HE&R Celebrates Women's History Month & Women's Impact on Government
Throughout March, Hershey Entertainment & Resorts is celebrating Women's History Month. This email was shared with our team members in honor of the impact women have made on government and politics throughout the generations.
Politics and American government, and the leaders who hold office, have a significant ability to shape the lives of the people of our country. In recent years, women have made considerable advances in politics, but there were a number of females who blazed trails throughout the history of American government paving the way for generations of female leaders.
The first woman to run for president was Victoria Claflin Woodhull. Although she lost to Ulysses Grant, Woodhull fought for women’s rights and was the first woman to own an investment firm on Wall Street. From 1872 to 2020, a total of 23 women ran for president - seven of them in the most recent election including Senators Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar.
At the state level, Martha Hughes Cannon became the first female senator when she was elected to the Utah State Senate in 1896. In 1916, four years before the Nineteenth Amendment granted women the right to vote, Jeannette Rankin became the first woman elected to Congress. From 1997-2001, Madeleine Albright was the highest-ranking female in government serving as United States Secretary of State.
2001 was a landmark year for women in politics. Hillary Clinton became the first woman elected to the United States Senate and the only First Lady ever elected to public office. Condoleezza Rice became the first woman to hold the post of National Security Advisor and Elaine Chao became the first Asian American woman to serve in a presidential cabinet when she was appointed Secretary of Labor.
It was not until 1981 that a woman occupied a seat on the Supreme Court of the United States. For nearly 25 years, Sandra Day O'Connor played a vital role in some of the most important legal cases in modern history. A champion of women’s rights and equality, Ruth Bader Ginsburg joined the bench in 1993 and remained there until her death in 2020. America's first Latina Supreme Court justice, Sonia Sotomayor, was appointed in 2009 and continues her work today along with Amy Coney Barrett who filled the vacancy left by Ginsburg, becoming the fifth woman to sit on the High Court.
When the 117th session of Congress convened on Jan. 3, 2021, at the helm was Nancy Pelosi who began her fourth term as Speaker of the House, the first and only woman to serve in this role. Currently, women make up just over 25% of Congress. Although this is a significant increase from just a decade ago, it does not represent the population of women in America today.
Importantly, with our last election cycle, we witnessed history being made with the election of Kamala Harris as the first woman elected vice president of the United States, the highest office held by a female - to date.
The current administration’s stated goal was to have a diverse cabinet, which currently includes a record number of women appointees. As this trajectory continues, there is no doubt the voice and influence of women will be heard more clearly within the institutions of government and beyond.