Click the stories below to hear the voices of many women who have challenged gender norms, advanced their fields, and left a lasting legacy.

Want even more stories? Sign up for our Story of the Week newsletter to discover a new voice every week.

The Door She Opened

Dee Westenhauser remembers how her Aunt Yaya gave her a safe, loving space to be herself.

No More Questions!

Strong-willed Kay Wang allows her son and granddaughter to ask her a few brief questions about her adventures in life.

Silvia’s Legacy

Ellaraino honors a priceless piece of her family’s history: the stories of her great-grandmother Silvia, who had lived through the Civil War.

 

story
“The parents initially booed when I went out to play. They could see that I was a better player than some of their sons.”
0:00 / 0:00

The Tubby Rule

In the 1950s, Kay Johnston signed up to play in her local Little League under the name “Tubby” Johnston. At the time it was unthinkable for a girl to play on an official team.
Read the full transcript here.

story
“Because she was Asian, they wouldn’t accept her. Mom said she didn’t care; she enlisted anyway.”
0:00 / 0:00

Remembering One Tough Veteran: Lieutenant Susan Ahn Cuddy

Susan Ahn Cuddy was a loving mother, the first Asian American woman in the Navy, and the first woman gunnery officer teaching air combat tactics.
Read the full transcript here.

story
“When I did get back home, my son didn’t recognize me.”
0:00 / 0:00

Studying the Impacts of Climate Change and Motherhood

Dr. Lora Koenig and Dr. Zoe Courville became friends while studying the impact of climate change in some of the most remote corners of the world. Through the years, they’ve helped each other navigate the challenges of balancing their work and personal lives.
Read the full transcript here.

story
“Mother’s Day of ‘88 I did my very first race.”
0:00 / 0:00

Thrills and Spills

When Kittie Weston-Knauer began competing in BMX competitions, she was often the only woman on the track. Now at nearly 70 years old, Kittie is the oldest female BMX racer in the U.S. with no plans of retiring any time soon.
Read the full transcript here.

story
“When she spoke, everybody just sort of came to a hush.”
0:00 / 0:00

On the Basis of Sex

Sharron Cohen was represented by a young Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the 1973 Supreme Court case Frontiero v. Richardson, which would become one of the first sucessful sex discrimination cases in U.S. history.
Read the full transcript here.

Mi Abuela Panchita

Panchita Espitia was a formidable woman, not afraid of rattlesnakes underfoot on the Texas ranches of her youth or of death itself.

story
"I applied to NASA four times."
0:00 / 0:00

Turning to the Clouds

Wally Funk grew up wanting to fly, hoping to reach the ultimate destination – outer space. In 1961 she nearly got the chance.
Read the full transcript here.

story
“The dream is free, but the hustle is sold separately.”
0:00 / 0:00

An Artist’s Heart

Amy Sherald, known for her portrait of Michelle Obama, warns that being an artist is not for the faint-hearted.
Read the full transcript here.

 

story
"I don’t consider myself a weak person, but I’m puny next to Mama."
0:00 / 0:00

Mama the Tax Collector

Despite the odds being against her, Marie Sayenega ran for tax collector in the borough of Bethel, won the election, and went on to hold the position for 24 years. Her son Bill Sayenega shares memories of his mother.
Read the full transcript here.

story
“My earliest memory is when you came to the first-grade classroom to dissect cow hearts.”
0:00 / 0:00

A Multigenerational Passion for Medicine

Jenna Lester comes from a long line of women who have dedicated their lives to medicine: her grandmother was one of the first African American women to become a nurse practitioner in New York.
Read the full transcript here.

 

The Icing on the Cake

Blanca Alvarez took a huge risk when she crossed the border from Mexico to the United States. She ended up inspiring her daughter to follow her dreams.

 

Want even more stories? Sign up for our Story of the Week newsletter to discover a new voice every week.