Women have never received equal representation in our history book, never mind in the present. Yet, their contributions have been invaluable in building nations, creating institutions, inventing life-changing solutions, and raising leaders. This month, in honor of Women’s History Month, we highlight five women who are making history today:
- On February 26, 2015, Loretta Lynch came one step closer to becoming the first African American woman (and only the second African American) to hold the position of U.S. Attorney General. This dynamic woman is no stranger to making difficult decisions. Lynch was involved in several high profile cases as U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of New York including the Abner Louima case, the Citigroup securities fraud case, and the indictment of Congressman Michael Grimm for fraud and tax evasion. Despite the Republican unusual (and arguably partisan) delay of more than 100 days in confirming her nomination, Lynch is expected to eventually clear the nomination process and hold the highest legal position in the U.S.
- At 4’9”, Simone Biles is already a giant in women’s gymnastics as one of the most decorated individuals in her sport (20 national and international medals). In October 2014 she won her second All-Around World Championship title in China, and has been called “unbeatable.” Her enthusiasm, skill and power have positioned her as a top pick for the 2016 U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Olympic team, alongside her peer, Gabrielle Douglass. At this point in her budding career, she has won more World Championship gold medals than any other U.S. gymnast, and was also recently named Sportswoman of the Year by the Women’s Sports Foundation. And to think: she’s just getting started.
- Last year, Silicon Valley took quite a beating when it was revealed how dismal the rates of diversity were in some of the top tech companies in the world. When it comes to hiring practices in tech, companies often claim they are unable to find qualified candidates from diverse backgrounds. Kimberly Bryant is a woman intent on changing that. In 2011, Bryant founded Black Girls Code—an organization that aims to provide young and pre-teen girls of color opportunities to learn in-demand skills in tech and computer programming. Since then, BGC has reached more than 3000 girls in seven U.S. states. Bryant herself has been featured in countless media, and was even given a standing ovation at Oprah’s San Francisco stop for her Life you Want national tour. This is one woman on a mission to help more young Black women make history in tech.
- In an industry that has little to offer by way of positive role models for women, Janelle Monae is a breath of much-needed fresh air. Since officially arriving on the music scene in 2010 with her debut studio album, The ArchAndroid, Monae has successfully marched to the beat of her own drum—all while remaining beautifully clothed and earning several Grammy Award nominations, as well as a Soul Train, MTV, NAACP, and Essence Awards, amongst others. Since 2012, the talented songstress has been featured in ads for Cover Girl as one of their ambassadors and has staked her claim as a fashion icon. This is one artist whose artistry speaks for itself.
- New York School principal, Nadia L. Lopez was at a crossroads. She had made a promise to her Mott Hall Bridges Academy students that they would all have an opportunity to visit Harvard University as a way to see what their future could be like. But with so many cuts in school budgets across the state, the school had very limited funding. That is, until Brandon Stanton—founder of the popular Humans of New York Facebook page—stepped in. After an inspiring interview with one of Lopez’s students who sang her praises, Stanton went to meet Lopez at her school and learn more about her and the school. And the rest, was history. Compelled to help her raise the money she needed to keep her promise to her students, Stanton assisted in setting up a Kickstarter campaign with a target of $100,000. In less than one week, the campaign raised more than $1 million—enough to ensure Lopez will be able to continue impacting young lives for years to come.
Our young girls need to see examples of women who look like them for them to understand that their possibilities are limitless. As we celebrate Women’s History Month, we hope you continue to share positive stories of women making history today, as well as those on whose shoulders we stand, to ensure that these stories inspire the next generation of greatness.
Which women who are making history today would you add to this list?