No frontiers are too far for women: Some thoughts on the conclusion of Women’s History Month
Women were the backbone of the nation during World War II, taking on the jobs left vacant by millions of men serving in the Army. At the end of a long day, each woman would punch out and remind us: Anything a man could do, she could do.
Fast forward decades later and women still show us it’s no longer a man’s world. Since 2013, women have done the hard work of breaking through the previous barriers in a series of remarkable firsts: the first women to graduate from the Army’s Ranger School, the first woman to graduate from the Marine Corps’ infantry officer basic course, the first women to integrate into Army infantry units, the first woman to become an Airborne Ranger, and, just this year, the first woman graduated from the Marine Corps’ highly challenging Winter Mountain Leaders Course. This list will continue to grow until a woman has occupied every job previously closed to them, up to the very top of the chain of command.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law that protects individuals from discrimination based upon sex. This law makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate against individuals in hiring, firing, and other terms and conditions of employment, such as promotions, raises, and other job opportunities because of their sex.
There are now hundreds of women serving in positions that had previously been closed to them, both in and out of the military, and tens of thousands of others who are aspiring to do the same. The United States is strong because everyone deserves a chance to serve our country. To fight for our nation is not a privilege for a few, it is a right and responsibility for all Americans in the 21st century.
Women have left their mark on every industry and career path, and at YPG are breaking the mold for other females to follow through programs like science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers. Women in STEM are often the minority in their professions, as well as in college courses, a reality that can be discouraging. However, we must encourage all of our youth to pursue their dreams. So here is to strong women: may we know them, may we raise them, may we be them.
Yuma Proving Ground actively recruits female engineers to serve the nation in the Army’s busiest test center and Yuma’s premier high technology workplace. Here, Paula Rickleff (right), program analyst, discusses STEM opportunities at the proving ground with a recent college graduate. (US Army photo)