As an advisory board member of Glamour Women of the Year, I have the privilege of nominating five inspiring women -- or groups of women -- who have made an impact in 2012. And I'd love to hear your suggestions.
Please use the comments section to share the names and stories of women in any field -- entertainers, politicians, activists, educators, athletes, etc. Here are some suggestions from HuffPost editors:
Gazelle Emami, culture editor
Zaha Hadid: At 61, Iraq-born architect Zaha Hadid continues to leave her mark in a field dominated by masculine sensibilities with her bold, curving structures. Hadid has been as active as ever in the past year, designing everything from The London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 London Olympics and Glasgow's Riverside Museum to Chanel's Winter Wonderland runway. The first-ever female Pritzker Prize winner continued to pick up awards, including the prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize in 2011 and the Jane Drew Prize for women in architecture in 2012.
Jack Mirkinson, media editor
Jineth Bedoya Lima: This journalist from Colombia was kidnapped, raped and tortured by a paramilitary group in 2000. Instead of shrinking away, she spoke up, and has become a leading voice for women journalists who have been the targets of sexual assault -- an issue which has, in many ways, only truly come to the forefront of the media dialogue in the last year and a half. Bedoya has continued to work as a reporter (she's flanked by bodyguards wherever she goes) and has taken the fight directly to her assaulters through a series of legal challenges, the latest of which is still going through the courts. It's because of people like her that we're finally having a real conversation about the tragedy of sexual violence that many women encounter while reporting.
Margaret Wheeler Johnson, women's editor
Sandra Fluke: In the face of personal attacks and immense renewed opposition nationally to women's reproductive rights, Fluke has emerged as a poised, articulate, unflappable voice of reason on issues that affect every woman in the United States. It's hard to overstate the impact she has made this year or her commitment to improving the lives of women nationwide.
Ashley Judd: Judd's response to the media frenzy around her "puffy" face was truly courageous, not to mention articulate and powerful. She's an excellent example of a woman with visibility and influence taking a position that stands to benefit many less visible women and girls.
Lena Dunham: As we say in our weekly Girls chats, Lena Dunham is our body image hero. While Girls is not perfect, it's an expression not only of a young woman's creativity and ambition but also her willingness to use her own body to question the huge disparity between the type of bodies allowed onscreen and the average American woman's body. The show also confronts women's emotional relationship with food very honestly.
Maria Klawe: The current president of Harvey Mudd College, Klawe is credited with almost single-handedly increasing the number of women enrolled in computer science classes at the university level. More about Klawe here.
Chris Greenberg, sports editor
Brittney Griner: This 21-year-old at Baylor is the most dominant women's college basketball player in the country as a junior. She led the Baylor Bears to a perfect 40-0 record en route to a national championship. Along the way, Griner became just the second female player to dunk in the NCAA Tournament (and she did it twice).
Pat Summitt: With 1,098 wins and eight national championships, Summitt is the most decorated coach in all of college basketball. She stepped down from her longtime post at the University of Tennessee after the close of the 2012 season at age 59 because she is facing early onset dementia. Summitt announced her diagnosis before the 2011-2012 season, but remained on the sideline and helped lead the Lady Vols to a regional final in the NCAA Tournament, where they lost to Griner's Baylor. President Obama will honor Summitt with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Virginia Rometty: Although she was not participating in the The Masters this year, Rometty was among the most talked about people at Augusta National. Appointed CEO of IBM not long before the most prestigious golf tournament of the year, Rometty's presence rekindled the debate about female membership as the men who previously held her position were welcomed into the club. Although Augusta Chairman Billy Payne did his best to avoid the issue as per usual, Rometty made an appearance that kept everyone talking about it. On the final day of the tournament, she secured a prime seat near the 18th hole and was hard to miss in a bright pink coat. For a club famous for its green jackets, this wardrobe choice garnered plenty of attention.
Victoria Azarenka: This 22-year-old Belarusian tennis player ascended to the top of the WTA rankings, fittingly reaching the No. 1 spot with her win in the final of the 2012 Australian Open. Not only was it her first time reaching No. 1 but it was also her first grand slam title.
Lindsey Vonn: The skier entered 2012 by immediately announcing her divorce and beset by rumors about her dating life, but managed to put together perhaps the most impressive season of an accomplished career despite the distractions. She was among the top three finishers more than 15 times during the season and approached several World Cup records.
Women's Olympic Boxers: While the star performances are yet to come, this sport will be making its Olympic debut in London this summer. It is a watershed moment for all female boxers and an opportunity for a few of the women in the competition to really distinguish themselves.
Dr. Ann McKee: Although the timeline of her research makes her perhaps a better candidate for a 2010 list, McKee remains among the most prominent researchers when it comes to head trauma and football.
Emily Peck, managing business editor
Sheryl Sandberg: If it's a woman in business you're after, it's hard not to pick Sheryl Sandberg. For many working women looking to break through the glass ceiling, the Facebook COO is a rock star and an inspiration. She's emerged as a leading role model for those seeking to find the confidence to lead. And when I asked several women journalists to name the most prominent woman in business, it was her over and over.
Update: Thank you so much for these wonderful suggestions! So many creative, empathetic, fearless women to choose from. Keep the ideas coming, please!
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