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HE&R Kicks Off Women's History Month

March, Hershey Entertainment & Resorts is celebrating Women's History Month. This email was shared with our staff members on March 1 in recognition of the impact of women on leadership and business.  


Today marks the start of the 34th annual Women’s History Month and this year’s theme is "Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to Be Silenced.” March celebrates the vital role and societal impact that women have made throughout history. From Abigail Adams to Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth to Rosa Parks, the timeline of women’s history milestones stretches back to the founding of the United States. There is no better example of impact for us than Milton Hershey School. “It was Kitty’s idea,” Milton S. Hershey famously said as he frequently credited his wife when asked why the couple opened the School. Her leadership was a driving force in helping thousands of children in need. 

For centuries women have made significant leaps as leaders in business. “Breaking the glass ceiling” is not a new term or phenomenon. Widowed with six children in 1825, Rebecca Pennock Lukens took over her late father’s business, Brandywine Iron & Nail, a struggling manufacturer. Under her leadership, the business thrived later becoming a leading iron mill. Following her death, Brandywine Iron & Nail became the publicly traded Lukens Iron & Steel company. Listed on the New York Stock Exchange until 1998, it was purchased by Bethlehem Steel. Fortune later named Lukens ‘America’s first female CEO of an industrial company.’ 

Elizabeth Arden opened the first of her namesake salons in 1909. Her brand appeared on ‘red doors’ in numerous countries until 2019. According to her company’s website, ‘In 1963, Mary Kay Ash launched her business [Mary Kay Cosmetics] and disrupted the idea of “business as usual,” turning the male-dominated workplace on its head in the process.’ Trailblazing fashion icon Coco Channel launched her still-famous perfume and signature suit in the 1920s. Her influence on these billion-dollar industries continues today. These female pioneers helped pave the way for modern-day success stories like Whitney Wolfe Herd, founder and CEO of Bumble, and the youngest self-made billionaire.

An ‘accidental’ publisher of the Washington Post following her husband’s untimely passing, Katharine Graham led the iconic newspaper through two of its most defining moments in history, the exposure of the “Pentagon papers" and the Watergate scandal. Graham was the first-ever CEO of a Fortune 500 company, The Washington Post Company. 

In 2020, the Fortune 500 listed the most female CEOs in history - 37, representing just under 8% of the list. Today, women are at the helm of notable companies like General Motors, UPS, Oracle, Kohl’s, and Gap. We don’t have to look far for history-making female leaders. In 2017, Michelle Buck became the first female Chairman, President, and CEO of The Hershey Company (THC), a Fortune 500 company. Under her guidance, Entrepreneur.com recently said that investing in THC ‘Looks Sweeter Than Ever.’ 

We look forward to exploring Women’s History Month with you. 

Thank you.