Breaking Gender Barriers and Stepping into Financial Independence
Vice President of the United States, US Treasury Secretary, & Super Bowl Referee… what do these positions have in common? They were each represented by women for the first time ever in 2021.
Over the course of U.S. history, the generally accepted roles of women have been changing, from being a homemaker in a single income household to holding positions as CEO, leading political representatives, and even sports roles traditionally held by men. With new glass ceilings shattering for the first time in history, women have an inspiring opportunity, now more than ever, to turn their career dreams into a reality.
2021 is already a big year for women shattering glass ceilings in government.
One of the most notable moments for women in recent history was the swearing in of Kamala Harris as the first female Vice President of the United States. Mrs. Harris is also notably the first Black American and South Asian American who has been selected on a major party ticket for the Vice Presidency, as well as the first graduate of an HBCU (Historically Black College / University) to serve as Vice President.
Another first for women in 2021 was the confirmation of U.S. Secretary of Treasury, Janet L. Yellen. Secretary Yellen is the first woman to serve in this role since its inception in 1790. She has also served as Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors, in addition to being the first Chairwoman of the Federal Reserve.
These accomplishments couldn’t have materialized without the other women coming before them who were “firsts” in their role within U.S. Government. Some notable women include Frances Perkins, the first female member of a Presidential cabinet (Secretary of Labor – 1933); Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court (1981); Madeleine Albright, the first female Secretary of State (1997); and Hillary Clinton, the first female presidential nominee of a major political party (2016). The hard work and determination of these historical ladies paved the way for women of all generations to reach their full potential, and while they may have been the first in their roles, they will certainly not be the last.
Women are breaking long established barriers in sports.
Those who watched Super Bowl LV may have noticed Sarah Thomas, the first female referee serving as ‘hand of down judge’ for one of the biggest sporting events in the world. Ms. Thomas became the first female to referee for the National Football League [NFL] on a full-time basis in 2015. She was recognized in 2009 as the only female referee in major college football events, and she was the first woman to officiate an NFL playoff game in 2019.
Another notable first for women in Super Bowl history was Katie Sowers, an offensive assistant who coached for the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV. Ms. Sowers was the first woman to coach a professional team on this big stage. After shattering this ‘glass ceiling,’ she was followed in Super Bowl LV by Tampa Bay Buccaneers assistant coaches, Lori Locust, defensive line assistant, and Marla Javadifar, assistant strength and conditioning coach.
Finally, another huge barrier for women in sports was surpassed during the 2020-2021 football season when Sarah Fuller, a player on the Vanderbilt Women’s Soccer Team, joined the varsity football team as the kicker, following a COVID-19 outbreak that ravaged the Vanderbilt Special Teams group and created an opportunity. After kicking an extra point, she became the first woman to play and score in a Power Five college football game.
Women Making History Around the World in Business
Women are continuing to place themselves in positions of recognition worldwide. Tsai Ing-Wen is Taiwan’s first female President, and she is also the country’s first unmarried President. She studied trade law at the London School of Economics and is well respected as a thinker and negotiator. In the 2020 election, she received over 8.17 million votes for re-election, which is the highest total in Taiwan’s history. Having no relation to a former male political figure, she has overcome historic obstacles and solidified her spot in history.
Gülsüm Kav is a notable female family doctor in Instanbul. In her medical practice, she has seen the effects of women who have been victims of violence and have been silenced due to fear of continued abuse and / or death. As a result, she created, in collaboration with other activists, the We Will Stop Femicide Platform. This organization monitors trials related to femicide, creates resources for violence survivors, and maintains a database of women who were murdered. She has truly been an inspiration for women worldwide.
In India, Dr. Kieran Mazumdar-Shaw is the richest self-made woman and is the country’s first female brew master, a role traditionally reserved for men. Her study of fermentation science and belief in universal access to life-saving medications led her to the founding of Biocon in 1978, the largest insulin producing company in Asia. This company has provided more than two million affordable doses of insulin to patients worldwide. Her accomplishments were highlighted in 2020, when Maxumdar-Shaw was named to the Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women list.
From Africa, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was recently named Director-General of the World Trade Organization [WTO], and she represents the first woman and the first African to lead the Organization. Having studied economics at Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she has twice held the title of Nigeria’s Minister of Finance. She also worked 25 years at The World Bank, rising to the position of Managing Director, and she currently sits on a number of boards globally.
And finally, back home in the U.S., Sara Blakey is the founder and sole owner of Spanx, and she has been recognized as one of the youngest self-made billionaires. Her path to success faced many challenges, but with passion and determination, she has proven her ability to reach remarkable heights. She is committed investing in women and with the Sara Blakey Foundation, has donated more than $20 million to charity. Her passion is focusing on the empowerment of underserved women and girls, and she has been an inspiration to women worldwide.
Now, more than ever, it’s important for women to meet with a financial advisor.
With groundbreaking opportunities for females in the workforce, women are now able to think about their financial future in ways that weren’t possible in the past. Whether you’re taking that first step with a new job, or if you’re nearing the end of a successful career, it’s critically important to review your finances with an experienced professional to make sure you’re on track to meet your life goals and secure a comfortable retirement.
At Brookstone Wealth Management, we are committed to empowering women in securing financial independence. If you’re looking for help in organizing your finances or developing a plan to secure your retirement, contact Brookstone Wealth Management today.
Contact Brookstone Wealth Management Today
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