Many people love the feeling of giving back and making changes for the betterment of the community or even the world, but it’s hard to work for a cause when it and you’re not getting the attention you had hoped for. What’s even more difficult is being a woman working for a cause. According to a study done by Forbes magazine: “Men have 15% more followers than women.... and further, men are almost twice more likely to follow another man than a woman while women are 25% more likely to follow a man than a woman”.
However, Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres have found a way around the odds. These are two of the most influential women represented in the media to date. Oprah came from a childhood filled with sackcloth as clothing, years of sexual abuse, teen pregnancy and more. Her ability to come back from such traumas to be the first black female self-made billionaire has made her a heroine to many. Her philanthropic endeavors are well-known and help those in need all over the world; she opened a school in South Africa, her Angel Network provides educational grants and she personally donated $10 million to the rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Katrina. Ellen actually came out publicly as a lesbian on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1997. Ellen has since been an advocate for AIDS awareness and the LGBTQ community. She works closely with organizations like The Gentle Barn to save abused animals, and launched the “Small Change Campaign” to benefit Feeding America.
Both women work hard and are dedicated to their philanthropic endeavors, and they have found ways to make their media opportunities work for those who are less fortunate.To read about more women in media visit our archives.