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Happy International Women’s Day! The theme of this year’s campaign is #BalanceForBetter and it is meant to help us think of ways that we can help to forge a more gender-balanced world.
Here at littleBits, we have a lot of respect for women throughout history. We look to them every day for insight and perspective on how to be strong, brave, and forward-thinking. Below are some of our inspirations.
Women Who Help People Find their Way
Sojourner Truth (1797-1893) was a preacher who advocated for abolition, temperance, and civil and women’s rights in the nineteenth century. She settled in Battle Creek, Michigan, where she is also known for helping slaves find their way to freedom.
Sojourner fought hard for gender and racial equality, and not only believed that every human being has worth, but that she could make a real difference in their lives. In the littleBits community, we are proud to see young makers inventing new things every day that make a difference in their lives and the lives of others.
For example, our friend Anahit made a wearable echo-location device with her Bits to help people who can’t see very well to detect obstacles in their way. Anahit is already making a difference, and we can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!
Women Who Ensure Everyone is Represented
Jeannette Rankin (1880-1973) was the first woman ever elected to Congress. She was also instrumental in initiating the legislation that eventually became the 19th Constitutional Amendment, granting women the right to vote. Jeannette was a trailblazer, and put herself in a position to have a voice at a time when many women did not have that opportunity.
At littleBits, we believe in helping everyone to have a voice. Last November, our Founder and CEO led the charge to encourage companies to offer paid time off to employees to vote on election day.
And our community of inventors has built many prototypes to encourage inclusivity and representation -- from a prosthetic arm to a robot that helps kids with autism to stay calm in challenging situations. One of our community members, Hayley, invented a prototype for a car that will help people who use a wheelchair to drive independently.
Women Who Inspire Others
An important figure in the struggle for black artists to overcome racial prejudice in the United States, Marian Anderson (1897-1993) used her rare and beautiful voice to advance race relations. She was the first African American Metropolitan Opera star, as well as an alternate U.N. delegate. Marian has inspired artists around the world.
At littleBits, we’re constantly inspired by the inventors who are finding ways to make something move, light up, buzz, and beep. We know that STEAM is just as much about engineering and math as it is about art and creativity -- and we treasure every opportunity to learn more about the inventions that girls (and boys!) around the world are creating.
So, for all of the women and girls out there who have encouraged someone to find their way, made sure that their friends were represented, or inspired others through their work -- thank you. Every day, you are paving the way for even more strong, smart, and brave women like you to do better and to be better.
We see you. And you’re doing great work!