2020 is going to be remembered for a lot of things and most of them are not good.
COVID. Social Injustice. Distance Learning. Toxically Polarized Politics. Toilet Paper Hoarding. Quarantine. The return to TV of Jersey Shore…
But not everything about 2020 has been negative. How about the shattering of Numerous glass ceilings!
From military to politics to car maintenance to sports, 2020 saw some amazing ‘First’ by some amazing women who deserve to have some light shined on them!
Here are just a few of the Incredible Women Who Shattered Ceilings in 2020!
(In no particular order)
Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt: First Female To Command A U.S. Navy Carrier
Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt previously made history when she became the first woman to be selected as an executive officer aboard a nuclear powered United States Navy Carrier, the USS Abraham Lincoln (that’s second-in-command of a crew of 5,000).
She commanded Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 70 aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush during Operation Enduring Freedom, accumulating over 3,000 flight hours in naval helicopters aboard various aircraft carriers throughout her career.
Now she will be taking command of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in the 2022 fiscal year. While the U.S. Navy has not determined which of the 11 carriers in its’ fleet she will command, history will be made when she takes the bridge as it’s first female captain!
Sarah Fuller: First Female Kicker To Score A Point In A Power Five NCAA Football Game
Remember in the movie Necessary Roughness when Kathy Ireland was recruited off the school’s soccer team by the Texas Armadillo’s football team to play place kicker? Or did you simply forget about that movie like everyone else not-named Scott Bakula did?
Well Sarah Fuller didn’t see the movie, she lived it!
When COVID19 concerns left all of the University of Vanderbilt’s place kickers unavailable, the coaches turned to the goalkeeper of their SEC Championship winning Women’s Soccer Team, Sarah Fuller, to fill the spot on the roster! And she delivered by scoring on two extra point attempts in just her second game!
She suited up and kicked off to start the second half of Vanderbilt’s previous game, but had no field goal or extra point attempts.
“I just want to tell all the girls out there that you can do anything you set your mind to. You really can. If you have that mentality all the way through, you can do big things,” Fuller said after the first game she played against Mizzou.
(Point of Clarification: Fuller is not the first woman to score a point in NCAA football, but she is the first to score in a Power Five conference game. Katie Hnida kicked two extra points for New Mexico against Texas State in 2003 and April Goss played at Kent State, kicked an extra point against Delaware State in 2015.)
Kamala Harris: First United States Female Vice President-Elect
Whether you believe in her political stances or not is your choice, I am not here to talk about policy and don’t want to. This list is about acknowledging women’s accomplishments and giving credit where it is due.
In 2017, United States Senator Kamala Harris became the second African-American woman and first South Asian-American senator in history. Now in 2020, she added to her list of accomplishments by becoming the first woman to be elected Vice President-Elect of the United States!
While she is not the first female Vice Presidential candidate of the United States from one of the major political parties (Sarah Palin (R) in 2008, Jo Jorgensen (L) in 1996 and Geraldine Ferraro (D) in 1984), she will be the first to become Vice President of the United States when she is sworn into office on January 20th, 2021.
The United States is often referred to as a melting pot of multiple ethnicities, cultures, religions, creeds and so on. While she simply identifies herself as “American,” that same melting pot idea is sure represented in Senator Harris’ background.
She is a first generation American who’s father immigrated from Jamaica and mother immigrated from India and immersed her daughters in “black culture.” She is married to a Jewish husband and even lived in Canada for a brief period as a child. How much more of a multi-cultural representation could a voter ask for?
Natasha Smith: First Female Technician To Win The Toyota Skills Champion
Everybody has a “car guy,” well Toyota has an award winning “car gal.”
Twenty two-year-old Queenslander Natasha Smith has become the first woman in the world to win the Technician Champion Award in Toyota’s National Skills Competition. (The competition actually happened in December of 2019, but I still wanted to give Natasha her props.)
Now in its 35th year, the National Skills Competition is held in over 90 countries and regions around the world and is the largest annual automotive skills development program in Australia, open to Toyota employees from more than 250 dealerships across the country.
In an origin story that will make any grease monkey-dad proud, Natasha grew up on a farm tinkering on machinery right next to her father.
“Knowing the quality of skills of the guys I was competing against was very high, winning the category title is an incredible achievement that will stay with me for the rest of my life,” Natasha said.
Along with five other national finalists in the category, her skills and technical knowledge were put to the test across a range of challenges that included stripping and replacing a CVT, knowledge of the repair manual, and adjusting manual transmission gear ratios in a day of competition held at Toyota headquarters in Port Melbourne.
Kim Ng: First Female General Manager In Major League Baseball History
When Kim Ng became the first female general manager in Major League Baseball history (and potentially any professional men’s sports team in the North American leagues) when she took over the Florida Marlins in 2020, she undoubtably became the most powerful woman in baseball history. She is also the first Asian-American general manager in MLB history.
When taking a close look at her resume, you do wonder if she would not have been passed over for the 5 previous GM positions she interviewed for if she were a man.
Ng sports a resume that includes time with the White Sox, Dodgers, MLB front offices and the New York Yankees, where she became the youngest assistant general manager in MLB history at age 29 and worked with current Marlins CEO Derek Jeter. Her resume also contains eight postseason appearances, six Championship Series and three World Series titles (Yankees 1998-2000).
“I entered Major League Baseball as an intern and, after decades of determination, it is the honor of my career to lead the Miami Marlins as their next general manager,” Ng said in a statement upon her hire with the Marlins.
Jo Jorgensen: Libertarian Party 2020 Presidential Candidate
Again this list is about honoring those that are busting glass ceilings, whether or not you support their political views.
Jo Jorgensen was part owner and president of Digitech, Inc, has a Ph. D in psychology and is a full-time lecturer at Clemson University. And in her spare time in 2020, she ran for President of the United States and finished third in the popular vote.
Jorgensen received over 1.8 million popular votes in the 2020 United States Presidential election. When you consider how stacked the oligopoly of the 2 political party system in the United States is, the inability to participate in a nationally televised debate with her opponents and the extreme disparity of campaign dollars any party not named Democrat or Republican faces, this is an impressive and very respectable number.
She was also the only Presidential nominee in this past election to never have a sexual allegation brought against her, and in today’s toxic click-bait political climate, that says something!
What are some other glass ceiling shattering women that deserve props for their props for making history in 2020?
Please comment below with any women I may have missed that earned a mention!
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