MAKERS Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

It's Hispanic Heritage Month, and MAKERS is proud to honor eight extraordinary women of Spanish, Mexican, Caribbean, Puerto Rican, and Central and South American ancestry for their remarkable contributions and lasting impact in business, science, sports, arts, activism, and politics. To celebrate, we put together this playlist to let the pioneering women share their inspiring, trailblazing experiences in their own words.

Succeeding in the male-dominated world of construction, Linda Alvarado heads a construction company that has built and restored major high-rises, hotels, sports arenas and convention centers, including the convention hall where President Obama claimed the Democratic nomination in 2008.

Internationally recognized astrophysicist France Córdova became the youngest person and first female scientist at NASA, ultimately receiving NASA's highest honor, the Distinguished Service Medal, and serving as Purdue University's first female President from 2007-2012.

The highly accomplished young Texan boxer Marlen Esparza has already won six consecutive national boxing championships, qualified to compete in the first ever Olympic boxing event in 2012 and won an Olympic bronze.

Over the course of her determined career, union leader Dolores Huerta has suffered beatings and arrests fighting for the rights of farm workers, many of whom were not even granted access to a bathroom. In 1962, she co-founded the first successful farm workers union in the country, the United Farm Workers, with Cesar Chavez.

When Rachel McLish (born Raquel Livia Elizondo) won the first female bodybuilding championship in 1980, she changed the way we view female beauty, becoming a role model for women's fitness, proving a woman can be both strong and feminine.

Puerto Rican born actress, singer, and dancer Rita Moreno broke ground when she became the first Latina to win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Anita in West Side Story in 1961. Still working as an actress, she is part of a very small group of artists whom have won an Oscar, a Grammy, a Tony and an Emmy. Making a stand, she declined work for seven years because she did not want to play a Hispanic stereotype.

Miami-raised Ileana Ros-Lehtinen became the first Cuban-American and first Latina to join the House of Representatives in 1989 and is now in her third decade of service in Congress.

Breaking the traditions of her Mexican American community, Lydia Villa-Komaroff became just the third Mexican-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in the US. Since then, she has been a leader in molecular biology, including writing a landmark paper demonstrating how bacterial cells could be used to generate insulin.