Top Stories for Women in Tech, Business and Leadership for 2015

As we look back at 2015, we see many opportunities to cheer on our peers and provide yet another inspiring example of the progress we have made…or, in some cases, another opportunity to point out the work that has yet to be done.

Here’s our woefully inadequate list of the 2015 top stories for women in tech, business and leadership.  Add your suggestions in the comments.

  • The US Women’s National Soccer Team was honored as Sports Illustrated’s Inspiration of the Year. When they won the World Cup, Sports Illustrated issued a cover for each member of the team. A U.S. television audience of 27 million watched the Women’s World Cup final, the largest to ever to watch a soccer game (with either men or women playing) in this country.
  • Ellen Pao put Silicon Valley on notice, filing a discrimination lawsuit against former employer Kleiner Perkins Caulfield and Byers. While Pao didn’t win, the tech world sat up and took notice.
  • The first woman on an NFL coaching staff. The Arizona Cardinals made history this summer by hiring the league’s first female coach, Jen ‘Dr. J’ Welter, as an intern during training camp. The NFL, likely one of the companies/industries least likely to have women at any level, unless you look at the military…
  • Women in the military: Good news if you are a woman in the military, one of the women who passed the elite ranger school test or a military recruiter who can finally say that all the same opportunities are available to both men and women.
  • On August 4, the White House hosted its first Demo Day, particularly focused on showcasing the broadest spectrum of entrepreneurs, particularly women and minority founders in technology, an industry which is predominately white, Asian, and male.
  • The biggest news in the entertainment industry came from Taylor Swift, Adele, Jennifer Lawrence and Caitlyn Jenner. Jenner started conversations all over the world about transgender issues. Lawrence started a conversation about women being paid less and made a public vow to negotiate harder, risking being seen as difficult. In an era where supposedly no one is buying albums anymore, Adele’s album 25 beat ‘N Syncs’ record to sell the most ever in a week. (She beat the record in just three days and 25 also became the first album to sell more than 3 million copies in one week.) Taylor Swift’s open letter to Apple (the mark of a leader), saying that she would withhold her current album from Apple Music made the service reconsider its plans to not pay royalties to artists during the service’s free trial.
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year, the fourth woman to be so honored and the first individual woman to be recognized since 1986. (The other individuals were Wallis Simpson, Queen Elizabeth II and Corazon Aquino. Other women have been honored as part of a group, including, in 1975 American Women as a whole.
  • The field of top presidential candidates contains not one but two female candidates.
  • Spoiler alert – the movie of the year, the next chapter in the Star Wars saga, is particularly focused on the exploits of a young woman pilot who is particularly adept with technology, rescues herself and is darn good with both a staff and light saber. #TheForceIsWithHer
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