It is National Women’s History Month which in most schools is a time to look back at all the women who paved the way for those who came after. However, we shouldn’t only look at those who paved the path, we should also look at those who are walking the path today. It’s important for teachers and students to remember they aren’t just studying history; they are living history too. We need not wait for people to die to recognize them as leaders.
So, what are some examples of women that deserve attention for their contributions today?
Malala will likely be on these types of lists for the rest of her life. Yousafzai started to blog about life under the Taliban at the age of 11. A couple of years later she survived being shot in the head by the Taliban in an apparent assassination attempt. She has since used that notoriety to bring even more attention to the plight of girls in the middle east and around the world.
The word self-made is thrown around a lot, but Oprah truly embodies the term. After being fired as an anchor in Baltimore she went on to take a struggling, “AM Chicago” show to the top of the charts until it was eventually renamed the “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” From there, her media empire expanded to include a magazine and even a cable channel. Today, she has a net-worth of over $3.1 billion.
Serena Williams is the most accomplished active women’s tennis player and arguably the best female tennis player of all time. She has a total of 23 grand slams which is the highest in the open era. Her numbers are even more impressive when you consider the fact that she may have even more titles if not having to compete against her sister Venus Williams who has had her fair share of dominance in her own right. Serena Williams may be the most dominant athlete in any mainstream sport today, male or female.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
The Notorious RBG has achieved at an incredible rate in spite of facing a ridiculous amount of gender discrimination. Ginsberg not only attended Harvard at a time when very few women did, but she also was the first to serve on their law review and did it all while taking care of her child and a sick husband. Today, she serves as the de-facto leader of the liberal bloc in the supreme court.
Lieberman probably could have been included on this list based purely on her accomplishments as a player, but she may be remembered more for her career on the sidelines. Men often coach women’s basketball teams, but it had seldom been done the other way around. Lieberman has worked her way up the coaching ranks as an assistant in the NBA. She is currently the head coach of the team Power in the upstart BIG3 basketball league where she led them to a league title last year. This makes Lieberman the first female to coach a male team to a title in any of the major US sports. The implications of this are big.
Sabrina Gonzalez Pasterski
Pasterski probably has the least recognizable name on the list but may end up having the biggest impact on the world through her work as a theoretical physicist. The Cuban-American scientist has already won numerous awards and has even been cited by the late Stephen Hawking. She has a lifetime’s worth of scientific achievements, but she’s actually only 25.