A look at how far women have come

First Posted: 2/10/2015

LIMA — Many women in leadership roles locally maintain that women have come a long way since they’ve been in their careers. This timeline explores the victories women have had in the past 30 years in the business world and in breaking barriers to achieve equality.

2015: Mia Love, R-Utah, becomes the first black Republican woman in Congress

Before that, she served as the mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, from 2010 to 2014.

2013: France Anne Córdova is appointed as the director of the National Science Foundation

She was previously the first woman – and the youngest person – to hold the position of Chief Scientist for NASA, which she got in 1993.

2009: U.S. President Barack Obama signs the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law

The federal law expands workers’ right to sue for pay discrimination and relaxes the statute of limitations on such suits.

2007: Nancy Pelosi becomes the first woman Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives

She served as speaker until 2011, and people called the 111th Congress “one of the most productive” in history, under her leadership.

2005: Condoleezza Rice becomes the first African-American woman appointed Secretary of State

She served until 2009 and, as Secretary of State, she backed the growth of democratic governments, mediated several international agreements and worked to improve human rights in Iran.

2004: Sophia Coppola becomes the first American woman to be awarded an Academy Award for Best Director

She won for “Lost in Translation,” which came out in 2003.

2001: President Bush nominates Linda Chavez to Secretary of Labor, making her the first Hispanic woman to be nominated to a United States Cabinet position.

She later withdrew her name from consideration.

2000: Hillary Clinton becomes first former First Lady elected senator

She served as a senator for New York from 2001 to 2009.

1997: Nominated by President Bill Clinton, Madeleine K. Albright becomes first woman U.S. Secretary of State. Before that, she served as U.N. ambassador.

She was the 64th Secretary of State and served from 1997 to 2001.

1993: Janet Reno becomes the first woman to hold office of Attorney General of the United States

She served as the 78th Attorney General until 2001.

1993: Supreme Court rules that sexual harassment in the workplace is illegal

The case was Harris v. Forklift Sys., Inc., and the court’s decision reaffirmed a previous case from 1986, Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson.

1993: Dr. Jocelyn Elders becomes U.S. Surgeon General

She was the first African-American to have the position and during her time, fought for universal health coverage and was in favor of comprehensive health education. She served until 1994.

1993: Ruth Bader Ginsburg is appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court

She is still serving as an associate justice and was nominated by President Bill Clinton.

1992: Record-breaking number of women elected to Congress

Called the “Year of the Woman,” 28 new women were elected to Congress, resulting in a doubling of the number of women in Congress.

“After years in the trenches, more women are finally moving up to the front lines,” said Lynn Schenk, elected to the House in 1992.

1987: Census Bureau reports average woman earns 68 cents for every dollar earned by a man

In 2013, women made 78 cents for every dollar men made.

1986: Oprah Winfrey becomes the first African American woman to host a nationally syndicated talk show when “The Oprah Winfrey Show” debuts.

The show ran until 2011.

Sources: Information for the time line is courtesy of: http://www2.lhric.org/pocantico/womenenc/dates.htm, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, The Leonore Annenberg Institute for Civics, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, Scholastic, Nancy Pelosi’s website, IMDB.com, The U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian, Encyclopedia Britannica, the U.S. Department of State Archive, the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Whitehouse.gov, the U.S. House of Representatives, the Rutgers Center for American Women and Politics and the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

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