By Michelle Seitzer
When looking for lists of famous people with ADHD, you’re likely to find them dominated by men. Even our October 2022 blogpost about well-known ADHDers included only seven women among 22 men.
This disparity may come in part because of the historical disparity in ADHD diagnoses for females. According to CDC data, around 13 percent of boys were diagnosed with ADHD between 2016 and 2019, while only 6 percent of girls received the diagnosis during the same time period.
Girls with ADHD may experience or display symptoms differently than boys. That may be why many females are first diagnosed later in life. It may also be why many females live with undiagnosed and untreated ADHD.
As awareness grows and access to assessment improves, females of all ages may receive a diagnosis that helps them make sense of their challenges — but also their superpowers.
Here are seven more famous females — in addition to those on our first list — who are currently thriving with ADHD:
• Solange Knowles, musician
A Soul Train award winner, Knowles joined the musical group Destiny’s Child as a backup singer at age 15 (the group included her older sister, Beyoncé Knowles). Knowles states in ADDitude magazine that she was diagnosed with ADHD twice. She began writing songs at age 9 and now has several top dance songs in her repertoire. She is also a passionate advocate for ADHD, particularly around racial disparities in diagnosis.
• Lisa Ling, journalist
While filming a TV episode about ADHD for the Oprah Winfrey Network, renowned broadcast journalist Ling started questioning whether she too had the disorder. According to a story from ADDitude magazine, Ling’s own reporting for the show “Our America with Lisa Ling” led her to get an evaluation, and she was diagnosed at the age of 40. She states it was “a little bit of a relief” to understand why she’d been fighting with — and frustrated by — a long-time inability to focus.
• Marta Bota, makeup artist
The NYC-based model turned makeup artist Bota has a two-decades long career in the industry and believes that artistic expression — through makeup — is therapeutic for her. Bota received her diagnosis later in life while pursuing a diagnosis for her young son. She currently runs a large Facebook group — the ADHD Help and Hope Network — to encourage thousands with ADHD via information and inspiration.
• Brookley Wofford, advocate and social media influencer
Diagnosed with ADHD in second grade, Wofford was in a gifted student program and spent a lot of classroom time doodling. During recess, she would withdraw to a corner to read a book instead of engaging with peers. During her career, she’s worked with start-up firms, nonprofits, and Fortune 500 companies and was the first columnist for an online magazine dedicated to empowering women with ADHD.
• Michelle Rodriguez, actress
Perhaps best known for her roles in the popular Fast & Furious films, Rodriguez revealed her ADHD diagnosis in a 2006 interview with Cosmopolitan magazine. While she struggled in high school and for years after, Rodriguez has enjoyed incredible success as an actress, receiving many accolades and awards for her work.
• Mel B, singer/performer
The famous Spice Girls singer has ADHD, along with anxiety, dyslexia and dyspraxia — which is a chronic condition that causes difficulties with motor skills and coordination. Mel B told Paul McKenna’s Positivity Podcast that exercise and meditation are her top ways of coping with her diagnoses. She says these tools help her focus and alleviate her anxiety.
• Simone Biles, gymnast
Olympic medalist Biles says she isn’t ashamed of her ADHD, and she’s comfortable with people knowing she takes medication to help her manage the symptoms. With 32 total Olympic and World Championship gymnastic medals to her name, Biles also was the youngest person to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, an honor bestowed on her in 2022.