The Year of the Woman: 15 Herstory Making Women From 2023

Here’s To Strong Women: May We Know Them, May We Be Them, May We Raise Them

We’re just a few months into 2024, but that doesn’t mean we’re ready to shut the door completely on 2023, and there’s one major reason for that: women. 2023 was arguably one of the best years to date for women doing incredible things across all industries and platforms. From sports to the military to science and more, 2023 was the year of the woman, and we intend on telling their stories.

Listed below are a few of the incredible women who blazed a remarkable trail in 2023. We know that this isn’t all the women, but it’s a start, and for that we celebrate.

15 Herstory Making Women From 2023

  1. Admiral Lisa Franchetti – 2023 marked the first year in history that the US Navy appointed a woman to its helm. That woman was Admiral Lisa Franchetti. In November 2023, Franchetti’s nomination was approved 95-1, and marked the first time a woman has been put forward to head a Pentagon military service branch. With her approval, she also became the first woman to serve on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 
  2. Vice President Kamala Harris – In May 2023, Vice President Kamala Harris delivered the keynote speech at West Point’s graduation ceremony. This was the first time in the military academy’s 221-year history that a woman had given the commencement address. Harris’s remarks come on the heels of the 75th anniversary of women being allowed a permanent place in the US military, as well as the end of segregation in the Armed Forces. 
  3. Lt. Amanda Lee – In September 2022, Lt. Amanda Lee was selected for the Navy’s renowned demonstration team, the Blue Angels, making her the first woman to be selected for the position. In March 2023, Lee climbed in the cockpit to make her first public flight as an official member of the notorious team. 
  4. Army Sgt. Maciel Hay – Growing up, Sgt. Maciel Hay’s nickname in her family was “Sniper”, but there was never a guarantee that she’d actually grow up to be a certified one in the US Army. That all changed in November of 2023 when she graduated from the rigorous training of sniper school to become the first female active duty Army sniper.
  5. Christina Koch – America is going back to the moon, and it’s taking its first woman and black man with them. In April 2023, NASA announced that after a 50 year gap in lunar missions, they would be taking flight once more, and this time they would have a few minorities on board. Prior to being selected for this mission, Koch, alongside fellow NASA astronaut Jessica Meir, participated in the first all-female spacewalk in October 2019. Artemis II is scheduled to launch in September 2025.
  6. Claudia Goldin – In October 2023, American economic historian and labor economist, Claudia Dale Goldin became only the third woman in history to receive the Nobel Prize for Economics and the first woman to ever be awarded it in a solo capacity. What was the catalyst for the award? Goldin’s extensive research on obstacles women face in obtaining equal pay, of course. 
  7. Kim Ng – In 2023, the Miami Marlins saw real success for the first time in many years. Although many attribute it to the new manager, Skip Schumaker, there was more going on behind the scenes that most didn’t know, and that was thanks to Major League Baseball’s first ever female General Manager, Kim Ng. In November 2020, history was made when Ng was named the Marlins’ GM, as she was the first female to ever hold that title. More history was made in 2023, when she became the first female GM to lead a MLB team to the playoffs. Unfortunately in October 2023, Ng stepped down from her historic position due to unforeseen circumstances. 
  8. Candace Parker – Women’s basketball legend, Candace Parker, got her flowers in February 2023 when she was asked to call the NBA All-Star Game, making her the first person not of the male persuasion to ever have that privilege. During the broadcast, Parker explained that “representation and opportunity matters,” when asked about her presence as the play caller that day. 
  9. Cherelle Parker – As one of America’s oldest cities, Philadelphia has a long, and seemingly testosterone-filled, history. That all changed on January 2, 2024 when Cherelle L. Parker was officially sworn in as not only the 100th Mayor of Philadelphia, but as the 1st female Mayor of the, now City of Sisterly Love, as well. 
  10. Senator Patty Murray – In the Senate’s 234 years of existence, only 34 senators have cast 10,000 votes on the Senate floor. All of those senators were men. That was until April 20, 2023, when Washington Senator Patty Murray became the 35th senator and 1st female of its kind to reach that milestone. In a tweet sent out by Murray, she said “I just cast my 10,000th vote on the Senate floor – the first woman in history to reach this milestone, but certainly not the last!” And to that we applaud. 
  11. Greta Gerwig – The summer of 2023 can be summed up in one word: Barbenheimer. People of all ages flooded to the box office to watch the double feature of the century. But in a historic turnout, the female led, Barbie, was the winner. Greta Gerwig’s Barbie grossed $162 million in its first weekend of release. Not only was it the largest opening weekend of any movie in that year, but it was the largest debut ever for a film directed by a woman. 
  12. Taylor Swift – 2023 seemed to be the year of no escaping the superstar that is Taylor Swift. From her massive, economy boosting Eras Tour to becoming the only woman to ever be named TIME’s Person of the Year twice to being the first woman to amass 100 million monthly active listeners on Spotify, Swift was shattering the glass ceiling left and right in 2023.
  13. Missy Elliott – No need to flip it or reverse it, because Missy Elliott is still proving she is that girl. In February 2023, Elliott became the first female hip-hop artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
  14. Beyoncè – February 2023 was historic for Beyoncè Knowles, as well. After being awarded the Grammy for Best Dance/Electronic album for Renaissance, Knowles became the most awarded artist in Grammy history, securing 32 trophies in her historic career. 
  15. Janey Truncale – November 2023 marked a huge stride for women in the financial world when Janet Truncale was named the first female CEO of Ernst & Young, also making her the first female CEO of a big four firm. With this promotion, Truncale became one of the most senior women in the corporate world. 

