Naomi: that was Rosie the Riveter’s name. Back in January of this year, Naomi Parker Fraley, the real-life model for the feminist icon Rosie the Riveter, died at the age of 96. Naomi was one of the many young women who proudly stepped up to help her community and country by working in a factory during World War II. As Rosie, Naomi was immortalized as a symbol of women’s strength and dedication, and in March of every year, we have the exciting opportunity to honor that strength by celebrating National Women’s History Month together.
The push for the creation of celebrating National Women’s History Month in March was driven by the National Women’s History Project, an activist group dedicated to the noble mission of “writing women back into history.” They saw success in 1987, when Congress first designated March as National Women’s History Month. Every year since, March has been dedicated to honoring and celebrating the many achievements of American women and their contributions to our rich national history.
Each year, the National Women’s History Project chooses a theme for the history month. This year, they have chosen to honor the courageous women from all walks of life who have worked to dismantle cultural, structural, and legal discrimination by naming this month Nevertheless She Persisted: Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
As a team dedicated to moving the world to a better place, FableVision is celebrating Women’s History Month by spotlighting passionate, powerful women who have helped change our world and our history for the better. We’ve asked each of the creative and driven FableLadies to tell us about the “she-ro” they most admire, and the result is a diverse group of inspiring ladies that we’re so excited to share with you.
Our campaign honoring and spotlighting influential women in our lives is dedicated to both Naomi and Rosie, who have inspired generations of women and girls since World War II . As we read about Women’s History Month and the history of Rosie the Riveter, we realize: there were multiple Rosies and we are all Rosie. The spirit of Rosie and Naomi lives on in all of us.
Sarah Ditkoff (Communication's Director): Amelia Earhart
Amelia embodies so many things that I strive to embody: feminist, adventurer, entrepreneurially spirited, fearless, creative. She mentored, wrote, advocated, and broke countless barriers. She worked as a newspaper columnist, fashion designer, social worker, sales rep, English teacher, and nurse’s aid. She played the banjo and took an auto mechanics class. Ultimately, I have always viewed her as a woman who worked her butt off and didn’t take the word “no” too seriously. She is the epitome of every person’s path being her own -- there is no one way to success.
Leigh Hallisey (Creative Director): Tina Fey
Tina Fey is my Bae. I especially loved watching her on 30 Rock as Liz Lemon, the head writer of the TGIF show dealing with a “boy’s club” in the writing room and a super alpha male boss. She was the first female head writer on SNL, and while 30 Rock reflected some of that experience, my guess is in reality it was a lot uglier. I’m thankful that she bravely broke down some of those barriers with humor that is sharp and funny in universally human, not just female, ways. Today we are seeing more women creators in TV and film, which is really our best hope of seeing ourselves represented on screen in diverse, complex, and empowering ways. I love that Tina Fey makes being smart a good thing, not something to hide, and appreciate her honesty about the difficulties of being a working mom. She elevates and celebrates female friendships, on screen and in real life—-I’m hard pressed to find women my age who don’t aspire to have a “Tina and Amy” friendship in their lives.
Sam Bissonnette (Producer): Shonda Rhimes
Shonda Rhimes has been one of my professional idols since college. Whether or not you’re a fan of Grey’s Anatomy (*raises hand*) or Scandal, you can’t deny the impact she’s had on the television industry. She was one of the first showrunners and creators in primetime drama that made racial diversity and diverse stories a priority (however idealized they may be). And because of that, she made the path clearer for more creators of color and women in a white, male-dominated industry. On top of that, she uses her influence to empower those who work for her, like actress Ellen Pompeo. She is a creative genius who never takes off her white hat, as well as an independent introvert who’s always challenging herself, personally and professionally.
Christina Kelly (Production Designer): Rebecca Sugar
My She-Ro of choice is Rebecca Sugar, creator of the animated tv show Steven Universe! I find that the people and women that inspire me most are the ones that are an emblem of what is achievable that used to feel out of reach in their career. Female creators in the animation world are still rare, even though the majority of students graduating with an animation degree still continues to be a vast majority of women. She gives me a lot of hope that not only can women have more of a place in the animation world, but that they can create a beloved universe that gathers fans all over the world and inspires future young female storytellers.
