5 Views On Groundbreaking Moments


Every MAKER has a wealth of unique and personal experiences that are powerful on their own. How can we combine their experiences to create a multi-faceted story on a topic, event or moment in history? Each week, we’ll create a playlist of five women, to explore and illuminate how one moment can bring forth many perspectives.


Women and people of color have made many gains in the last century, but certain facets remain where we have not yet been able to make our impact. The 2009 Catalyst Census reported that only 15.2% of Fortune 500’s CEOs are women, and these numbers change drastically depending on geographic region. We have yet to see a woman President of the U.S.A., although Hillary Clinton’s historic run in 2008 was a victory for increasing the visibility of women in positions of political power. 


Watch as the MAKERS give their thoughts on groundbreaking moments. When did they realize they were the first woman to accomplish a particular feat? How did they deal with backlash, and when did they realize the impact of their accomplishments?


1) Madeleine Albright: Getting the Call         

When Madeleine Albright was told that President Bill Clinton was going to call her the following day, she became nervous with anticipation. She picked up the phone and was told that she was to become Secretary of State, the very first woman to hold this position.


2) Maya Lin: A First on the DC Mall

Maya Lin entered a design competition, and won, becoming the first woman to have a monument on the DC Mall. Not everyone was happy for her though, and she questions whether if the competition had not been “blind,” whether her gender and Asian heritage would have prevented her from winning.


3) Ursula Burns: Two Historic Firsts 

When Ursula Burns became CEO of Xerox, she didn’t realize how many barriers she had broken. Through newspaper reports commending her promotion, she found out that she was not only was she the first African-American woman to be a CEO. She was also the first woman-to-woman CEO hand-off in history.


4) Geraldine Ferraro: The 1984 Convention

Geraldine Ferraro was not the first female Vice-President of the United States, but she was the first nominee. Women came from every state to witness her speech at the 1984 Convention, knowing that they were coming closer to being represented in American politics. With tears rolling down their faces, this emotionally charged event convinced many women to follow their dreams, despite the barriers they faced.


5) Gloria Steinem: Geraldine Ferraro’s First

What impact can a woman have by being the first? Gloria Steinem discusses the importance of Geraldine Ferraro’s candidacy for Vice-President in expanding the available pool for talented leaders to include both men and women.