March is Women's History Month, a time to explore and observe the influential roles of women throughout history. Today, we hear about the outstanding contributions made by women every day in sports, music, medicine, politics, or just about any industry. But it wasn't long ago that women had to fight to get the fair recognition they deserved for their accomplishments and their rights.
Voting rights for women began in 1920. However, it took more than 50 + years for a woman to be able to apply for a credit card or mortgage independently without a male co-signer! The Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974 informed financial institutions that they could no longer discriminate against personal attributes such as sex, race, age, and nationality. And we only recently voted in our first female Vice President in 2020!
As a women-run company, we'd like to spotlight March, Women's History Month, by discussing how this celebratory month evolved and who's who in Women's History firsts.
By the early 1900s, women were tired of facing general oppression and inequality at the mercy of an antiquated, male-driven system. During this time, women became more vocal and protested poor working conditions, poor pay, and a lack of voting rights.
Beginning on March 19, 1911, after several years of women worldwide campaigning for change, the first International Women's Day was celebrated in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland to rally around the fight for women's rights. March 8, 1917, became the designated International Women's Day; but not until 1975 did the United Nations celebrate this day.
President Jimmy Carter, in 1980, issued the first presidential proclamation declaring the Week of March 8, 1980, National Women's History Week, with 14 states announcing March as Women's history month by 1986.
But who are some women who broke down barriers to pave the way for other women to succeed in their respective fields?
Five Women Who Beat the Odds
Mary Musgrove (Coosaponakeesa) played a significant role in developing colonial Georgia in the 1700s. As a mixed-heritage woman of English and Native American ancestry, she served as a trader, interpreter, and negotiator between the English and Native people. She helped maintain fair trade with the Creek Nations and played a vital role in establishing the city of Savannah.
Rebecca Lee Crumpler was a medical pioneer in public health and health care in the 1800s. She was the first African American woman to graduate with a medical degree and had previously worked as a nurse for ten years. In 1883, she published the Book of Medical Discourses, the first medical publication by an African American.
Nellie Tayloe Ross was the first woman to take the oath of office and serve as state governor. She was elected Democratic Governor of Wyoming in 1924 after her husband died, and she succeeded him. In 1926, she was appointed vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee, and in 1933, she was named the Director of the US Mint.
Drew Gilpin Faust served as Harvard University's president from 2007 to 2018. She was the first woman president of Harvard and the first president without a Harvard degree. She attended Bryn Mawr College and the University of Pennsylvania and was a historian and author before becoming president of Harvard.
Hillary Clinton is a prominent figure in US politics. She served as the First Lady to President Bill Clinton, US Secretary of State, and US Senator from New York. In 2016, she won the Democratic primaries for the presidency.
With obstacles in their paths, the above women grabbed the reigns of opportunity and didn't let go until they realized their dreams.
MMC's Team of Women Held Positions
Our co-founder, Monica Dallyn, supports women in business, and promotes their growth and success within the company. The women at My Magic Carpet washable rugs hold prominent positions in Social Media Marketing, Digital Marketing Copywriting, Affiliate Program Coordinator, Graphic Designer, Senior Account Representative, Customer Service, and Photographer. The women at My Magic work collaboratively, collectively taking each other's ideas to grow a business.
As women, we take our cues from the ladies who walked before us as mentors to guide us down our own paths.