How 5 women are using their channels to empower and inspire
Mar 24, 2022 – minute read
Mar 24, 2022 – minute read
At YouTube, we believe in giving everyone a voice. We want to help our creators to amplify their distinct voices and celebrate their unique experiences. By doing so, we believe they can help to change perceptions about what people can achieve, no matter their background.
Read on to find out more about five inspirational women who broke new ground to inspire their audiences, whether that’s expanding the role of women in traditionally male-dominated pursuits, increasing accessibility to complex topics, or ensuring that their voices stand out from the crowd.
I am a mechanical engineer with a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, and I've been working with renewable and clean energy technologies for nearly 20 years. I now run a small consulting company developing these technologies and helping investors understand them better. I was made redundant at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, so I decided to create a video sharing all the cool historical wind turbines where I was living in Denmark. The feedback was great, so I just kept on doing it.
My work gives me a real sense of optimism and progress, so I wanted to share that with a wider audience. Renewable energy technologies are what I know best, and I am frustrated at how little people understand the real engineering behind them. I wanted to share the promising technologies, what challenges remain, and how engineers are solving them. My channel attracts industry insiders as well as everyday people who want to minimize their environmental impact. I hope the information I provide will help them to make more informed decisions about these technologies in their work or daily lives.
I work in a very male-dominated field, and I wasn’t sure how I would be received, but my audience is the best. People share their experiences with similar technologies (a lot of my audience work in the industry) and debate the pros and cons and ideas to solve problems. I had a lot of really helpful feedback early on that helped me to improve my production quality. I really love how it feels like a community of people, who want to make the channel better. I’m using features like the Community tab to get feedback for upcoming videos, ideas for questions ahead of interviews, or to figure out what topics I should focus on in a live stream.
I’ve certainly experienced sexism throughout my professional career, often very subtle but occasionally quite blatant. A lot of women have dropped out of engineering as a result. I used to have a distinct work persona that was carefully trimmed of the "girly" parts of my personality, but now I try to make sure my channel reflects the real me.
Engineers are solving the world's big problems. We need the best talent possible, and diversity is so important to innovation. When I watch biopics about scientists like Alan Turing or Stephen Hawking, I feel sad watching the university scenes with no female students. People might assume girls are less interested in engineering than boys, but I don’t think that’s true. My earliest engineering experiments were baking, and sewing clothes for my Barbie. I’d encourage anyone who’s interested in engineering to pursue it because I know how satisfying it is for me as a career, and I want everyone to have a chance to find their passion.
My name is Maco Shibuya, and I was paralyzed from the upper abdomen down after an accident in 2018. Before my accident, the only people I’d seen using wheelchairs were the elderly, but my perspective has since changed. After my accident, the first thing I did was to try and gather more information, but there wasn’t a lot out there. When I found out that 5,000 people in Japan sustain the same spinal cord injury each year, I decided to start creating content for fellow wheelchair users. Wheelchair users face many obstacles. While many of us live independently, some may find it difficult to maintain a positive outlook. I created my channel to help them feel like they can be themselves and enjoy life, while sharing lessons I’ve learned along the way.
No one can get by in life on their own. I feel that I can enrich my own life by helping others, and YouTube helps me do that. When I started my channel, I was hoping to get some responses saying that viewers found my content helpful. So I find it really empowering when I read positive comments like "After watching Maco’s channel, I decided to engage with my life again."
I wanted to raise awareness that it’s not just me, there are so many people in Japan who are wheelchair users or who have spinal cord injuries. I’ve only been in a wheelchair for a short time and haven’t got much experience. I thought about what could happen in situations that would once have been easy for me, like during an emergency, and I felt that if I wanted to know more about these things, others in my situation would too. So, I decided to share information that people should know more about.
I live in Yamagata Prefecture, so hearing from a wheelchair user about evacuations during the 2019 Tohoku earthquake was shocking. Considering how difficult it was for non-disabled people to evacuate, it must have been incredibly challenging for wheelchair users to leave the area.
Japan hasn’t reached the point where women can fully participate in every aspect of society. YouTube is a platform where you’re free to express yourself, regardless of gender or disability. By sharing your experiences, you can help others and inspire them to try new things.
