Shattering the Glass


The glass ceiling effect is an invisible barrier which prevents women from moving-up in their positions. For instance, less than 5% of women in the United States are executive managers.  The glass ceiling is a form of discrimination for women, and has been holding women back since the beginning.  Despite this effect, there have been many women who have been able to break through.  Here are five women who broke through the glass ceiling:



Madam C. J. Walker

Madam C. J. Walker was born on December 23, 1867 on a Louisiana cotton plantation.  After suffering hair loss, she decided to create her own line of African American hair products. Through her promoting her brand, “The Walker Method”, across the country and her savvy business skills, she became the First Female Self-Made Millionaire.

Katharine Graham

Katharine Graham was born on June 16, 1917 in New York City.  She was the daughter of post
the publisher of the Washington Post, and her husband, Philip Graham later became the publisher.  However, once her husband died, she took over the newspaper and transformed it into what it is today.  She established the paper’s credibility through journalistic integrity.  In 1972, she became the First Female Fortune 500 CEO.



Janet Yellen

Janet Yellen was born on August 13, 1946 in Brooklyn.  Yellen served on the White House Council of Economic Advisories from 1997 to 1999.  In 2004, she became the CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.  Because of her success, she was chosen to serve as Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in 2010.  In 2015, Yellen became the First Female Chairman of the Federal Reserve.


Shirley Chisholm

scShirley Chisholm was born in Brooklyn on November 30, 1924.  She began her career as a teacher and earned her Masters at Columbia University.  She became an educational consultant for New York City’s Bureau of Child Welfare from 1959 to 1964. In 1968, she became the First African American Congresswoman where she represented New York for seven terms.  While in politics, she fought for social justice and educational opportunities.


Kathryn Bigelow

Kathryn direcotrBigelow was born on November 27, 1951 in San Carlos, California.  She is known as being a popular filmmaker.  She made her first short film in 1978, The Set-Up.  However, in 1979 she switched to feature length films.  She attracted notice through her projects such as The Loveless, Near Dark, Point Break, Wild Palms, and Zero Dark Thirty. In 2008, she became the First Female Academy Award Winner for Best Director for her movie, The Hurt Locker.


By: Feminist JAMMS




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