a lot of football players. For that reason I probably follow more males than females, but it’s not because I don’t care about women or women leaders, it’s because I mainly use twitter to talk about football.

    I think what you’re pointing out is interesting, though, and I think there is a lot of room for research on this topic. Is social media an accurate representation of the real world? I’m not so sure that it is.

    Another interesting fact: the most followed person on twitter is a woman (Katy Perry) and out of the top 10 most followed people on twitter 5 are women (Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Britney Spears, Rihanna; here’s the website where I found that

  2. I found this post very interesting and thought provoking. I agree with both Hillary and Martha. Social media is so important in todays society and should really be researched more with the power of influence between men and women. Thinking back on the Pantene ad we watched in class, the labels against women make for an argument to be used to support the relationship between Twitter and the lack of women’s leadership roles. One label that can be seen on social media especially is between the “persuasiveness” of a man and the “pushiness” of a woman. Some may think a females Tweet is pushy, while they see a males as persuasive. The leadership styles of men and women are seen differently, which can affect the power of influence in the world of social media.

    However, I do agree that everyone uses Twitter for different reasons. I follow mainly friends and use it as a way to keep in touch, which does not distinguish how I feel about male or female leaders. Everyone is different, so this will most likely apply to some people. I think this topic needs to be researched further, but I do see a connection.

    Great post! You really got me thinking!

  3. I don’t really use twitter other than to keep up with friends and my favorite football team, but I do see how there may be some possible correlation between real life and the social media with women being followed less than men with further research. Let’s exclude pop icons for the sake of argument because half the time they just use twitter to promote their shows, that’s not exactly leadership. Looking at political leaders in the United States it looks like there seems to be more people following men than women. Paul Ryan has 573,844 followers while the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, has 448,847. I would expect that the Speaker of the House would have more followers. Is it because she is a woman? We can’t say for sure but it would be an interesting thing to research. Honestly in real life I feel like Paul Ryan has more influence than Nancy Pelosi.
    This was a great post! I also looked at some of the women’s pages in the article and I think my favorite one was Lissa Rankin’s page. I love following female doctors on twitter because it gives me insight what to look forward to in my future, so thanks!

  4. Wow, I really got a lot from reading this article and reading my classmates’ thoughts on the topic. I never really thought about men possibly having more followers than women on Twitter before reading this post. I agree with what some of you have said about how although it is just social media, it is important because it is so frequently used worldwide by people. It is used by men and women of all ages in all countries across the globe, which (I think) makes it important to realize that because it is used by so many different types of people, that we must take into consideration that each person is using it for different purposes. I think a persons age, as well as career, may also have a big impact on who we tend to follow, as well.
    The reason why I say this is because my father is 50 years old and he is a paperhanger and painter, which is a physically exhausting career but he also spends most of the day on his own without communicating with others. So, at the end of the work day, he doesn’t want to read about politics, etc. on Twitter. He wants to use Twitter for his own personal entertainment and as a way to keep up favorite sports players which tend to be men, or keep in touch with family members, which most of my family with Twitter accounts are all females.
    My aunt, however, is in her early 40’s and is an assistant teacher at an elementary school. She is constantly keeping up with what’s going on in the news and discussing it with the other people that she works with. She is more educated on politics than my father and, therefore, is more opinionated on most issues, so she actually enjoys reading about others’ opinions on Twitter. So, she uses social media more for keeping up with the news, rather than keeping in touch with friends and family.
    Overall, I think that it there definitely is a trend in men being followed on Twitter more frequently than women, but I agree with what Jen said that there should certainly be more research on this subject because other factors may need to be considered as well!

  5. I agree with all of the previous ideas and love the direction that this topic forced me to think. I really believe that twitter, facebook and other social media should not be pushed aside in trying to understand leadership influence. In my computer ethics class, we learned that in some countires they use twitter to organize huge political events. In this generation, influence revolves around technology. With respect to this article specifically, there needs to be more research to understand the whole situation.Also, I know I am guilty of not following many women on my twitter with the exception of friends. Many people do not get on twitter to look for women with these radical ideas. I think they belong in a place where thier ideas can be more appropriately located. Maybe where the audience is more interested in supporting their views.

  6. I like this article for several reasons. First: it does not try to “box” women into one category. There are several women from different backgrounds and different interests. There are artists and financiers as well as women who volunteer and women who run their own businesses. This is my favorite part of the article because it shows diversity among the the female gender. Second: the article does not show how women should lead, but rather gives a variety of role models for women to look to. One or more my specifically speak to different women and inspire them to follow similar dreams. Overall I think the message is positive, that women CAN lead in different capacities and it “women in leadership” doesn’t have to look the same.

