Women have made their mark in history, and it’s inspiring to often go back and reflect on all the milestones of “firsts” in our country. They remind us of the vision and passion that is necessary to make change.
Reading the stories of these brave women show us how much time and effort is involved in going after a dream. Their courage and hard work paved the way for so many after them. For that, we are truly grateful!
Women’s Suffrage (1920)
Though the Seneca Falls Convention (1848) passed the resolution in favor of women’s right to vote, it took several decades for the nation to catch up. Hundreds and hundreds of women, including Ms. Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, worked tirelessly for the cause before the Nineteenth Amendment finally became law and women in every state could legally vote.
Equal Pay Act (1963)
Signed into law by John F. Kennedy and first championed by Congresswoman Winifred C. Stanley, the Equal Pay Act abolished wage disparity based on sex. Since then, women’s salaries have increased relative to men’s – and women everywhere have been empowered to expect (and demand) pay based upon merit rather than gender.
First Fortune 500 CEO (1972)
When Katharine Graham became CEO of The Washington Post Company in 1972, she had no female role models to follow. She was a trailblazer, and she leveraged her position to promote gender equality at the Post and beyond. She led the newspaper for more than two decades, seeing it through the Watergate conspiracy and resignation of President Nixon.
First Woman in Space (1983)
On June 18, 1983, Sally Ride became the first American woman in space as a crewmember on the space shuttle Challenger STS-7. Over the course of two missions and 343 hours in space, she helped develop the space shuttle’s robot arm and became the first woman to use it to retrieve a satellite in space. She also remains the youngest astronaut to have traveled in space (she was 32 at the time of her first mission).
First Oscar for Best Director (2010)
In 2010, Kathryn Bigelow became the first (and only) woman in the 82-year history of the Academy Awards to receive the award for Best Director (for the war film The Hurt Locker). She was also the first woman to receive the Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Director.
Looking back, you can see that these remarkable events in women’s history encompass many different areas, from government to business, science to entertainment. And women just like you and me continue to make history and achieve more “firsts” every day.
I hope you’re inspired by these stories of those before us, and empower to go out and drive your own remarkable achievements!