MOMENT IN TIME
On Sept. 20, 1973–in what promoters dubbed as “The Battle of the Sexes”–T tennis great Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs in straight sets during an exhibition tennis match aired on primetime TV and drawing 90 million viewers worldwide. King’s win is considered a milestone in the public acceptance of women’s tennis. “I thought it would set us back 50 years if I didn’t win that match, it would ruin the women's tour and affect all women's self-esteem,” King said after the match. King believed that it was her mission to work for sexual equality in sports.
Women’s History Month is an annual declared month that highlights the contributions of women to the events in history and contemporary society. The commemoration began in 1978 as “Women’s History Day” in Sonoma County, California, and was championed by the National Women’s History Alliance, to be recognized as a national week in 1980, when President Carter issued a presidential proclamation. In 1987, Congress passed a resolution which designated the month of March as Women’s History Month. It is celebrated during March in the U.S., the United Kingdom and Australia, and is celebrated in October in Canada.
Catherine Liggins Hughes is an American entrepreneur and business executive, who founded the media company, Urban One (formerly known as Radio One), which owned 70 Radio Stations in nine major markets in the U.S. In 1999, when the company went public, Hughes became the first African American woman to head a publicly traded corporation. In 1975, she became the first Woman Vice President and General Manager of a radio station in the nation’s capital (WHUR). Hughes created the format known as “Quiet Storm,” which revolutionized Urban Radio, and was aired on over 480 stations nationwide. In 2003, Hughes and her son, Alfred Liggins III, were named Entrepreneur of the year by Ernst & Young, and in 2016, she was inducted into the National Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame.
Pat Schroeder, a pioneering feminist who spent 24 years in congress, was known for fighting sexism and advocating for family-work issues. Schroeder was the first female U.S. Representative elected from Colorado, and became the first woman to serve on the House Armed Services Committee. Schroeder was pivotal in pushing through key legislation for women and families, including the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, which guarantees 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a family member, and the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which barred employers from dismissing women because they were pregnant.
Karren Rita Brady, also known as Baroness Brady, is a British business executive who has long been renowned for championing women in business. She is a former managing director of Birmingham City F.C. and is the current vice-chairman of West Ham United F.C. In 2002, Brady became the first woman to hold such a post in the highest level of men’s English football league system, the Premier League, and became the youngest managing director of a UK Public Limited Company (PLC). Brady, a writer and publisher of 4 books, was elevated to the House of Lords as a Conservative life peer, taking on the title Baroness Brady.