Women’s History Month began 40 years ago this March, when a handful of schools in Sonoma County, California, gathered for their first annual “Women’s History Week.” A few years and a presidential proclamation later, that week grew into a month-long, nationwide celebration of the women who shaped our world.

In 1978, the year it all began, I was 13 years old. At the time, I didn’t know many women who worked outside the home, but I knew I wanted a career when I grew up, so I had a special fascination with the women who did. One of the things I love about this month is the reminder that my own daughters have more examples of footsteps to follow in and shoulders to stand on than I did at their age. …


Melinda Gates

Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, businesswoman, and mother. Dedicated to helping all people lead healthy, productive lives.

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