This Women’s History Month, BWIR students explore “the self-made woman.” Leah Kincaid creates brilliant, bold color graphics to spotlight influencers for a Self-made Woman themed campaign with peers. 

What, Really, is a Self-Made Woman?

By Alyssa Threadgill  To me, a self-made woman is any woman who is willing to work every day to achieve her dreams. She puts the opinions of others behind her.  She does not allow anyone to hinder her progress.  Most self-made women are not valued in our society.  They are often overlooked because their drive and talent are not always recognized.  A self-made woman can also be intimidating.  To be self-made. a woman must be willing to do everything on her own.  She must strive to create her own path to success.  She is aware of her greatness but, sometimes she loses sight of her goals when things get tough.  She is confident, motivated and ambitious, no matter how much money she makes.  I believe self-made women are valuable because they have quietly created themselves, while others ignored them. These women push themselves everyday to become better at what they do and to ensure their future is the best it can be for their personal goals.  We can use our creative outlets to highlight today’s self-made women, by amplifying their stories and celebrating their accomplishments. This can be through social media as well as the publication of articles such as this one.  I would like to work towards providing a platform for these women as more people should learn about their humble beginnings. A self-made woman is much more relatable than anyone on the Forbes list.  They are everyday people making big moves inside various industries.  They are inspiring.  They should be highlighted.  Black Women in Radio, LLC, is working to uplift and represent these types of women through their Inaugural 30 Black Women in Radio list.  These are women, from across the country, are making strides in the media industry.  They have overcome challenges in life and their careers, yet, they wake up every day and make their dreams happen.  According to the Radio Facts Media Company, “Thirty-three women from local, national, and syndicated markets, in varying positions ranging from terrestrial radio station owners to on-air personalities, and producers are the foundational pillars of the collection. Each participant began passionate careers in radio which led to becoming familiar clarion voices in their communities for decades.”  The collection also strives to tell stories of minority women who have determination in a world and society, in which Black and minority women are oftentimes overlooked. The idea of being a self-made woman is an inspiring goal for many young women, especially those in college.  Therefore, learning about these female radio personalities will be inspiring.  Kimberly Davis and Kayla John are both interns with Black Women in Radio, LLC. and they were nice enough to contribute to this article.  Kimberly Davis is a junior at Howard University studying film, media and journalism. She is a talented video producer and journalist.  She says a self-made woman is any woman who is motivated to improve herself. “A self-made woman ranges from the everyday career woman to prominent CEO’s.  She is motivated to push herself to be greater than the last thing she has created, all whilst balancing the difficulties that come up in everyday life.  Additionally, a self-made woman can be any woman who is working and achieving a goal that has been previously perceived to be out of her reach with the resources that she has around her.”  Davis also believes that our society does not value the everyday self-made woman, only those of prominence and fame.  “We value women that are extremely visible and monetarily prestigious.  However, women like the Kardashian’s are extremely visible– at least in America—and their legacy is built upon how they are able to capture our attention.  A self-made woman like Rihanna, although not particularly worried about monetary aspects, despite being America’s youngest billionaire, distinguishes herself through a variety of eye-catching projects made for and made by women (Sauer, 2022).”  Kayla John, a junior at Temple University, studies media and production.  She is also a skilled videographer, director of production, as well as a social media content creator.  John looks at self-made women in a philosophical sense. “A self-made woman is an individual that caters to their garden as they sprout seedlings day by day.  Their garden creates ecosystems and biomes for others to be graced by their influence.  No body part, accomplishment, or industry can define them as “self-made.” Self-made women define themselves regardless of what audiences label them. I do not think society values the everyday self-made woman.  It is onerous to operate in our consumer society regardless of how you define yourself.  Being an “everyday self-made woman” is a tumultuous role no matter what you perceive to be.  For example, some people do not value their mother’s efforts until they experience the challenges themselves or look outside their perspective. It goes overlooked because “that’s what mothers do.”  I think society perceives the everyday self-made woman as such.”  Additionally, she says a woman’s evolution requires acknowledgement of the past and a need to do better.  “I think, once you know better, you do better.  To evolve, there has to be an awareness of your past and desire for better.  So, yes, a self-made woman is aware of their greatness.” Between the three of us, I believe we all have a thorough understanding of what it means to be self-made and how we can all apply these admirable qualities to our own career journeys. Although we are still young and at the beginning of our careers, it is important for us to have faith and confidence that all of our dreams will come true, no matter what anyone else thinks. We are more than capable to achieve our goals and become independent, critical-thinking, self-made women. Although our goals are different, we all believe we can achieve them.  Nothing can stop us! Alyssa Threadgill is an entertainment journalist, television producer, social media influencer and defender of the written word.  A junior, attending Temple University, she is a Broadcast Journalism and Theater student.  Alyssa is also a self-made woman. 
Alyssa Threadgill is an entertainment journalist, television producer, social media influencer and defender of the written word.  A junior, attending Temple University, she is a Broadcast Journalism and Theater student.  Alyssa is also a self-made woman. 

She Is…

By Seantelle White

A self made woman is a self determined woman. She is unrestricted

by limitations imposed by others. She decides her purpose; her

course in life, her own bliss. She has radical faith in her abilities. No

matter how little (or much) life throws at her she is resourceful

enough to pull it together and humble enough to ask for help. A self

made woman understands the value of self care, being self aware

and selfless. She is driven by a sense of purpose that carries her

beyond the boundaries of her own humanity.

Does society value her? Maybe after she has impressed them by

way of achieving what no one dreamed she could- but she doesn’t

rely on external motivation. She is the self empowered critical

thinker society has tried to keep in her place. She is the type to

shake off doubt and depression through self motivation. She does it

for her soul… not praise or validation. People are fickle anyway.

She may or may not be aware of her greatness. She thrives off of a

sense of purpose- whether that purpose is to give her children what

she never had; be the first to get a degree in her family; kick an

addiction; open a small business. Sadly, she may even need time to

see her own worth. You will often find her standing next to, by, or

behind someone who will try to destroy her self esteem so they can

continue to exploit what one she cannot see in herself.

Her value is far greater than rubies (Proverb 31). Judge her by the

souls she touches, the causes she champions, the wisdom she


We live in a global society and women have never had equity. We

must use our creativity to uplift self made women- black women, in

particular. We can share their stories until they become icons and

role models; feature them in our art; invite them to speak on our

platforms; write movies; or volunteer our time and talent

Shantelle White 

10 Values of Self-made Women

  1. Resilient/Resilience
  2.  Know Their Worth
  3. Resourceful / Built Something from Nothing
  4. Sense Of Purpose
  5. Radical Faith
  6. Self-Empowered/Empowers Other Women
  7. Selfless
  8. Heroic
  9. Philanthropic
  10. Value Self-Care
2022-203 BWIR Ultimate Internship Program Participants