Portrait of woman

Illustration by Cindia Escalante

It’s no longer just a man’s world out there, women have been taking over the years and will continue to do so. Celebrating International Women’s Day, I decided to take this opportunity to tell you about the amazing work women have been doing for years, which is worthy of recognition. Some might seem familiar, others might not, yet after reading this I truly hope you share them, read the books you haven’t, watch the amazing movies, and go see these true masterpieces.

Because women have been doing amazing work since day 1, and in 2019, as women we need to keep rooting for each other, share our work but mostly lift each other up, because a true woman will celebrate other women’s success; a true woman will not criticize or bring another woman down but will rather defend her. Because a woman in 2019 cheers, compliments, supports and mostly pushes other women to be their best. Women supporting women everyday.

So here are 17 outstanding, passionate women, who have inspired the world and are true role models, but also achievers and fighters for their dreams. Because as I said, it’s no longer a man’s world.

Amy Heckerling

“Ugh! As if!” it was a man’s world. Not so fast, because behind Alicia Silverstone’s iconic quote is Amy Heckerling, who not only wrote but also directed the unforgettable romantic comedy Clueless. Heckerling also directed the successful film Fast Times at Ridgemont High, National Lampoon’s European Vacation and Look Who’s Talking starring John Travolta. So yeah, we are all totally bugging about Amy!
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Michelle Obama

“Purse so heavy getting Oprah dollars. Boss.” Hope you read that with Fifth Harmony’s musical tone. In case you didn’t, you should check out the song because they are not wrong calling her boss. She truly is one. Former first lady, lawyer and writer, Michelle is an inspiration just like the other women named on this list. Her new book Becoming is a masterpiece you should definitely read as this lady boss tells us her inspiring story and outstanding work.

 


Frida Kahlo

After a car accident, Frida had to undergo 35 operations in her life and bear with extreme lapses of pain. However, if it weren’t for this unfortunate event we probably would not have witnessed her art, since while in the hospital, Kahlo began painting and ultimately abandoned her career in medicine and became an artist. Mostly known for her self-portraits full of symbolic portrays of her physical and psychological wounds, Kahlo said “I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best”.

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Stephanie Kwolek

Ever heard of Kevlar? The heat resistant and strong synthetic fiber? Well, Stephanie is who we need to thank for, as her creation in 1966 did take and continues to take a bullet for us. She was the fourth woman to be added to the National Inventors Hall of Fame and until 2015, she was the only woman to be awarded the DuPont company’s Lavoiser Medal for outstanding technical achievement. Lorem IpsumLorem IpsumLorem IpsumLorem Ipsum


Lillian Gilbreth

This woman is full of surprises. Not only she was the creator of the shelves inside the refrigerators doors and the foot-pedal trash can but she’s also the mother of the iconic dozen most known in Cheaper by the Dozen, and I am not talking about the movie, but the real life story behind it which is in the book humorously written by two of her children telling about their parents’ work/home collaboration while trying to raise 12 kids.
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Elizabeth Magie

You probably haven’t heard this name, but you must definitely have heard her creation. Remember those family reunions where one of the biggest family disputes was created because of…. Monopoly? That’s right, Elizabeth Magie is responsible for those fun arguments or family wars about who was the richest. She invented Monopoly under the name of The Landlord’s Game, who was later changed to Monopoly after it was acquired by the Parker Brothers.


Sandra Cisneros

Mexican-American writer, Sandra Cisneros is best known for her first novel The House on Mango Street. A coming of age novel written from the perspective of Esperanza Cordero, a Latina who struggles in a Puerto Rican neighborhood in Chicago. The novel addresses themes such as Marxism, racism, feminism, sexual abuse and the Chicana culture. It has earned many awards and it’s a New York Times best-seller that you should check out.

 

 

 


Shonda Rhimes

The genius behind shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal or How to Get Away with Murder. Shonda Rhimes is an American TV producer and writer, author and founder/owner of American television production company Shondaland. Furthermore, she is the author of Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun, and Be Your Own Person. So if you haven’t seen any of her shows or read her amazing book, you should, because you are missing out big time.

