It’s Women’s History Month! Here’s Who Inspires Us

March is Women’s History Month, and today (March 8) is International Women’s Day. This day and month are acknowledged every year to honor, remember, and spotlight the incredible and hard-won achievements made by women across the globe. Both serve as annual reminders of the struggles and successes that have spanned history and the never-ending fight for women’s rights.

We’ve highlighted many amazing female change-makers from around the globe in our pages, and our hope is for young girls reading Honest History to discover role models to learn from and aspire to emulate. Likewise, we grew up in awe and admiration of many strong female heroines who worked to make our world better—which we thought would be fun to share. And now that we’ve shared ours, hop over to our Instagram to share yours! 


Brooke Knight, Co-Founder + Editor-In-Chief

Tell us one of your female role models as a kid. 

Louisa May Alcott

What does she do? 

She wrote Little Women and several other books.

How did you learn about her? 

I first learned about her when I read Little Women for the first time when I was ten. I loved the way she described the March sister’s relationship, as I too come from a family of four girls and found her storytelling truthful and relatable.

The 3 words you’d use to describe her are…

Intelligent, bold, and brave.

What has she taught you? 

Like her characters in Little Women, Alcott was always concerned with making sure her family was provided for. I think it’s important to always make sure family is at the heart of everything you do, and Alcott’s work always provides me with that sweet reminder.

When did you first learn about Alcott?

As a child, my sisters and I would get an allowance based on the number of pages we read over the summer. If we read a classic piece, that counted as double the number of pages. I was far behind on my page count and read the synopsis and immediately clicked with the character of Jo. I ,too, was the second oldest, the sister after me was named Beth, and I wanted to become a writer. I read the book, hit my reading goal for the summer, and fell in love with Louisa May Alcott.

Tell us a fun fact about Louisa May Alcott!

Alcott used pen names for her early work, including the name “Flora Fairfield” and “A.M. Barnard.”

Heidi Coburn, Lead Historian

Tell us one of your female models as a kid.

Hatshepsut

What does she do?

She was a pharaoh of ancient Egypt.

How did you learn about her?

I became really interested in ancient Egypt as a kid and remember learning about her in school.

The 3 words you’d use to describe her are…

Bold, powerful, and clever.

What has Hatshepsut taught you?

Hatshepsut is an example of someone who was bold enough to go against what was expected and take power into one’s own hands. Female pharaohs in ancient Egypt were unusual. Initially, she ruled as a regent for her nephew because he was crowned pharaoh at a young age. Eventually, she declared herself pharaoh and ruled successfully until her death.

When did you first learn about her?

I think I first learned about her in school. By that time, I was already really interested in ancient Egypt. I have the movie The Mummy to blame for this. The movie terrified me as a child, but it also made me want to learn more about ancient Egyptian religion and hieroglyphs. It was actually a pretty good exercise because, as I started to read more about Egypt, I was able to pick out the historical inaccuracies in the film.

Tell us a fun fact about Hatshepsut!

Just like male pharaohs, Hatshepsut was depicted with a false beard in images and sculptures. This beard was a symbol of the pharaoh’s power. 

Rachel Theis, Social Media + Content Coordinator

Tell us one of your female role models as a kid.

Jane Goodall

What does she do? 

She is an anthropologist and is well known for her numerous and lengthy studies on chimpanzees in Tanzania.

How did you learn about Goodall? 

As a kid I loved watching Animal Planet so I’m thinking I first saw a documentary on her and chimpanzees. 

The 3 words you’d use to describe her are…

Patient, compassionate, and impactful.

What has she taught you? 

Before her studies we didn’t know much about Chimpanzees and their behavior, so she’s taught me how to be patient and observe scenarios before coming to any conclusions. Goodall has shown so much compassion for the animals and environment around her that we could all aspire to. 

When did you first learn about her?

She’s been such a prominent figure in my life that I honestly I don’t remember, she’s just ingrained within.

Tell us a fun fact about Goodall! 

She actually is one of very few people to receive a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge without having a Bachelor’s degree.

Brooke Klauer, Digital Editor

Tell us one of your female role models as a kid.

Summer Sanders and Janet Evans (I had two!)

What do they do?

They were both professional swimmers. In the 1992 Games, Summer Sanders took home four medals (two gold, one silver, one bronze). And Evans’s athletic career is super impressive: She holds seven world records, has five Olympic medals (four gold), and 45 American national titles. 

How did you learn about Sanders and Evans?

I was an age-group swimmer, and loved the sport so so much. These two women were definitely my idols, and I dreamed of following in their wake and winning Olympic gold! I didn’t quite make it that far, but I did qualify for and swim in the Olympic Trials in 2000, and went on to earn a full athletic scholarship for swimming at the University of Notre Dame. 

The 3 words you’d use to describe them are…

Strong, dedicated, and passionate.

What have they taught you? 

Both women taught me that passion and hard work pays off. Swimming is (mostly) an individual sport, so what you put in, you get out. It’s all on your (literal) shoulders! Knowing the hours upon hours they worked in the pool inspired me to do the same. 

When did you first learn about Sanders and Evans?

Being so dedicated to a sport at such a young age, I definitely had “Olympic fever” and would watch every glory-filled moment I could about swimming. Sanders and Evans were at the top of the sport as I was up-and-coming. 

Tell us a fun fact about them!

Sanders pivoted to film and television after her swimming career and, in addition to sports commentating and reporting, she was the first female host of a Nickelodeon game show (remember those?). Evans made a swimming comeback and competed in the 2012 Olympic Trials at age 40! What an athletic feat.