Boss Lady

Infographic: How famous creatives overcame failure


As more and more women join the workforce, the gender disparity is slowly fading away. Currently, men make up about 56% of employees. That’s almost an even split between male and female workers! Not so fast, though. Of all the managerial positions out there, men hold about 80% of them.

So how can a business woman achieve high-standing in a professional environment if success is still skewed towards men?

The challenges

It’s no secret that women earn less than men in most occupations. In fact, last year females earned roughly 80 cents for every dollar that males earned. This equates a wage gap of about 20%. To put it in perspective, a man with a salary of $100,000 will earn about $20,000 more than a woman working the same job.

Women have fought to comprise nearly half of the workforce. They have more degrees, bachelors and masters, than men. Often they work full-time in addition to single-handedly raising their child(ren). Yet women still face discrimination. Discrepancies in earnings, hiring, and promotions occur because of gender differences. What’s more, a woman could receive a less positive employee review simply because she is female.

Where do women go from here? 

Forward. It’s crucial that women press on instead of backing down. As it stands, it will take over 40 years to close the wage gap. For women of color it will take over 100 years. Those numbers should be regarded as challenges rather than timers. It’s our job to jumpstart the change now, and to teach the future generations how to do so.

Use obstacles as motivation. You will never jump the hurdle if you don’t take your feet off of the ground. If you fall, get right back up and try again. Associate yourself with like-minded people who want to help advance not only you but all women in the world. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.

3 Tips to help you prevail in a man-eat-man (or woman) world

  1. Jump at every opportunity. Stop worrying about if the timing is right or if it’s worth the risk. Take a leap and see where you land – it just might be on top.
  2. Fail harder. Ultimately it is failure that drives success. The more mistakes you make, the more you will learn. Those that are simply given executive-level status lack problem solving skills and motivation. Use your failures to build your attributes.
  3. Never give up. It may be cliché and obvious, but it’s solid advice nonetheless. Persistence and optimism in the wake of failure makes for a strong person and manager. Your determination will make you stand out, even among men.

Famous examples

To give you some inspiration, Invaluable put together a list of 12 figures, six of whom are women, who faced and overcame failure. For example, Walt Disney’s idea for Disneyland was rejected 300 times, and J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was turned down from 12 major publishers.

These iconic people looked failure in the face and decided it wasn’t for them. Their stories are evidence to us all that hard work and resilience are the ingredients to success. In some cases, fame came postpartum. It is especially heartening knowing they continued to do what they loved despite not getting much, if anything, in return.

Check out the infographic below to learn how these famous figures overcame all odds in order to succeed.

Key takeaway

There are no obstacles that are too great to overcome. Oprah Winfrey’s childhood was riddled with poverty and abuse, but look at her now. She is worth nearly $3 billion with an impressive portfolio of estates. Whether you’re rich or poor, male or female, white or colored, you can make it in this world. All you need is huge helping of perseverance.

Infographic: How famous creatives overcame failure

About Emma Welsh

Emma is a writer at, the world’s leading online marketplace for fine art, antiques and collectibles. You can see more of her and her colleagues’ work here.

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