Summer 2016 was the summer for putting cracks in the glass ceiling. From sports, to politics, to fashion, to entertainment -- this has been a summer of removing barriers and rising above. Here are six instances from this summer when women ruled.
1. Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton has accomplished a lot of firsts: first First Lady to have an office in the West Wing, first female politician to have won a Grammy (it was for her spoken-word book It Takes a Village), first New York senator to have sat on the Senate Armed Services Committee. But on July 28th she became the first woman to have ever been nominated by a major party for the presidential ticket. In her acceptance speech of the nomination Hillary said, "Standing here as my mother's daughter and my daughter's mother, I'm so happy this day has come. I'm happy for grandmothers and little girls and everyone in between. I'm happy for boys and men. Because when any barrier falls in America, it clears the way for everyone. After all, when there are no ceilings, the sky's the limit! So let's keep going. Let's keep going until every one of the 161 million women and girls across America has the opportunity she deserves to have."
2. The 2016 Rio Games
There are the most female athletes at the Rio games than ever in Olympic history. Just 40 years ago in 1976 only 20.7% of athletes were women, this year 45% of all competitors will be women. The U.S. sent the largest delegation and 53% of its athletes are women. 47.4% of the events at the Games are women's events and the women are rocking it! The star of the Olympic games may be U.S. women's gymnast, Simone Biles, who is scoring off-the-charts high, and impressing the world with her incredible talent. After their debut at the London 2012 games, Saudi Arabia has doubled the number of female athletes sent to the games, a total of four. Of course there is much progress to be made, the sexist commentary, the lack of IOC female leadership, and the exclusion of women from endurance activities like the 1500 swim.
3. Theresa May
Following the U.K.'s vote to leave the EU, UK prime minister David Cameron stepped down and in his place Theresa May became the second female prime minister of the UK. In her month in office May has already proposed a series of radical development plans. Between Angela Merkel and Theresa May, Europe is a powerhouse of female leadership sure to inspire.
4. H&M's newest ad campaign
H&M has been working for the last year to better represent the diversity of their consumer base, and in the last year have featured a woman in hijab, a 60-year old woman in swimwear and now Ashley Graham. Known for her messages about body-positivity and body inclusivity in the fashion world and the real world, Graham's H&M campaign is not size-targeted like some of her other lines, like with Dress Barn. The ad campaign at H&M is showing off acceptance and beauty of all shapes and sizes. I got to interview Ashley back in March, and this woman practices what she preaches. Congrats on this ceiling shattering campaign Ashley!
5. Sticking to her guns (control)
Massachusetts senior Senator Elizabeth Warren celebrated her 67th birthday in June while filibustering with House Democrats for increased gun control in the wake of the Orlando shooting. House Democrats took over the floor while live tweeting with #NoBillNoBreak, this sit-in was a far departure from anything in recent Congress history. Warren, despite being a senator not a representative, walked across the Hill with Senate Minority leader Harry Reid to show her support for her fellow Democrats, sitting-in for what they believed in. Warren gained social media claps for with her hilarious tweets and for bringing the Dems Dunkin' Donuts. Props to Sen. Warren for showing support for what she believes in!
6. The new Ghostbusters movie
Four awesome ghost-busting ladies, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig, and receptionist Chris Hemsworth? Count me in! Megan Gerber from The Atlantic wrote, "Ghostbusters unapologetically combines ghosts and guns and gags and girl power." Ghostbusters is just another example of how this summer we are showing girls everywhere that they can be whatever they want to be, even a Ghostbuster.