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Aug 29th 2012
The MAKERS.com video library continues to grow with first-person stories from women who are firsts in their fields. This week's newcomers: the first female Speaker of the House and the founder of the United Farm Workers.
Nancy Pelosi is Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives and represents California's eighth district as a member of the Democratic Party. In 2007 she became the 60th Speaker of the House and the first female Speaker in American history, a position she held until 2011.
Dolores Huerta is a union leader and activist for the rights of farm workers and women. Along with Cesar Chavez, she founded the first successful farm workers union in the country, the United Farm Workers, in 1962. She's a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Huerta has stepped down from her position at the UFW, but continues to lecture on worker's issues and women's issues around the country.
In addition to the Presidential Medal of Freedom, she's received numerous awards and recognitions-among them the Eleanor Roosevelt Humans Rights Award from President Clinton in l998, the Ohtli award from the Mexican government and nine honorary doctorates from universities throughout the U.S.
Learn more about Dolores by watching this video:
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Aug 22nd 2012
The newest video stories added to the growing MAKERS.com gallery of groundbreaking women spotlight the first female U.S. Senator from Texas and a manager at a Goodyear plant who has fought to achieve equal pay for women.
Kay Bailey Hutchison, the first female U.S. Senator from Texas, has also served in the Texas State Legislature and as the state's treasurer. Raised in La Marque Tex., she was one of five women to graudate from the University of Texas-Austin Law School out of a class of 500 people. "It was when I got out of law school that I hit my first brick wall," she says. "Law firms in Texas didn't hire women."
She burst onto the political scene in 1972 when she became the first Republican woman to be elected to the Texas House of Representatives. In 1976, President Gerald Ford appointed her to the National Transportation Safety Board. Though Hutchison strayed from politics shortly after, her professional career did not end there. Over the next decade, she was named senior VP and general counsel for Republic Bank, founded Fidelity Bank of Dallas and eventually purchased McCraw Candies Inc. When she returned to politics in 1993, Hutchison was elected to the U.S. Senate.
Lilly Ledbetter worked as an area manager at Goodyear plant in Gadsden, Alabama, for 19 years. Her crusade to remedy the gender-based pay discrimination she suffered during that time received national attention. Although she never received compensation for the discrimination she faced, Ledbetter fought on to pass legislation ensuring that other women would not have to deal with the same inequities she had. Her activism led to the passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009 by President Obama.
Learn more about Lilly by watching this video:
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Aug 16th 2012
In partnership with Unilever's new Simple facial skincare brand, AOL is excited to launch a nationwide search to find extraordinary women who can become recognized as "Next MAKERS." For the next six weeks, individuals can nominate themselves or women in their own lives who have made a remarkable impact to their local communities, are viewed as role models and inspire people around them to take action.
Six remarkable women from across the country will ultimately be selected to tell their stories in videos that will appear on MAKERS.com and receive a$10,000 grantso they can continue to do great work in their communities. The winning Next MAKERS will fly to New York City to attend an intimate dinner hosted by MAKERS and Simple and film their stories with the award-winning MAKERS filmmaking team.
AOL is proud to continue sharing the authentic, personal and previously untold stories of inspiring women with Next MAKERS. Think you or a peer has what it takes? Visit MAKERS.com/NextMAKERS or Facebook.com/SimpleSkincare to learn more information and nominate someone today!
Aug 15th 2012
The newest video stories added to MAKERS.com document the career paths of a traditional journalist turned blogger and entrepreneur and the first officially ordained "Rabba" in Orthodox Judaism.
Lisa Stone, CEO and co-founder of the award-winning social hub BlogHer, left a traditional journalism career at CNN for the Internet in 1997 and hasn't looked back.
In 2002, she was the first Internet journalist awarded a Nieman Fellowship from Harvard University. As Executive Producer and Editor in Chief/VP, Programming, for Women.com, Stone was responsible for developing some of the most successful online communities.
In 2005, she and co-founders Elisa Camahort Page and Jory Des Jardins launched BlogHer, a publishing and social network and annual conference that reaches 37 million women each month. BlogHer.com has been on Forbes' Top 100 Websites for Women in 2010, 2011, and 2012. Stone has also been honored as one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company and as one of The Most Powerful Moms in Media by Working Mother magazine.
Sara Hurwitz is the first officially ordained "Rabba" in Orthodox Judaism. She's the Rabba at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, N.Y., and the Dean of Yeshivat Maharat, also in Riverdale. After emigrating with her family from South Africa, she spent her teenage years in Boca Raton, Florida. Her early affinity for religious community life was affirmed when she took a high school vocational test that recommended she join the clergy. At the time, however, Orthodox women were not allowed to serve as rabbis, so she considered the suggestion impossible. Yet Hurwitz's relationship with Judaism continued to grow.
Upon completion of her coursework at Barnard College and then the Drisha Institute, Hurwitz began studying under the Rabbi Avi Weiss of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale. Over seven years, she received all the training required of a rabbi, learning how to give spiritual guidance, issue legal rulings, and counsel her congregants.
In 2009, Rabbi Weiss officially ordained Hurwitz, giving her the title "Maharat," and later converting it to "Rabba" (a feminized version of rabbi) to more clearly convey her full rabbinic role. While Hurwitz's ordainment caused a fierce backlash from some in the Orthodox community, she maintained her title and her leadership position.
Learn more about Rabbi Weiss by watching this video:
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Aug 8th 2012
This week MAKERS.com hears from a groundbreaking stewardess who talks about her fight against the discrimination of female flight attendants and from one of the country's first female coal miners, whose case against sexual harassment in the workplace reached the Supreme Court, making major strides in the women's movement.
Barbara "Dusty" Roads is a former stewardess and union leader who led a landmark sex discrimination case in the airline industry. Growing up loving aviation, Roads started flying as a stewardess with American Airlines once she realized women could not be hired as pilots. Although she enjoyed her career, she came to question industry policies that forced stewardesses to remain unmarried and retire at the age of 32. By 1965, Roads was a lobbyist for the National Flight Attendants Union, later the ALSSA, and began to fight back. In 1968, after years of determination and hard work, the Equal Opportunities Employment Commission issued a ruling prohibiting age ceilings or marriage bans in the airline industry.
Barbara Burns was one of the first female coal miners in the country and an 'everywoman' champion against sexual harassment in the workplace. By 1975, she was a mother of two with a husband in poor health. She was eager to earn more money for her family and became one of the first female coal miners in the country. She worked her way up through the ranks to foreman before being recruited by Smoot Coal Company, Inc. as a lab technician. At Smoot, Burns found herself the target of aggressive sexual advances and stalking by her boss, the company president. Unable to take it any longer, Burns eventually sought out attorney Betty Jean Hall and filed a complaint. The case lasted until 2000, when the West Virginia Supreme Court finally ruled in her favor.
Learn more about Barbara by watching this video:
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Visit MAKERS.com to learn about more inspirational women.