It’s funny how sometimes you don’t realize you need something until it hits you right in the face.
Scrolling through Time Magazine’s “FIRSTS” project, it’s hard not to feel a a pitter-patter of the heart, a shortness of breath and that spicy tingling in your nose that forces glossy tears to coat your eyes.
The collection focuses on 46 trailblazing women who are the first in their industries.
It highlights the best of what we have to offer and reveals a difficult-to-swallow truth for women: that the journey to success is equally as significant as the accomplishment itself.
It explores sexism, racism, homophobia, work-life-family balance, familial support and more. And let me tell you…
These women, their interviews and their accomplishments are soul stoking.
They make you feel powerful
Power in yourself, your voice and your ability to effect positive change. You feel exposed and vulnerable in the best of ways, and you feel a renewed sense of optimism.
And I think that’s because deep in our hearts, we can’t help but see these women’s accomplishments as partly our own. There’s a connection we can all share as women.
We all know what hurt and rejection feels like. And when one of us wins, we all win.
Time Magazine’s Editor In Chief, Nancy Gibbs, penned an extraordinary letter about the project, which encompasses “a magazine, a multimedia project at TIME.com/firsts and a book coming out September 19.”
In it, she makes the point that for many female pioneers in their respective industries, they may not want to emphasize their womanhood.
They — understandably— want the focus to be on their work or work ethic. But we can’t avoid the important questions:
“Why are there so few women up there with her?” Gibbs asks. “Why did it take this long?
“And if the answer is even partly that there were few role models, that there were no ladies’ rooms in the halls of power, that every step was steeper and harder, then women need to stand up, stand out and be seen at every level, for every talent and discipline,” she says.
This project provides role models for young girls
That’s what most important.
It allows them the opportunity to say, “I want to be the next Ilhan Omar, Marry Barra or Issa Rae,” as opposed to “politician, CEO or actor.”
Are titles alone wrong? No. But they AREN’T ENOUGH.
Putting a face to the name adds context, inspiration, guidance, and reassurance that it IS possible. Perhaps most importantly, it plants the idea in her mind in the first place.
“Our goal with this extraordinary project … is for every woman and girl to find someone who moves her, to find someone whose presence in the highest reaches of success says to her that it is safe to climb, come on up, the view is spectacular,” Gibbs says.