Here at Victra, our Women’s Empowerment at Victra [WE@V] ERG is celebrating all month long and invite you to join us! Here you can find an archive of the entire month’s events so that you don’t miss out.
Women’s History Month Teams/Zoom Backgrounds
Click each image to be able to download them so you can show your support of the women of Victra and be an ally as we celebrate all month!
Virtual Tour: Women’s Museum of California
Learn more about women’s history by virtually visiting the Women’s Museum of California. Click the link below to see these 13 exhibits!
9 Groundbreaking Inventions by Women
Women inventors are behind a wide range of key innovations, from Kevlar to dishwashers to better life rafts. Female inventors have played a large role in U.S. history, but haven’t always received credit for their work. Besides the fact that their contributions have sometimes been downplayed over overlooked, women—particularly women of color—have historically had fewer resources to apply for U.S. patents and market their inventions. Not all of the female inventors on this list received attention for their work in their lifetime, or were able to market their inventions. But all of them contributed innovations that helped advance technology in their respective fields.
21 Famous Firsts in Women’s History
From the first Women’s-rights convention, to the first female, Black and South-Asian vice president in U.S. history, Kamala Harris, American women’s history has been full of pioneers. Women who fought for their rights, worked hard to be treated equally and made great strides in fields like science, politics, sports, literature and art. These are just a few of the remarkable accomplishments by trail-blazing women in American history. Click the link below to read about 21 famous firsts in women’s history.
Dr. Gladys West: The Hidden Figure Who Helped Invent GPS
Dr. Gladys West, (born October 27, 1930, Sutherland, Virginia), is an American mathematician known for her work contributing to the development of the Global Positioning System (GPS). In the early 60s, West took part in an award-winning study that proved “the regularity of Pluto’s motion relative to Neptune”, according to a 2018 press release by the US air force. In 1979, she received a commendation for her hard work from her departmental head. She then became project manager for the Seasat radar altimetry project; Seasat was the first satellite that could monitor the oceans. She programmed an IBM 7030 Stretch computer, which was significantly faster than other machines at the time, to provide calculations for an accurate geodetic Earth model, which was a building block for what would become the GPS orbit.
“I felt proud of myself as a woman, knowing that I can do what I can do. But as a black woman, that’s another level where you have to prove to a society that hasn’t accepted you for what you are. What I did was keep trying to prove that I was as good as you are,” she said. “There is no difference in the work we can do.”
Dr. Ellen Ochoa: The First Female Hispanic Astronaut
Dr. Ellen Ochoa was the first female Hispanic astronaut. Over the course of four NASA flights she logged more than 970 hours in space. In 2012, Ochoa was named the 11th director of the Johnson Space Center making her the first Hispanic and the second woman to serve in this position. She has also been recognized with NASA’s Distinguished Service Medal, Exceptional Service Medal, and Outstanding Leadership Medal. Recently, we sat down with her for a discussion about her career, the future of women in aeronautics, and inspiring future generations of women.
Hedy Lamarr: Invented Tech Behind Wi-Fi
Hedy Lamarr was an Austrian-American actress and inventor who pioneered the technology that would one day form the basis for today’s WiFi, GPS, and Bluetooth communication systems. Often called “The Most Beautiful Woman in Film,” Hedy Lamarr was more than what met the eye. While Lamarr’s screen presence made her one of the most popular actresses of her day, she was also an inventor with a sharp mind.
Claudette Colvin: The Girl Who Acted Before Rosa Parks
Every American child learns about Rosa Parks in school. On December 1, 1955, she, a black woman, was arrested for refusing to give her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus to a white man. Her arrest led to a boycott of the city’s public transportation that lasted 381 days and ignited the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Nine months earlier, Claudette Colvin was arrested for the exact same thing. She was just 15 years old.
Cue up this TED Playlist of “Revolutionary Women!” to rejuvenate how you think about women’s contributions to history both past and present.
Women’s History Month Legislation
Former Legislative Aide Susan Scanlan explains how Women’s History Month legislation was passed.
International Women’s Day
Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.
Celebrate women’s achievements. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality.
National Women’s Hall of Fame
Visit this page to discover the Inductees of the National Women’s Hall of Fame. Select any of the women to discover their stories and learn how they have influenced other women and this country.
Roberta Cowell: Trans Trailblazer, Pilot & Auto Racer
Roberta Cowell was a fighter pilot during World War II, and around the summer of 1944 her spitfire took a direct hit east of Rhine near Switzerland. She was captured by German troops and held as a prisoner of war until April of 1945, when her camp was liberated. After the war Cowell started racing competitively, but was consumed by greater and greater depression concerning the war she’d left, and a growing discomfort with her body. In 1950, Cowell started hormone treatment to transition to female. A year later, she was declared intersex and was able to officially alter her birth certificate to show that she was a woman. Roberta passed away on October 11, 2011, at the age of 93. Our understanding of history loses so much by leaving women like Roberta Cowell out. Although not perfect, she lived courageously because she refused not to live her truth even in a time which would not accept her.
“For the first thirty-three years of my life I was Robert Cowell, an aggressive male who had piloted a Spitfire during the war [WW2], designed and driven racing cars, married and become the father of two children. Since May 18th, 1951, I have been Roberta Cowell, female.”
Week 1 in History
- March 1, 1978 – Women’s History Week is first observed in Sonoma County, California
- March 1, 1987 – Congress passes a resolution designating March as Women’s History Month
- March 2, 1903 – the Martha Washington Hotel opens in New York City, becoming the first hotel exclusively for women
- March 3, 1913 – Women’s Suffrage Parade in Washington, DC, where over 8000 women gathered to demand a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to vote
- March 4, 1917 – Jeannette Rankin (R-MT) took her seat as the first female member of Congress
- March 4, 1933 – Frances Perkins becomes United States Secretary of Labor, the first female member of the United States Cabinet
Women’s History Month kickoff blog post