International Women’s Day: Women Who Have Inspired Our Careers

Today is International Women’s Day, a day to commemorate the fight for women’s rights. This past year has been hard for women. Studies found that men are 30 percent more likely than women to be promoted at work. The United States continues to be one of the only industrialized nations that does not offer paid family leave. Violence against women is on the rise. Oh, and remember all the sexist moments during the presidential election? Fusion compiled a list of at least 39 times candidates, pundits or journalists were sexist or the victims of sexism.

This International Women’s Day, remember the women who fought to be where they are. Women who are successful, independent and inspirational. When women see other women in positions of power, they start to believe it’s possible to follow in their footsteps.

The Buzz staff has collected a list of women who inspire them to follow their career path. These women are journalists, activists, judges and even pop artists. Appreciate their work and remember all the women who still do not have access to success or economic independence.

 

Mona Chalabi—Natalie Heineman

Data journalist at The Guardian US

  Photo courtesy of New York Magazine

Photo courtesy of New York Magazine

Writer. Illustrator. Data analyzer. Sexual health advocate. Mona Chalabi does it all. Chalabi is a young British journalist who has previously worked for ThirtyFiveEight and Economist Intelligence Unit, but is now the data editor at The Guardian. She was one of the few poll analyzers who was able to accurately predict Donald Trump’s presidential victory. Chalabi, along with video producer Mae Ryan, created an information video series called “The Vagina Dispatches.” Female sexual health, and women’s health care in general, is often ignored by the media, our government and educational institutes. When not filming videos, Chalabi’s articles are crisp, clear and interesting. She simplifies numbers and presents data in an easy-to-understand manner. Follow Chalabi on Instagram if you love cute infographics.

 

Lara Logan—Sabrina Martinez

Journalist and Foreign War Correspondent

  Photo courtesy of ABC

Photo courtesy of ABC

Lara Logan is a South African radio and broadcast Journalist for CBS News. She is most known for her appearance on CBS’s 60 Minutes. She is bold, fierce, courageous and goes where the story takes her. She has travelled to Liberia in Africa to cover a story on the Ebola outbreak and even to the frontlines of Afghanistan to report on the search for al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. Her reporting also took her to Egypt where she was covering the Arab Spring demonstrations, but was sexually assaulted by a mob in the middle of Egypt’s Tahrir Square. She has overcome her struggle and managed to become a stronger woman. She hasn’t given up reporting. She now lives in Texas freelancing and spending time with her family.  

 

Viridiana Vidal—Alex Puente

Journalist and activist

  Photo courtesy of Viridiana Vidal

Photo courtesy of Viridiana Vidal

Viridiana is a former news anchor for Univision in Las Vegas. She is a threetime Emmy award winner for her work in journalism, serving as an inspiration for many Latino and Hispanic individuals. Much of her reporting revolved around deportation and other issues faced by undocumented immigrants, but like many journalist she had to remain detached to the subject matter. After the results of the election, however, she was determined to do more. The negative rhetoric being spread about immigrants and the Mexican community was a common topic in the newsroom, and Vidal could no longer stand by as her heritage was being denounced. She left her career and is using her platform to advocate for the community, continuing to stand up for what she believes in.

 

Sonia Sotomayor—Alexis Tatum

Supreme Court Justice

  Photo courtesy of Speak Up For Success

Photo courtesy of Speak Up For Success

I have wanted to be a lawyer since I was 8 years old. While my choice of career path is still uncertain, I have always remained passionate about writing and law. In 2009, I learned about a woman named Sonia Sotomayor, who had just become the first woman of color to be appointed to the Supreme Court. Sotomayor is one of my inspirations to go to law school following my undergraduate career. She embodies the image of a beautiful, yet powerful leader as well as an advocate for justice despite race, gender identity or background.

