Women have been breaking down barriers this month across the country. In our February edition of “Lionesses This Month,” we highlight six women shaking things up in the news.
Here are the featured women for February 2021:
Amanda Gorman made history last month as the youngest inaugural poet when she delivered her original composition at the 59th Presidential Inauguration on January 20th. Her piece, titled “The Hill We Climb,” is a message of hope and unity, including lines such as “Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken, but simply unfinished.” and “It’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit, it’s the past we step into and how we repair it.” Gorman, 22, graduated from Harvard University in 2020. The poet told CBS News of her long-term plan of running for president in 2036.
Rosalind “Roz” Brewer will take over as CEO of Walgreens effective March 15. According to Fox Business, the terms of Brewer’s contract includes “a one-time bonus of $4.5 million as well as a one-time long-term incentive award valued at $20.2 million in Walgreens stock, bringing her total bonus to nearly $25 million.” Brewer previously served as COO at Starbucks as well as President and CEO of Sam’s Club.
While the Super Bowl looked different for a number of reasons this year, one standout moment for women in the sports industry was when Sarah Thomas took the field. Thomas, 47, made history this month as the first female to officiate a Super Bowl, serving as a down judge. Thomas is also the first full-time female official in NFL history, joining the male-dominated industry in 2015. Forbes commented on the historic event, noting, “Just like Thomas will never forget when she got that initial call to the NFL almost six years ago, women everywhere will remember the glass ceiling that shattered when she took the field at Raymond James Stadium.”
Dr. Rachel Levine is President Biden’s appointee for assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. If confirmed, Levine would be the first openly transgender person federally appointed by the Senate. Dr. Levine is a pediatrician and currently Pennsylvania’s top health official, leading the state in the fight against COVID-19. Healthcare IT News reports Vice President Kamala Harris stated, “President Biden and I look forward to working with her to meet the unprecedented challenges facing Americans and rebuild our country in a way that lifts everyone up.”
“In this country, 69 percent of low-paid workers are women, 74 percent of part-time workers are women, 55 percent are in temporary employment. Those people are in the most vulnerable category right now. They are far more likely to lose their jobs completely when furloughing schemes end,” said Mandu Reid, leader of the Women’s Equality Party in the UK.
Reid makes the list this month for her efforts to shine a light on women in the workforce during COVID-19 and the unique challenges the pandemic has placed on working women. When the British government issued a stay-at-home advertisement featuring women doing all the domestic chores in the house, they faced a great deal of criticism. In the ad, the lone man lounges on the couch as women home-school, clean, and take care of children. The government took down the ad, but the image has already gone viral. An article in The Guardian notes the campaign “comes at a time when twice as many mothers as fathers say they will have to take time off with no pay due to school closures or a sick child, raising further fears that the economic fallout of the pandemic is falling disproportionately on women’s shoulders.” Reid says the unpaid work done by women, brings an estimated £140billion to the UK economy, according to Glamour UK.
Jennifer Granholm is expected to be confirmed by the Senate as secretary of Energy, after receiving approval by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee earlier this month. In the committee’s confirmation hearing, Granholm spoke to the importance of creating clean energy jobs, an effort she started while serving as Governor of Michigan. A recent article from The Hill notes Granholm’s top priorities as Energy Secretary would be “ensuring national security, supporting scientific work at national labs, including work on climate change, and deploying that research to create jobs.”
View last month’s featured women here.
Know someone who should be on this list? Let us know in the comments below!