Since 1987, the United States has dedicated the month of March to honor women and the substantial, yet often overlooked, contributions they have made to society. The celebration of Women’s History Month has definitely evolved over the years. Its start can be traced back to the first International Women’s Day in 1911 and then to the first Women’s History Week organized by the school district of Sonoma, California in 1978, which was considered to be widely successful for its time.
As many Americans began to acknowledge the need and importance of such a celebration, President Jimmy Carter issued the first presidential proclamation making the week of March 8th, 1980 (International Women's Day) National Women’s History Week. This act then inspired the National Women’s History Project to petition Congress and in 1987 Pub. L. 100-9 was officially passed which designated the entire month of March as Women’s History Month.
Over the years, Women’s History Month has transformed into not just a celebration but also an international call to action for women’s equality. Though we still have a long way to go, it’s hard to ignore the immense progress made over the years. That progress is highlighted in the 2020 theme for the month. “Valiant Women of the Vote” honors the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. The theme is for “the brave women who fought to win suffrage right for women, and the women who continue to fight for the voting rights of others.”
At Worldwide Speakers Group, we are proud to work with a number of powerful women speakers who have dedicated themselves to supporting and uplifting women. From CEOs, technologists, authors, photographers, politicians, military leaders and business leaders, the following women have shared their insight and influence to help pave the way for others.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali - A Human Rights Advocate and Islam Reformist, Ayaan Hirsi Ali has dedicated her life to ending violence against women and young girls. In 2005, she was named one of TIME Magazine's “100 Most Influential People”, Reader’s Digest’s European of the Year, and one of Glamour's Heroes of 2005.
The Honorable Sheila C. Bair - As the former Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Sheila C. Bair has become a leader in both domestic and global economics. With a long and accomplished career in government, academia and finance, Forbes has acknowledged her as the “second most powerful woman in the world”.
Cristina Mittermeier - With a passion for conservation, Cristina Mittermeier is considered to be one of the most influential female photographers in the world. As a National Geographic contributor, she used her work to help advocate for the oceans and planet. In 2018, she was acknowledged as one of the most Influential Women in Ocean Conservation by Ocean Geographic.
Jen Psaki - As former White House Communications Director, Jen Psaki was the point person when it came to media coverage during President Obama’s campaign and presidency. Based on her experience, Psaki offers a valuable and current perspective on today’s political environment. She currently acts as the Vice President for Communications and Strategy at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and CNN political commentator.
Annie Leibovitz - As one of the most high-profile celebrity photographers in the world, Annie Leibovitz is responsible for some of the most iconic celebrity images of the last 30 years. While attending the San Francisco Art Institute, Leibovitz started her career as a photojournalist for Rolling Stone in 1970. Her work contains some of the most iconic portraits of all time.
Nancy Frates - She is the mother behind the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which has become the very apex of viral philanthropy, and a leader in the ALS community. Over the years, Nancy Frates has utilized her business acumen, communication skills and mama bear drive to network, advocate and create worldwide awareness in the fight against ALS/MND.