Our Favorite Milestones for Women This Decade

By Sallie Krawcheck

The decade from 2010 through 2019 has been a wild ride, hasn’t it?

There were lows. We all know the lows. Harvey Weinstein (both that his crimes went on for so long and that he isn’t paying his victims a penny out of his own pocket). Larry Nassar. Anthony Weiner. Brett Kavanaugh. Gamergate. A pay gap that didn’t come close to closing — and, in fact, barely budged. The terrifying knowledge that we are a society that can hear a presidential candidate say the words “grab ’em by the pussy” on a hot mic and then go ahead to elect that person to the highest office in the land.

It’s been a wild ride. The lows were … pretty low.

But looking back to 2010, I remember very well that feminism was not very widely talked about in the media … much less celebrated on social media or by any number of companies.

At the same time, we’ve come so far. The highs have been incredibly high.

Our team made a list of some of our favorite of those highs throughout the decade — from women+ shattering records to the advances we’ve made.

March 7, 2010: Kathryn Bigelow becomes the first woman director to win an Academy Award for “Hurt Locker.”

Aug. 7, 2010: Elena Kagan is sworn in to the US Supreme Court, marking the first time that the court has three women justices.

July 13, 2013: Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tomet found the Black Lives Matter movement in response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin shooting. The movement goes on to be one of the most important of the decade.

Aug. 31, 2013: At age 64, Diana Nyad becomes the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a cage. She later goes on to tell her story of sexual assault in 2017, a month after the #MeToo movement started.

July 10, 2014: Laverne Cox is the first trans woman to be nominated for an Emmy Award for her role as Sophia on “Orange Is the New Black.”

Aug. 5, 2014: Roxane Gay publishes “Bad Feminist” and amplifies the discussion of a feminism that is intersectional, trans-inclusive, and not privileging of white women.

Aug. 24, 2014: Beyoncé appears at the VMAs with a giant “feminist” sign behind her in a visual image we’ll never forget (and does it again at the 2016 VMAs after the release of her epic “Lemonade”).

Sept. 20, 2014: Emma Watson makes a speech at the United Nations Headquarters to introduce the HeforShe initiative.

Oct. 10, 2014: 17-year-old Malala Yousafzai wins the Nobel Peace Prize for her work supporting girls’ right to an education.

Dec., 2014: Whitney Wolfe Herd founds Bumble and transforms the way women date — and network with each other — online.

June 27, 2015: The US Supreme Court rules that same-gender marriage is every citizen’s right nationwide.

Sept. 1, 2015: Rebecca Solnit publishes “Men Explain Things to Me” and brings the word “mansplaining” into the vernacular.

Sept. 19, 2015: Viola Davis is the first Black woman to win an Outstanding Lead Actress Emmy and gives an incredible speech that includes the line, “The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity.”

July 29, 2016: Hillary Clinton accepts the Democratic nomination and makes history as the first woman presidential nominee from a major party.

Aug. 16, 2016: Simone Biles earns her fourth gold at the Rio Olympics and becomes an icon. She goes on to set a record in 2019 for the most medals won at a single world championship.

Jan. 21, 2017: The first Women’s March is held in 673 locations around the globe, becoming the largest single-day protest event in history.

July 1, 2017: Oregon becomes the first state to offer a “gender non-binary” option on its drivers’ licences.

Oct. 15, 2017: Alyssa Milano posts a tweet with the hashtag #MeToo in response to the accusations of sexual harassment against Harvey Weinstein that had come out the previous week. The tweet goes viral, and credit for the concept is eventually given to activist Tarana Burke. The conversation unleashes a globally culture-changing tidal wave of similar stories by women and a reckoning for several other prominent men after sexual harassment claims.

Jan. 1, 2018: A coalition of women in Hollywood announce the launch of TIME’S UP, an awareness organization and legal defense fund for victims of sexual harassment in order to “create a society free of gender-based discrimination in the workplace and beyond.”

Nov. 6, 2018: A record-shattering 117 women are elected or appointed to Congress in the midterm elections, bringing the total number of women currently serving to 127. The race included record numbers of LGBTQIA+ candidates and a whole lot of historic firsts.

Feb. 10, 2019: Cardi B is the first woman solo performer to win a Best Rap Album Grammy for “Invasion of Privacy.”

July 7, 2019: The US Women’s National Soccer Team wins the World Cup and celebrates with well-deserved and utter joy … while going ahead with an equal pay lawsuit to get paid what they’re worth. (It’s scheduled to go to trial in May 2020.)

Aug. 28, 2019: 16-year-old Greta Thunberg lands after two weeks sailing from Sweden to New York to appear at a climate change protest at the United Nations. She’s later named TIME’s Person of the Year. This isn’t just a remarkable achievement by a young girl — it’s also true that climate change issues disproportionately affect women.

We’ll also be looking back on 2019 in our Money Cheat Sheet and Elle Raisers newsletters this week, btw. I can’t wait to see what we all do in the 2020s.

Sallie Krawcheck Signature


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Sallie Krawcheck

Sallie Krawcheck is the Co-Founder & CEO of Ellevest. Her life’s mission is to help women to reach their financial and professional goals.