  7. I have a lot of mixed feelings on this post. First, I think it’s a great find. It definitely is making us think about something I would have never thought of before.
    However, I have two big issues with this. First (and this is personal) I can’t stand twitter. I have never had and will never (hopefully) have a twitter. I think social media and technology are taking over society and frankly, I don’t think it’s a great thing. Too often do I catch people walking around on their phones, not paying attention to the world due to technology, so that drives me crazy. But second, to add insult to injury, to find out men get more followers than women also drive me crazy. Why does this happen? Just because there is a greater number in higher leadership roles?
    However, I feel like I can be a hypocrite. Far too often when I’m watching vines or stand-up comedy, I would much prefer to watch men perform because women tend to annoy me. I hope people see the jump I made there. Why is it that following men on twitter or watching their comedy is more acceptable than watching women? It all doesn’t make much sense to me.
    On a more positive note, I think it is awesome that there are so many women out there, putting their educated opinions, or even their stand-up comedy, on social media. Our society is going through a change, and that’s encouraging to see.

  8. Wow, I had not considered the influence of women as opposed to men on social media. I think it’s worthwhile of consideration since social media has become such a large part of our lives nowadays. I do not necessarily think that having more people follow women on Twitter will change perceptions of women’s leadership capability greatly, but I do think that little changes together will help to improve perceptions overall.

    Personally, I like to follow companies and groups on Twitter that are meant to improve the perception of women, such as Levo League and Take the Lead Women. Seeing these short daily messages about how we can improve women’s status and improve our own leadership is motivating. I encourage people to follow some of the women listed in this article and to also look at groups, such as Levo League and the other similar Twitter accounts that are suggested.

  9. I think that there are plenty of successful women who use Twitter for business purposes, promotional purposes, and to get their personal views and opinions out there like the article mentions. However, I think that the concept of there being more men being followed than women somewhat has to do with the way the different sexes present themselves on social media. I know that this may be highlighting typical gender stereotypes, but since joining Twitter and using it frequently for my social media class as well, I have started to see a few differences in the ways males and females post things. Many times, it seems as if men are more nonchalant on their social media postings. Whereas women tend to post more things that have to do with politics, social issues, personal worldviews, etc., more men tend to post things that may seem more carefree or “fun.” I am not saying this is the case for everyone, but I think some women just may be a little bit more cautious when it comes to social media postings. In other words, I think the argument comes down to content. Perhaps it is the content of tweets that has to do with followership? We can’t pinpoint an exact answer for why men have more followers. But, it is interesting to think about how this could be a possibility. I agree with my other classmates that a lot of it also has to do with the reasons why people use Twitter. Some people use it strictly for fun to keep up with celebrities, and others like to use it to track news and businesses. It all just depends on what you’re looking for. I do really like how the article listed multiple women who use Twitter to make a difference though. With social media being such a constant presence in our lives, it is almost imperative that we make ourselves known online. I think that if more people knew about some of the amazing Twitter followings that women such as the ones in this article have, then there would be more powerful females being followed.

  10. I thought this was a really cool article. It had a lot of things I hadn’t really considered. Social media has the potential to have a great affect on all aspects of our life including gender equality. One thing that i though about while reading this article was the social media that specifically targets women. Pinterest for example is mainly targeted for women. It has a lot of potential to teach women about gender issues. Other social media also have the ability to teach women. I think seeing these women on twitter is important. It is imperative that women see other women in positions of power. It is hard for a little girl to imagine being President of the United States, when we have never had a female president. Seeing these women who serve as good examples for younger generations is a start.

    Something that does concern me is that a lot of these really powerful women had issues about gender that they were tweeting about. These issues are important and need to be looked at. But at a certain point you are calling attention to gender differences. At what point have we pointed out the problems enough? Eventually, the problems need to be taken for what they are, and the what should come from women leaders are the solutions to these problems. It is true that women on average earn less money than men. That is a pretty well known fact. I think it is important that we start sharing solutions for this problem.

  11. This is definitely a different perspective on the role of men and women in leadership. I found it interesting how men are more noticed on twitter verses women even though women have more representation than men. There could be many reasons for this. Sometimes, as women, we see each other as competition, not as a resource. Because our roles are so scarce, it not only creates competition between men but an even bigger pool against women. Another reason could be the kinds of people that use social media. For some, social media is not about following women of power, but men who are attractive. Its not about networking but about entertainment. This article is interesting in that it brings out an idea that I have not thought of before, however, it also makes me question whether or not this is really a true representation of women being overlooked in leadership or is this just another way to add fuel to the fire of women representation in leadership? Do these statistics with twitter really mean that women are not having their voices heard? I do not think that this article is really a true representation of this issue. However, it is another way to rally up people into talking more about this issue. We have to stop finding issues with this topic and start creating solutions to the problems we already have. Stop trying to find something to argue about and work more towards finding a balance, and peace with having both men and women in the workplace.

  12. I think one of the reasons women have less influence is partially because of what we have talked about in class about the stereotypical idea of a leader. We automatically think of an older, white male when picturing the CEO of a company or a politician. Personally, I don’t have a twitter account, but this could probably apply to Facebook as well. Every company, politician, and celebrity has a Facebook page. It seems as though most of them are men. I believe women will have more influence when we stop picturing leaders as having a certain physical description.

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