Hannah O'Neal (Artist & Animator): Boudica
One of my heroes is a woman from ancient Britain known as Boudica. I’ve always had a tremendous interest in ancient Celtic/Gaul/ “pagan” tribes and culture. I’ve always thought of it as a way to culturally go as far back as I could within my own heritage. Of the other ancient legends and historical figures of the age most, if not all, are men. But not Boudica. She was a warrior queen of the Iceni tribe in eastern England. After an awful encounter with the Roman occupation, Boudica decided to lead her people in revolt and to throw the Romans out of Britain around 60AD. And she almost succeeded! It is so inspiring to hear of this account of a Celtic woman, bringing tribes of people together, being as smart, ruthless, and strong as any military leader of the day! She was standing against the might of the Roman Empire, THE patriarchy….it’s an amazing story of human and female strength.
Mitul Daiyan (Communications Strategist): Andrea Davis Pinkney
When I first stepped foot on my career journey, I was fortunate enough to turn to Andrea as my mentor and support. She helped pave the way to my entry into Scholastic and provided mentorship and advice that I still stand by. She is powerful and mighty, packaged into a small frame. Her voice emanates both authority and kindness. I look up to her for being a trailblazer in the kidlit industry, a down to earth human being, and an all-around female powerhouse.
Mikaela Johnson (Associate Producer): Amy Poehler
She’s a hilarious actress, brilliant writer and inspiring philanthropist whose organization, Smart Girls, tells girls, “change the world by being yourself.” Plus, Leslie Knope is my favorite tv character of all time.
Loren Lee-Flynn (UX/UI Designer): Mary Roach
Popular science writer/reporter Mary Roach’s books tackle the science surrounding a wide range of subjects (death, space exploration, the military) in a relatable, humorous, and informative way. She chooses subjects for books based on her own curiosity and is known for conducting exhaustive research.
Here's a quote: "Make no mistake, good science writing is medicine. It is a cure for ignorance and fallacy. Good science writing peels away the blindness, generates wonder, and brings the open palm to the forehead: 'Oh! Now I get it!'"
Margarita Dekoli (Senior Developer): Megan Smith
Megan Smith, former United States Chief Technology Officer (CTO) in the Office of Science and Technology Policy under the Obama administration and the first woman to hold this position.
Megan Smith, former Vice President at Google, was the first woman to be named United States Chief Technology Officer, under the Obama administration. Nowadays, Smith is traveling the country as leader of the Tech Jobs Tour, which aims to both welcome individuals from diverse backgrounds into the often-exclusive, male-dominated world of tech, and to engage in conversations about the role technology will play in our future.
Andrea Calvin (Vice President of FableVision Learning): Sally Goodrich
There are two women in my life that have shaped the woman I am today - Sally Goodrich is one of those women. My path intersected with Sally in 2006-ish because of a documentary my then boyfriend, now husband was working on. Don and Sally Goodrich lost their son in the attacks on 9/11. The documentary was chronicling their building of a girls school in Afghanistan and the support of Afghan students to study in the U.S. During the filming of the doc, I had a chance to spend weekends, Thanksgivings, and just moments with Sally. Her strength, compassion, and drive empowered me through the hardest time of my adult life thus far. She was a woman who truly worked to do good when it all seemed impossible.
Allie Caton (Marketing Intern): Janelle Monáe
Janelle Monáe fully embodies what it means to use art for a greater purpose. Through her music, she created an intricately built world full of androids, clones, time-travelling rebels, and killer beats. Wrapped up into her three albums is a sci-fi story of oppression, romance, and liberation that insights vibrant visuals despite being just (insanely dance-worthy) music. Her albums are so much more than just one bop after another; the story that she tells is a reflection of the real life experiences of marginalized people. Her musical novel has taught me so much about experiences outside my own, especially those of people of color. Her tireless dedication to her story and the values that her musical novel embodies is endlessly inspiring. On top of all this, she rocks a tux like no one I've ever seen before.
Claire Nataro (Marketing Intern): Tobin Heath
Growing up with an older brother, I watched a lot of sports as a child. Although I enjoyed the (many) hours I spent watching hockey and baseball with him, I never really idolized the teams or players in the same way he did – until I discovered the US National Women’s Soccer team when I was in high school. I was thrilled to explore a whole new world of sports, one with talented and strong female athletes that I could connect with and look up to in way I never could with my brother’s favorite players on the men’s teams. For my she-ro this month I chose Tobin Heath, a midfielder for the USWNT and my favorite player in the world of women’s soccer. Heath serves as a representative of my love and respect for this team of women, and my belief in their power to spark conversations about gender equality and inspire girls and women to break down gender barriers both on and off the field.
This post was written by Claire Nataro. Illustrations provided by Allie Caton.