(CNN) - CNN asked readers, staff and previous guests on CNN's Leading Women to share words of inspiration from the women they admire.
A stream of thought-provoking proverbs on love, insightful sayings for successful careers, hints for a healthy life - and plenty of wit in between –follow.
By Vivian Kuo and Michael Pearson, CNN
(CNN) - The U.S. Department of Education has opened an investigation into the handling of sexual assault cases at the University of North Carolina at the request of current and former students, and a former administrator who say the university has long turned a blind eye to such allegations.
"We love UNC," said Annie Clark, the lead complainant. "We're not trying to vilify the university, we're just trying to make it better."
Clark and other students named in this report agreed to be identified by CNN, which does not typically identify the victims of sexual assault.
The investigation comes amid outrage on campus and nationwide over intimidation charges filed in the Chapel Hill, North Carolina, school's student-run honor court against one of the women involved in the complaint.
Investigators from the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights will look into the women's allegations that school administrators brushed aside concerns about sexual violence on campus and failed to adequately investigate complaints of sexual assault, according to a March 1 letter sent to Clark by the agency.FULL STORY
(CNNMoney)– Doctors are still mostly men, and nurses are almost all women. But pharmacists are another story.
Pharmacists are a fast-growing profession offering a six-figure salary - and the pay is nearly equal for men and women.
"The position of pharmacist is probably the most egalitarian of all U.S. professions today," Harvard economists Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz wrote in a paper on the subject they published in September.
Women make up slightly more than 50% of all full-time pharmacists, according to Census data collected in 2011. Once you factor in part-timers, they make up around 55% of the profession.
Full-time female pharmacists earned a median salary of $111,000 in 2011, about 92 cents to the dollar of their male counterparts.
Yes, there's a small pay gap there, but it can be almost entirely explained by some men working longer hours - not discrimination.FULL STORY
Editor's note: Leslie Morgan Steiner, a Washington, D.C., native, is on the advisory boards of the DC Volunteer Lawyers Project, the One Love Foundation and the National Domestic Violence Hotline. She is author of the memoir "Crazy Love." She spoke at TEDx Rainier in 2012. TED is a nonprofit dedicated to "ideas worth spreading," which it makes available through talks posted on its website.
By Leslie Morgan Steiner, Special to CNN
(CNN) - This week, as the Senate decides whether to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act and Valentine's Day approaches, it's worth noting that most domestic violence victims don't ask for roses, chocolate or federal funding. Instead, we have one simple wish: We want the abuse to end.
We don't want the relationship to end.
This fact about "crazy love" surprises many people. How could you still love someone who has hurt you?
The answer is as complicated as love itself. We victims tend to be hope junkies, open-hearted and optimistic. We believe that our loved ones are capable of change. Some would say we are naïve. Others say we are too kind or too forgiving. Often we cannot find the courage to leave an abusive relationship until our life (or our children's safety) has been threatened.
When victims end an abusive relationship, the first thing we need is shelter. This is the No. 1 request made by victims who call the National Domestic Violence Hotline, the federally funded national helpline (1.800.799.SAFE). It is a practical request - a roof over our heads. But it is also an emotional one - the deep need to seek safety and to protect our children from danger.FULL STORY
By Jill Martin Wrenn, CNN
Atlanta (CNN) - Basketball star Lisa Leslie battled her way from the courts of Inglewood, California, to the upper echelons of the WNBA to become one of the most popular women's basketball players of all time.
After retiring from play, Leslie finds herself in a new fight - to gain respect for her beloved sport.
"It's a constant battle," she says. "I feel like I'm an activist for women in sports."
Marking its 17th season this year, the Women's National Basketball Association is the country's longest-running professional women's sports league. But the quest for fans, sponsors and exposure in a sports world dominated by men can be slow, and tough.
The league will celebrate the 27th annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day on Wednesday, with several community events across the country. The occasion will honor female achievement in sports. But some say U.S. attitudes have a long way to go.FULL STORY
By Emanuella Grinberg, CNN
(CNN) - While this year's Super Bowl commercials ran the gamut from sentimental to silly, some were downright offensive to viewers who used the Twitter hashtag #NotBuyingIt to flag what they considered the most sexist spots of the night.