 

 

 


Virginia Apgar

Do you know the first ever test they did to you? Well, don’t worry, that is the Apgar test, also known as Apgar Score, which is named after Doctor Virginia Apgar, who in 1952 began testing new-borns to determine if they needed immediate care. The test stands for the 5 things they are actually testing: Activity, Pulse, Grimace, Appearance and Respiration. Aside from this, Virginia was a leader in both anesthesiology and teratology fields, and also the one who introduced obstetrical considerations to neonatology. So many thanks, Doc!


Patty Jenkins

We all have a Wonder Woman living inside of us and this list proves it. Patty Jenkins is no exception and actually, this Wonder woman was the one directing and bringing Wonder Woman to life, starring Gal Gadot. Also, she’s the only female director to direct a film with a budget of over $150 million. Basically the “wonder woman” behind the camera.

 

 

 


Kathryn Bigelow

Kathryn Bigelow is definitely one story for the book as she is the first woman to ever win an Academy Award for directing The Hurt Locker. Not only she is an outstanding director, but she knows how to rock her job! With her gripping war thriller, Bigelow created a masculine kind of film and literally nailed it. And this woman has actually given men in Hollywood what they wanted, because this movie holds up against the greatest war films of all time.

 


Greta Gerwig

Talking about Academy Awards and amazing directors, Greta Gerwig is someone we cannot forget about. The American actress, writer and director is the mastermind behind the Golden Globe Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, Lady Bird. Gerwig did her solo directorial debut with Lady Bird and actually received two Academy Award nominations for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, but also Best Screenplay nominations in the Golden Globes and BAFTA.


Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda is a Nigerian novelist, short stories and non-fiction writer. Author of Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun, Americanah, The Thing Around Your Neck (a short stories collection) and We Should All Be Feminists. Adichie was described as “the most prominent of a procession of critically acclaimed young Anglophone authors who is succeeding in attracting a new generation of readers to African literature.”


Liane Moriarty

Another recognized author whose stories made it to the big screen, Liane Moriarty is the author of not one, not two, but seven best selling novels, one of them being the popular TV series Big Little Lies starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and Shailene Woodley. If you haven’t read any of her novels, I recommend you to add one to your list, you will not regret it!


Agatha Christie

You definitely have heard her name and it’s not for nothing. Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, also known as Agatha Christie, was an English writer mostly known for her 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections. She was also the writer of the world’s longest-running play, The Mousetrap which is a murder mystery. As if that wasn’t enough, she was also the person behind Mary Westmacott, the pseudonym she used to write 6 semi-autobiographical novels which are described by her daughter as “bitter-sweet stories about love”. To add more, Christie is listed as the best selling novelist of all time by the Guinness World Records as her novels sold around 2 billion copies. It’s also claimed that her works are in third place in the ranking’s of the world’s most-widely published books, after Shakespeare and the Bible. Furthermore, Christie is also considered the most translated individual author with having her work translated into at least 103 languages. So yes, you heard her name and it’s not for nothing, as this woman, the author of the world’s best selling mystery ever and one of the best-selling books of all time is definitely worth knowing about.

Oprah Winfrey

If you live in this era, this is another name you have definitely heard, and although she’s not the author of the world’s best selling mystery, she’s the creator of other amazing and worth-knowing works. The American actress, media executive, talk show hostess, TV producer and philanthropist is best known for her talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show. Definitely, another record breaker of the list: Oprah was named the richest African American of the 20th century and also North America’s first black multi-billionaire, and until today, she continues to be ranked as the greatest black philanthropist in American history. Author of 10 books, her last one expected to be released by the end of March, she is a true inspiration to many and it’s no surprise that she has been ranked as the most influential woman in the world several times.


Julie Taymor

We all know The Lion King, and although she is not the creator of the movie we have all seen, Julie Taymor is the director and creator of The Lion King Broadway Show, that 20 years after its release, remains as one of the biggest hits. Seen by more than 90 million people in 19 countries, this show has been translated into 8 languages without including the 6 African languages that are already incorporated in the show. So although she didn’t create the big story, she is indeed the genius behind the breathtaking show for which she has won Tony Awards for Direction of a Musical and Costume Design. It must be pointed out that Julie was the first woman to receive the Tony Award on Direction of a Musical and remains a leading force in theatre and music, as her show has earned the highest worldwide gross of any entertainment title in the box office history.