12/23/2013 09:22 am ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

2013: A Year Of Female Firsts


Californian Nancy Pelosi did it in 2007 when she took the gavel from Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert’s hands. Sandra Day O’Connor did it more than three decades ago when she put on her black robe and took a seat on the Supreme Court. And in 1999, Carly Fiorina did it when she took the helm of Fortune 20 company Hewlett-Packard.

This year, an ambassador, a conductor and three women from the Marines, among others, have joined their ranks, shattering the glass ceilings in their respective industries and institutions. What’s particularly notable about these trailblazing women is that they’ve not only achieved professional success, but they’ve done so in fields that men still dominate — overwhelmingly. Thanks to women like them, that may not be the case much longer.

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