Men long ago established their place in society by proving their performances, becoming top leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs and artists in all industries. Let's face it: The founder of Facebook, CEO of Apple and even top high-end fashion designers are all males.
It's hard to argue against the fact that they've had an advantage since the very beginning, which is why feminism exists. There are outstanding women today who rose above the expected gender roles and stereotypes.
I'm not just talking about the "Olivia Pope" type of woman, who can make business attire extremely desirable while brilliantly outsmarting high-ranking political officials, but rather, the type of woman who makes something of herself in industries that are predominantly male.
The CEOs of IBM and YouTube are both women who prove that men don't always run tech industries.
One of the most-watched talk shows is hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, a female comedian, who took home more Emmy awards than her fellow male hosts (Fallon, Conan, Kimmel).
How did these women do this? Well, I certainly can't speak for them, but I can speak about them.
As a 20-something female post-grad trying to find success in an extremely competitive professional world, I've found it beneficial to try to answer this question.
So, I've gathered five traits common in smart, beautiful, philanthropic and powerful females, in hopes of someday making the Forbes Top Successful Women list.
Passion is a powerful motivator. Being enthusiastic about your work not only influences how you work, but how much you work.
It's become a cliché to "follow your passion," but it's surprising how many people in the working field forget to do what they love, following their pension rather than passion.
Having a deep connection to your line of work creates more meaningful and effective results. But, even if you're not working at your dream job now, just caring for the work you do can still go a long way.
Passionate work can be the differentiating factor when it comes to moving up in the company or getting an incredible recommendation for a position or place you want.
And, if you absolutely cannot find any passion in answering phone calls or filing paperwork, go out and find something that is worth the excitement.
According to studies done by Dan Goleman in "The Brain and Emotional Intelligence," it's not that men or women have higher EQs than each other, but rather, men and women have different types of emotional intelligence.
While men are better at managing distressing emotions, women have more emotional empathy in general.
Being able to know how a person feels is important when trying to control reactions and manage complex situations. In a very individualistic society, empathy has become an underrated quality.
Emotional connections are even criticized by leaders who think these types of feelings undermine a person's ability to seek out a job or make critical decisions.
What differentiates empathetic leaders from the others is that they know how to create meaningful, long-term relationships and how to use those relationships to their advantage.
After all, we live and work in a world full of humans, and humanity thrives on personal connections. Plus, no one likes working with a douchebag.
While the saying goes, "Curiosity killed the cat," Einstein said, "Curiosity has its own reason for existing." Curiosity can create opportunities if one has the determination to explore them.
It took curiosity for Amelia Earhart to fly across the Atlantic Ocean — a feat no woman dared to do before her. Curiosity took Barbra Walters, the first woman to co-anchor the evening news, to push limitations for female journalists.
Curiosity even took Queen Bey to branch out from her fame-making trio for one of the greatest solo singing careers in history.
Being curious has not only helped many powerful female entrepreneurs but also fostered many innovators, scientists, managers, authors and directors.
Be curious enough to be hungry to learn. And, be curious enough to find ways to learn because with experience and knowledge, the possibilities are endless.
4. Accepting Fear
Fear of failure is probably one of the oldest excuses in the book; yet, it still lingers, like an annoying headache. Being afraid to fall definitely stops people from taking steps to make dreams become realities.
That's the thing with ambitions and aspirations — they are uncertain with possible disappointment and defeat lurking behind them. They are the shiny things in the window we admire from behind the glass because that big, huge price tag glares right back at us.
But, the biggest fear we should have — bigger than the fear of failure — is the fear of regret. Sometimes, we just need to suck it up and accept that fear comes with the whole package. We must accept that dreams are supposed to scare us because they're bigger than what we imagined.
It's something greater than what we already have, which takes hard work — a lot of it. And, once you see someone else with that shiny thing in the window, you'll forever hit yourself for not being the first one to grab it.
This brings me to the last factor, which to some might seem obvious. Risks can be scary, but they're necessary, especially smart risks.
Do you think Hilary Clinton would have been the first and only first lady to become a US Senator if she just stood back on the sideline?
She definitely took a harsh beating for it, too, with political criticisms tainting her every attempt for bureaucratic reverence. Yet, she took the risk to achieve her goals.
She knew that many underestimated her qualifications in a society, which a male leader previously always led.
So, when you're hesitating to step out of your comfort zone, remember that Michelle Obama, JK Rowling and even Lady Gaga didn't get to where they are just by playing it safe. After all, isn't success worth the risk?