Web host GoDaddy.com earned more than 7,500 #NotBuyingIt tweets for its ad featuring an intimate smooch between supermodel Bar Refaeli and a bespectacled computer programmer, putting it at the top of the list of offenders, according to Miss Representation, the social activism nonprofit leading the Twitter campaign for the second year.
The "Perfect Match" and its "smart meets sexy" tagline drew criticism from men and women for "stereotyping programmers and objectifying women" in the words of one male Twitter user.
"@GoDaddy, continuing the tired stereotype that programmers are geeks, while women are sex objects. Disgusting," a female user tweeted.
Overall, #NotBuyingIt generated more than 10,000 tweets and reached more than 8 million people on Twitter during Sunday's Ravens-49ers showdown, a spokesman for Miss Representation said, citing statistics from Topsy and Hashtag.org.FULL STORY
(CNN Money) - What's the most common job for American women?
The same as it was in the 1950s: secretary.
About 4 million workers in the United States fell under the category of "secretaries and administrative assistants" between 2006 and 2010, and 96% of them were women, according to the U.S. Census.
How secretary became women's work
The rise of the secretary began with the Industrial Revolution, which created an enormous amount of paperwork. In the early 20th century, it became a female job as companies realized they could pay women lower wages to do the work.
Secretarial schools offered professional training, which made it possible for many women to enter the career without a full college education.
It wasn't until 1950 that it became the most popular job among women. Back then, 1.7 million women worked in a category the Census defined as "stenographers, typists or secretaries."
While the title has evolved since then, it remains the top female job.FULL STORY
Editor's note: Nancy Keenan is president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. She will be stepping down from her role at the end of this month.
(CNN) - There have been a few moments in our history when a generation has used the power of its numbers and its passion for a cause to transcend a deeply divided society and change the course of the future for the better.
We've come to one of those moments.
About every 80 years, a young civic generation has forced the nation to deal with its fundamental challenges, according to Morley Winograd and Michael Hais in their 2011 book, "Millennial Momentum." They cite the American Revolution, the Civil War and the New Deal as key moments when a generation came together to create a different society.
Today's millennial generation is the next generation to wield that power.
I am a baby boomer. In the late 1960s, my generation rallied to make the case that a woman's right to choose should be guaranteed, and, 40 years ago on Tuesday, the Supreme Court handed down the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. Today, younger than 40 have always lived in an America where abortion has been legal.Read Nancy Keenan's full column
By Moni Basu, CNN
(CNN) – Mark Krolikowski has shoulder-length brown hair. He likes to wear multiple earrings and French manicure his nails. Students call him Mr. K.
Krolikowski, 59, taught for 32 years at St. Francis Preparatory School, a 150-year-old Catholic institution in Queens, New York.
Until August. That's when the school laid him off.
He alleges that he was discriminated against because he is transgender and that the school's attitude toward him changed in the eight months after he came out.
He recently filed a lawsuit saying the school and its principal, Leonard Conway, broke the law with his termination and that as a result, Krolikowski has been distressed.
"Teaching - it's my life," Krolikowski said Friday. "I feel that has been taken away from me."
His lawyer Andrew Kimler said Krolikowski's case has "significant ramifications for the LGBT community and is a wakeup call to employers in terms of employment practices."
Conway would not comment but referred questions to his lawyer, Philip C. Semprevivo Jr.
Semprevivo said he could not discuss details of the case since it was in litigation but said Krolikowski was terminated legally.
"We deny all the allegations," he said. FULL POST
By Ashley Killough, CNN
(CNN) – As President Barack Obama finalizes his cabinet picks heading into his second term, some are pointing to a noted lack of diversity among the select group.
And Democratic Rep. Charlie Rangel says "it's embarrassing as hell." The congressman from New York pulled no punches Thursday when he chided the White House for not picking more women and minorities for the top level positions.
"The questions I've heard are fair," he said on MSNBC. "The record does speak for itself."
Obama will nominate Jack Lew, his chief of staff, for Treasury Secretary on Thursday, and CNN has learned the likely contenders for his replacement at the White House are all men. This comes days after the president nominated former Sen. Chuck Hagel for Defense Secretary, Sen. John Kerry for Secretary of State, and John Brennan, chief homeland security and counterterrorism adviser, to lead the CIA.Read the full post on CNN's Political Ticker blog