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Women’s History Month: 17 Impactful Modern Women To Highlight

Women’s History Month is a time to celebrate women’s past contributions to society. However, today’s women are making just as much of an impact, from business leadership to science to popular culture. Here are 17 exceptional ladies changing the world through their careers and visions for a better future.


Women hold only 32.3% of senior leadership positions, dropping 10 points following the pandemic. Fortunately, these women are paving the way for others to reach the top:

  • Whitney Wolfe Heard: Created the Bumble app, giving women power over connections within the dating landscape.
  • Mary Barra: The CEO of General Motors and the first woman to head a major auto manufacturer. Today, Barra is driving GM’s transition to electric vehicles. 
  • Katie Juran: Intuitive’s diversity and inclusion leader helped the company score 90 out of 100 in its first year of participating in the Disability Equality Index in 2021.
  • Melinda Gates: Although not an entrepreneur, Gates’ philanthropic work — particularly for women’s and children’s health — has significantly impacted the world.
  • Meena Harris: This lawyer, author, and founder of Phenomenal Woman Action Campaign donated proceeds from merchandise sales to social justice charities. She’s also Vice President Kamala Harris’s niece. 

All these women’s contributions to business and the world beyond are notable. For instance, entrepreneurs like Heard have created a sense of safety for women to foster new friendships and romantic partnerships on their terms without fearing assault or harassment. 

Science, Health, and Engineering

Although rapidly evolving and advancing, there remains a wide gender gap in the science, health, and technology industries. However, these four women are making their presence known in male-dominated fields:

  • Shirley Ann Jackson: The first Black woman to obtain a Ph.D. in nuclear physics and lead a research team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • Marian Croak: Computer scientist who created 200 technology patents — including Zoom — and the first Black woman inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame.
  • Reshma Saujani: Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, empowering women and closing the gender gap in technology. 

In 2020, Saujani founded the Marshall Plan for Moms to help women afford child care and return to the workforce. About 275,000 mothers left their jobs to care for their families during the pandemic.


The environment and climate change are among the hottest topics on everyone’s minds. The following women are advocating for a healthier planet for future generations: 

  • Greta Thunberg: Swedish climate activist who inspired the world’s largest climate protest in 2019.
  • Marina Silva: Brazilian politician fighting deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. 
  • Winona LaDuke: Activist and economist advocating environmental justice issues for indigenous people.
  • Dr. Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg: Executive director of African Women in Agriculture Research and Development (AWARD), supporting women agriculture scientists in sub-Saharan Africa, providing mentorship, education, and skills-based training to secure food systems. 

Environmental initiatives ensure resilience in the face of environmental change. Programs like AWARD, in particular, are critical for food security, helping to feed the 10.9 billion people expected by 2100. 

Entertainment and Sports

Many entertainers and athletes use their popularity to advocate important matters, changing how people perceive issues and act. These four women stand out the most:

  • Alyssa Milano: Actress and advocate for women seeking the right to an abortion. It is worth noting mortality rates are highest among women of color, while one in eight women suffer from postpartum depression.
  • Abby Wambach: A six-time winner of the U.S. Soccer’s Female Athlete of the Year award, scoring 184 goals as a professional player. Now, she advocates for equality and inclusion in football. 
  • Taylor Swift: Singer-songwriter who rewrote popular culture and influenced social issues, the economy, and the music industry. 

Currently, women are rewriting history. Future generations can expect to learn about modern women changing the world. Today, you can celebrate those making a name for themselves in tomorrow’s history books.

Featured image via THIS IS ZUN on Pexels



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