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NASCAR to the Golden Globes: Lionesses Breaking Ground

Celebrating women who made a mark in March.

In our monthly series “Lionesses This Month,” we celebrate the incredible achievements of women changing the world and making history. These five women are breaking ground in fields from film and banking to NASCAR’s pit crew.

Women who made headlines in March:

Averi Harper

ABC News recently named Averi Harper their deputy political director. She was a force in the recent elections, covering the Democratic primaries and the Biden/Harris campaign. Other prominent stories including her contributions: “Pandemic: A Nation Divided” and “Juneteenth: A Celebration of Overcoming.” Harper also directed reporting at the funeral of George Floyd. In their statement, ABC described Harper as, “a gifted reporter and storyteller and also a natural leader. Her talents will be invaluable in guiding our audience – and our political team – through this unprecedented moment in our nation’s political life.”

Brehanna Daniels

In April 2016, Brehanna Daniels had to make a decision: attend pit crew tryouts for NASCAR or continue her university internship. Within two days, she switched from videotaping a basketball game to pit crew training. Daniels became the first Black woman to work for pit crew during a NASCAR race (in 2017) and a Daytona 500 race (in 2019). Daniels hopes to encourage more people of color to attend tryouts and become involved in every level of NASCAR, from crew to the owners.

Chloé Zhao

At the recent Golden Globes, Chloé Zhao became the first Asian woman to win the award for Best Director. She was also the second woman, preceded by Barbra Streisand in 1984. The “Nomadland” director was celebrated online for being an inspiration to other Asian women around the world. This Golden Globes season was also notable for nominating two other women for best director: Regina King and Emerald Fennell. This was the first time more than one woman was considered for the award.

Thasunda Brown Duckett

Recently, the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America announced that Thasunda Brown Duckett will become its next CEO. Duckett, who is currently the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, will step into the role on May 1. She will be the second Black woman appointed this year to lead a Fortune 500 firm. She is also the fourth Black woman to ever lead a Fortune 500 company. In an Instagram post, Duckett shared a message of excitement and thankfulness, saying: “I have so much gratitude for all the shoulders I stand on.”

Whitney Wolfe Herd

Dating apps are a multi-billion-dollar market and one that continues to grow. This flourishing  market contributed to Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe Herd’s new status as the youngest self-made woman billionaire. As of 2020, Bumble has an estimated 100 million users and only continues to grow. When the company recently went public, it left CEO and Founder Wolfe Herd with a net worth of $1.5 billion.

To learn more about Wolfe Herd, read our coverage here.

View last month’s featured women here.

Want to highlight anyone else breaking ground? Let us know in the comments!

About the author

Laura Grant

As Managing Editor of Lioness, Laura Grant works with the editorial team and a slew of freelancers and regular contributors to produce a publication that offers equal parts inspiration and information. Laura is a graduate of Western New England University with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and a master's degree in Communications. She spent her undergraduate term developing her writing and communication skills through internships, tutoring and student media involvement. Her goal is to publish a novel one day. Before joining Lioness full-time, Laura was a freelancer herself and wrote many stories for the magazine.

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