2023 will certainly be hard to beat, but with only 2 and a half months under our belt, 2024 is shaping up to be just as big of a year for women both in America and abroad.

2024 Women to Watch

  1. Caitlin Clark – This current Iowa Hawkeye, and soon to be WNBA All Star, has had a year unlike any other. On February 15, Clark passed Kelsey Plum on the all time scoring list to become the NCAA Division I women’s scoring leader. In the final regular season game of her collegiate career, Clark passed Pistol Pete Maravich to become the all time leading scorer in NCAA Division I, for both men and women. On February 29, Caitlin declared for the WNBA draft, and since that announcement, the Indiana Fever, the team with the first pick and Caitlin’s projected landing spot, have seen their ticket sales increase dramatically. On top of Clark’s successes, she is must see TV. Whether it’s on the road or at home, when the Lady Hawkeyes basketball team are playing, people are buying tickets, which is why for the first time in Big Ten history, the Big Ten Women’s Tournament is completely sold out. That’s the power of a woman. 
  2. Nikki Haley – Before suspending her campaign, presidential hopeful Nikki Haley made history on March 3, 2024, when she became the first female Republican to win a primary in a GOP race. This historic victory came thanks to the District of Columbia, but was quickly followed up by a second win in Vermont. 
  3. Simone Biles – As a 7 time Olympic medallist, Biles has already cemented herself as the literal greatest Olympic gymnast of all time, so it is no surprise that all eyes will once again be on her as the Olympics take Paris this summer. 
  4. Sha’Carri Richardson – In 2021, Sha’Carri Richardson became a household name, but not because she was the fastest woman in the world. After qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics, Richardson was suspended due to testing positive for THC; therefore, disqualifying her from participating in the Olympics. She has once again qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics, and this time all eyes will be on Sha’Carri to see what the fastest women in the world can do on the world’s biggest stage.  
  5. Xochitl Galvez & Claudia Sheinbaum – For the first time in Mexico’s history, two women are the frontrunners for their presidential election. This historic election will take place on June 2, 2024, with Mexico’s first female president primed to take office either way. 

The world is made up of many beautiful people just trying to make their way, but sometimes we get to see the extraordinary ones in action. In 2023, we were lucky enough to see countless women do things that, historically, we were told we couldn’t, shouldn’t, or wouldn’t ever do, and 2024 is looking to be just as impressive of a year. The lesson to take away this Women’s History Month is simple: never count out a woman.

Which women made you proud in 2023?

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