 

Christiane Amanpour—Sayuri Kolombege

Journalist

  Photo courtesy of CNN

Photo courtesy of CNN

Christiane Amanpour is an outstanding reporter who has a career spanning over three decades. She has done exceptionally well in the newsroom by any standard and has managed to win every single major broadcasting award to flatter her already celebrated journalism career. She i’s praised on landing exclusive interviews with Hosni Mubarak and Muammar Ghadafi, and several other meetings that other journalists have written off. She’s not only an inspiration to women, but to all journalists who strive to go beyond what is asked of them to unveil the truth. Her mission to understand and shine light on those who sit on the other side of the table continue to inspire me and propel me toward a career similar to hers.

 

Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta (Lady Gaga)—Sofia Mendiola

Songwriter, Singer, and Television Actress

  Photo courtesy of Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Photo courtesy of Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

During my middle school years, I was not the most outspoken or easy going person I feel I am now. I was quite confused and introverted most of the time, and I did not have anyone to talk to about the depression I was going through. One evening, after coming home from a long and stressful day from school, I sat on my couch. All of the sudden there she was: Lady Gaga. She wasn’t performing, just talking amongst the crowd at her Monster Ball Tour. I sat and listened to the speech that would change my life for the better. She told me to let go and to fight against everyone who believed I was not pretty or smart enough, and to accept myself for who I truly was. It led me to feel confident, safe and inspired me to write how I felt. She kept reminding me of her message through her songwriting. A story is meant to give a voice to the people who don’t have one, and to share their story to better shape the world. Ever since eighth grade I knew I wanted to be journalist, because I wanted to make people feel the way Lady Gaga led me to understand how I should feel about myself. I want to write about people who face obstacles in their everyday lives, because I want them to feel they have a voice and they are an important aspect into shaping our society.

 

Mary Wollstonecraft—Alyssa Frost

Writer, Women’s Rights Activist, Philosopher

  Photo courtesy of biography.com.

Photo courtesy of biography.com.

I’m going to take a second to throw it back to an inspiration from 1792. I read Mary Wollstonecraft’s “A Vindication of the Rights of Women” for a grade in British Literature, and I  discovered someone who fought for women like me to be educated and to be seen as strong and free when it was the hardest to have a voice—all during a time when women had essentially no rights or independence. Women were essentially plot devices and not subjects. Wollstonecraft is known as one of the earliest feminist philosophers, advocating for equal rights and education opportunities for all. One of the most inspiring things about her is that she was so fearlessly human, while demanding more from our society. She wrote with bravery and conviction, which is what inspires me in all aspects of my writing.

 

Terry Gross—Emanuela Schneider

Journalist

  Photo courtesy of Hello Giggles

Photo courtesy of Hello Giggles

Terry Gross has been the host of “Fresh Air”, an NPR program, since 1975. The program is a daily talk show about arts, culture and contemporary issues. Her immense guest lists varies from local community members to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. But her guests aren’t what make the show—Gross is what you can call a master at conversation. The NPR host researches deeply into her guests and is able to ask them unpredictable and thoughtful questions. She does this, however, with extreme warmth towards her interviewers. Gross’ ability to make interviewees open up has granted “Fresh Air” the Peabody award. Each time Gross’ podcast features a guest I am familiar with, I expect to see another side of them explored. Listening to “Fresh Air” not only makes me cherish NPR more, but it inspires me to find a new light to interviews.  

 

Leila Khaled—Rimsha Syed

Palestinian Rights Activist

  Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

“To feel injustice and be conscious of who is oppressing you - you will act as a human being, whether you are a woman or a man.” As the face of female resistance, Leila Khaled is a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the largest leftist force in Palestinian political life. Khaled is primarily credited for being the first woman to hijack an airplane; she was a leading force in two operations in 1969 and 1970. Once Khaled’s plight to be part of the liberation changed from passive to active, she, and PFLP member Salim Issawi, hijacked flight 840 with a grenade and pistol, in order to fly over their city, Haifa. The mission was to bring attention to the Palestinian people, and have the world recognize the severity of occupation, settler colonialism, refugees, and lack of humanitarian aid. Since the aftermath of the hijackings, Khaled has continuously directed her resistance efforts in the General Union of Palestinian Women (GUPW) and the Palestinian National Council (PNC) amidst having a target on her back. A revolutionist, a fighter, an icon, and most importantly, a woman, Khaled is a living symbol of the Palestinian women’s movement.