Women Making History
On the last day of this Women’s History Month in 2014, I wanted to commemorate some women making history in the present day. While it is always important to celebrate the women who have paved the path and laid the foundation for my fellow sisters and I to continue to blaze trails and break glass ceilings, history is in the making every single day, and the women’s movement looks very different now in how women are choosing to rewrite the narrative. Women’s leadership takes many forms and I want to share with you three women who are using their power to advance women and change the conversation:1. Beyoncé. It has been deeply debated whether or not Beyoncé is a “true feminist” (whatever the heck that means…), but if her essay in the latest Shriver Report, is any indication of her dedication to gender equality, than she is definitely feminist enough for my book. In “Gender Equality Is a Myth!” she states that “Humanity requires both men and women, and we are equally important and need one another…. We have to teach our boys the rules of equality and respect, so that as they grow up, gender equality becomes a natural way of life. And we have to teach our girls that they can reach as high as humanly possible.”Beyoncé also endorsed the #BanBossy campaign, spearheaded by Lean In and Girl Scouts of USA, encouraging girls to lead. Beyoncé boldly (and rightly) states that “I’m not bossy, I’m the boss” Heck yes you are Beyoncé.It’s when women like Beyoncé, who have an enormous platform and an unimaginably large audience, speak out for women’s leadership that people listen. This is an opportunity to reach a completely different audience and to spread this message of leadership parity even farther. Thank you Beyoncé for embracing your power and using your voice to amplify this movement.2. Lupita Nyong’o. Lupita is radically challenging this long-accepted fallacy of what society has deemed “beautiful”. In her speech for the Best Breakthrough Performance Award at the 7th annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon she says that “I hope that my presence on your screens and in magazines may lead you, young girl, on a similar journey. That you will feel the validation of your external beauty, but also get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside. There is no shade in that beauty.”Although Lupita has an uphill battle to tackle in the backwards Hollywood culture, I desperately hope it is a battle she is willing to fight for so that she will not be such an anomaly in Hollywood. But instead, by continuing to shine in the spotlight, she will open the doors for other diverse women – women whose appearance has not been historically highlighted as beautiful – to join her and thrive alongside her.3. Debbie Sterling. Debbie is the creator of GoldieBlox, a toy company that inspires young girls to tap into their innovation skills to be the future generation of engineers. Debbie, an engineer trained at Stanford, was bothered by the fact that there were so few women in her field and so she decided to create a toy company that would increase women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).GoldiBlox has gone from crowdfunding on Kickstarter to having its own commercial in the XLVII Super Bowl, making it the first small business to air an ad during the Super Bowl. The fact that a company “disrupting the pink aisle” and totally focused on advancing girls was the FIRST small business to have an ad during the Super Bowl (an estimated 111.5 million viewers) says multitudes about how ready society is for a change. Oh, and did I mention that Debbie is only 30 years old?