As I looked back over my pervious post about the first for women over the years, I realized that just a short list of seven influential women is not nearly enough. Women like these ladies have paved the way for us and continue to break boundaries and make change. In this new list I want to attribute to the more modern side of first women and talk about women who are breaking the mold in our society today.
Let’s start off with Sandra Oh who was the first women of Asian descent to receive two golden globes. Sandra is highly known for her role on Grey’s Anatomy which she has been acting in for almost a decade as Cristina Yang. At the 2019 golden globes she finally received recognition for her work as well as receiving an award for Killing Eve. Sandra is a Canadian actress who is the daughter of Korean immigrants, and her work in the acting community and breaking down boundaries for Asians around the world. Learn more about her here.
Next let’s look at Cardi B who just recently became the first women to win best Rap Album in 2019. Yes, Cardi can be controversial and she isn’t afraid to speak her mind, but she really made a big impact for female rappers this past year. The category of best rap album has been around since 1995 and for 25 years men have dominated this category. By having Cardi receive this award she sets a standard that women have a respected place at the table when it comes to rap. During the current Coronavirus pandemic her viral single pulled from one of her Instagram rants has dominated the charts, and she has pledged to donate her earnings from the project to people who are currently struggling. Learn more about her here.
This past year Karen Uhlenbeck became the first women to win the Abel Prize for mathematics with her work in the fields of analysis, geometry, and mathematical physics. The Abel prize is a very high honor and is often looked at as the Nobel prize of math. Her work has resulted in huge advances in mathematics in the last 40 years and her research continues to inspire a generation of mathematicians. Learn more about her here.
Ali Stroker became the first woman in a wheelchair to win a Tony award back in June 2019. She had previously stared on Broadway in the show Spring Awakening and when she again stared in the Broadway production of Oklahoma, she made a major strive for people with disabilities. Ali has said that singing has helped her to feel like there are no limits in her life, and that her voice gives her joy. As well as her two Broadway appearances, Ali has appeared as a 2012 finalist for The Glee Project and has even been involved in TV projects such as Drunk History and Lethal Weapon. She has played a major role in proving that people with disabilities are just as capable as everyone else. Learn more about her here.
Obviously, most people know the name of Simone Biles, a well-known American Olympic gymnast, but this past year in October 2019 Simone became the most decorated gymnast in the world. She received her 24th and 25th gold metal at the world championships giving her the title of most awarded gymnast. Simone has a total of 19 gold metals, 3 silver metals, and 3 bronze metals. Learn more about her here.
All these women have done amazing work that is currently breaking down doors for women around the world. Unfortunately, I can’t list every first woman, or we would be here for ages, but I think it is important to recognize all the hard work that women like these ladies are doing to challenge societal standards and make names for themselves.