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5 Influential Female Educators From The Last 10 Years

Details: Written by Kate Hutchinson |

Our list of 5 influential women in education over the last 10 years, showcases the wealth of tenacity, passion, creativity, and knowledge of those who have shaped, and continue to shape education. From bold activism to committed representation of fringe communities, these female educators are driving the field forward and providing new and exciting models for what it means to teach today.

Our top 5 influential female educators from the last 10 years are (in no particular order):

  1. Dianna Cowern
  1. Deborah Meier
  1. Malala Yousafzai
  1. Gloria Ladson-Billings
  1. Muzoon-Almellehan

These 5 women are all key players in their own right and this is why....👉

Dianna Cowern

  • Listed in Forbes 30 under 30
  • Founder of hit Youtube channel Physics Girl
  • Shares her passion for all things physics from fun experiments to demonstrations and new discoveries
  • Has a cool 2.62 million subscribers worldwide and 78 million views
  • Cowern is inspiring generations of children to actively to pursue an interest or a career in STEM fields.
  • Check out the Physics Girl webpage.

Deborah Meier

  • Credited for the founding of numerous schools throughout New York City
  • Champion of community engagement and parental involvement
  • Spent her career helping create communities of learners that bridge intergenerational divides
  • Sits on many prestigious board seats, including Harvard
  • An advocate for inclusive education
  • Learn more about Deborah’s work here

Malala Yousafzai

  • Ranked #38th most influential educator in the world.
  • A Pakistani activist for female education
  • 2014 Nobel Peace Prize laureate at the age of 17- the youngest ever winner
  • Famously spoke out against the Taliban’s ban on female students attending school, resulting in her being targeted and shot in the left side of her head in 2012
  • Founder of the self-named Malala Fund a global non-profit charity focused on helping all girls gain an education.

Gloria Ladson-Billings

  • Renowned as an educational anthropologist and pedagogical researcher.
  • Specialises in the practices of teachers who teach African American students.
  • Champions the importance of culturally relevant curriculum and teaching that is inclusive of African American students and helps students achieve academic success.
  • Shines a light on the detrimental effects of systemic racism and economic inequality in educational opportunities.
  • Check out her most recent Q&A with Education Week.


  • After being forced to flee Syria with her family in 2013, Muzoon lived in refugee camps for the next 3 years.
  • Part of the UNICEF Back to School campaign, Muzoon went from tent to tent speaking with parents about the risks of child marriage, early labour and of course, education.
  • Currently studying in Newcastle, United Kingdom, where she has been resettled with her family.
  • First UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador who is a refugee and offers a powerful, credible, authentic voice on education in emergencies.

Supporting women in work

With women now accounting for 47.7% of the global workforce, here at The Skills Network we’re proud that over half (67%) of our team consists of some pretty incredible women.

The Skills Network is proud to be shaping education for the future and driving the industry-wide promotion of women’s representation. By actively partaking in meaningful intersectional industry discussion, it is hoped that specific actions will be taken forward individually and as a collective.

For all the women who have shaped what it means to teach today, we thank them.