I’m Rachana Ranade, and I’m a chartered accountant. I’ve loved teaching since the early days of my career–the impact it creates keeps me going. Back when I was still teaching, a student recommended that I upload a lecture on the basics of the stock market, and it went viral. When I saw the traction it got and read people’s comments on everything they learned, I decided to keep going and I’ve been on an amazing journey ever since. Creating content on YouTube has kept the teacher in me alive. I use polls and gather feedback on the Community tab to engage my community and understand their needs. My goal is to enhance financial literacy in India by making it easier for people to better understand this topic.
Awareness of any subject is the first step towards making a change in that area. Through my channel, I aim to break down concepts and terminology relating to the stock market, mutual funds, and personal finance. The world of finance can seem intimidating, but I simplify these topics and bust some of the myths surrounding them, adding practical use cases and scenarios to make them easier to understand.
Women in India are often afraid to take charge of their finances. That’s reflected in the viewership of my channel. Around three quarters (78%) of my viewers in 2021 were male, with just under a quarter (22%) female. I’m trying to do more to increase financial awareness for women, and I’ve already seen increases in my female viewership in 2022 (27%). I’m hopeful that we’ll start to see more women entering this space in the future.
The best investment that anyone can make in themselves is learning! Particularly for women, becoming financially independent opens up so many opportunities for us to explore our full potential and take better control of our lives. Taking small steps towards learning finance can go a long way.
My name is Amna, and I have a YouTube channel called "Kitchen with Amna" where I share recipes and cook. My channel currently has over 4 million subscribers, but I faced a lot of challenges when I started. I had nothing: no camera, no good utensils–not even a kitchen. But I continued to pursue my passion–I didn’t lose hope, and I kept working. Nobody knew me before I started on YouTube, but my life has completely changed. Now people show me respect wherever I go, and it makes me so happy when they tell me they’ve learned recipes through my channel.
When I started cooking in front of the camera, people said a lot of horrible stuff. Most people would have run away and given up, but I didn’t lose hope. Some people appreciate what you do, and some don’t. I stay positive by seeing criticism as a chance to improve, and try to address feedback without letting it affect me. I got some feedback on my style of delivery, for example, and I took this as an opportunity to learn more, and this helped me to improve my narration.
It is important to follow and respect the people we admire, but also to work hard and try to surpass them. You could end up achieving more than any leader in your industry. Your age or experience within that industry does not determine your potential or mean that you can’t achieve more than anyone else.
Never let ego and jealousy rule you. It's important to focus on the good around you and to welcome constructive feedback. Use these things as the basis for creating and improving your content. But never think that you’re an underachiever either. Instead, think of innovative ways to present your content, put your whole heart and soul into it, and work consistently. Nothing can stop you from achieving the success you’ve always dreamed of. And the people who once made fun of you and looked down on you will be proud of you instead.
My channel features games, travel, food reviews, and cats–all in one place! I give my followers the chance to see different aspects of my life. When it comes to games, I love to assume the role of a character fully. I always try to present my videos as if the viewer is watching a movie with their friends or family. I play everything, from online games like Roblox and Dota2 to Final Fantasy VII Remake. Although my content is really diverse, horror games are my favorite. I’m always imagining how my audience might react whenever I create content.
There weren’t many female gamers back in the early days. There was also this preconception that girls couldn’t play complex games, which isn’t true. Nowadays, there are more female gamers, and loads of them are brilliant at shooting games or MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena). I used to get a lot of negative comments, so I want to send this message to everyone: No matter your gender, identity, or age, don’t get discouraged by these comments. Be confident in yourself.
We live in an increasingly digital age and gaming is becoming more acceptable to older generations. Their views about video games have become much more positive, especially now that you can forge a career as a gamer. I try to reinforce this positivity. I have some very young followers, so I’m very cautious with my language and that can really help to change parents’ attitudes towards gaming.
If you have the determination to work hard, there’s nothing you can’t achieve–regardless of your gender. You just need to find your own path. Explore what you want to do, and work towards that goal. But also be patient, and learn from your mistakes. No matter how fed up you are with what you’re doing, try to keep going. Everyone who is successful today has been through hardship. Don’t give up. Just keep going. I’ll be rooting for you!