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07 Jun, 2016


  • Jessica Ennis tops the table when it comes to women who show inner strength

  • Women feel strongest at 36, but less confident than men at asking for pay rise

  • Mental health, eating well and family ties key to looking after your inner strength

Jessica Ennis and Angelina Jolie have emerged as the women whom the British public believe have the most ‘inner strength’.

In a poll* of 2,000 people for Special K Nourish, 27 per cent said actress and philanthropist Angelina Jolie was the woman who most women looked up to for their inner strength, alongside gold-medal-winning heptathlete Jessica Ennis.

Others who scored highly were Special K Nourish ambassador Katie Piper (22%) and war survivor Malala Yousafzai (22%).

According to the public, the qualities that best characterise inner strength are being resilient, overcoming adversity and keeping calm in difficult situations.

JK Rowling and Paralympian Tanni-Grey Thompson both attracted the votes of 25 per cent of the public.

However, some household names fared less well. Hillary Clinton scored a surprisingly low 9 per cent, while her fellow American Oprah Winfrey got 21 per cent. Former X Factor judge Cheryl scored just 1 per cent despite overcoming adversity on numerous occasions in the press, but Gail Porter nabbed 16 per cent.

The British public also felt Caitlin Jenner (4%) had shown more inner strength than Kardashian family matriarch and ex-wife Kris Jenner (2%). 

When polled as to the age they felt the most inner strength, the average response from women was 36, who also felt that inner strength continues to grow with age. However overall, one fifth (22%) said they lacked inner strength ‘a lot of the time’. 

Special K Nourish ambassador Katie Piper, said: “Personally, I get my inner strength from being a mother. Becoming a mum changed me in so many ways and I draw strength from my daughter as I watch her develop each day and the joy and challenges that come along with that. 

“I have spoken to many women and they all get their strength in different ways: it could be that sense of victory when you stand up for yourself in a meeting at work, helping someone else through a tough time or celebrating a friend’s success. Maybe if we all celebrate the different things that make us feel strong, we can unlock a little more strength in each other.”

When asked about areas of life where they lacked strength, women were more likely than men to worry about asking for a pay rise (11% vs 9%) or handle criticism (26% vs 14%). 

Those polled said the keys to maintaining and building your inner strength were looking after your mental health (54% said it was vital), family bonds (37%) and fitness and eating well (34%). Just 14 per cent said the financial backing of a job was important.

Special K Nourish spokeswoman, Louise Thompson-Davies, said: “Women like Katie Piper, Angelina Jolie and Jessica Ennis have shown remarkable inner strength in their lives to become successful role models who everyone can look to for inspiration.

“For years, Special K has been a partner to women but we know women have changed so we’ve changed too. Inner strength means something different to each individual and is more important than ever. In fact, we know from research it’s just as important as happiness, and more important than beauty. Yet women are united in wanting more of it. Special K Nourish is designed to help women feed their inner strength and we’re encouraging women to share their stories of strength on our Facebook page.”

Top Ten Women Who Show The Greatest Inner Strength

1 – Jessica Ennis

2 – Angelina Jolie

3 = JK Rowling

4 = Tanni-Grey Thompson

5 – Dame Ellen MacArthur

6 – Malala Yousafzai

7 – Katie Piper

8 – Oprah Winfrey

9 – Aung San Suu Kyi

10 – Tina Turner



Notes to Editors: 

For more information, please contact the Kellogg’s Press Office on 0161 869 5500 or email

*Poll of 2,000 British people conducted by Mortar London. 

Special K Nourish is a deliciously different new breakfast range made with a unique combination of flakes, linseed and sunflower seed a high source of vitamin D, 6 B vitamins (B1, B2, niacin, B6, folic acid and B12) and iron. Vitamin B2 contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue and vitamin D contributes to the maintenance of normal bones.  Enjoy as part of a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.