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2021 has been groundbreaking for women, with historic firsts in politics, sports, and entertainment.
Vice President Kamala Harris became the first woman to hold the role in January.
Beyoncé and Taylor Swift broke Grammy records, and Chloe Zhao won a Golden Globe for best director.
Vice President Kamala Harris became the first woman to serve as vice president of the United States in January.
Vice President Harris is the first Black and South Asian-American woman to serve as vice president in American history. Her husband, Doug Emhoff, is also the first-ever second gentleman.
When she was elected to the Senate in 2016, Harris became the second African-American woman and first South Asian-American senator in history. Since she left her role in the Senate to serve as vice president, there are currently no Black women serving as senators.
Two other women have run for vice president on a major party ticket: Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 and Sarah Palin in 2008.
Sarah McBride was sworn in as the first openly transgender state senator.
Upon taking office, Delaware state senator Sarah McBride became the highest-ranking transgender elected official in the US.
"As I reflect on the journey till today I am reminded of the change that it reflects: that we are a community and a country that has continuously opened our hearts and changed our minds and increasingly judged people on their skills and talents not on their identities," she said at her swearing-in ceremony in Claymont, Delaware.
Avril Haines became the first woman to serve as director of national intelligence.
Haines was nominated to serve as director of national intelligence by President Biden and became his first Cabinet member when she was confirmed by the Senate on Inauguration Day in 2021.
She previously served as deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency and deputy national security advisor during the Obama administration, and was the first woman to hold both of those roles.
Economist Janet Yellen became the first woman to head the Treasury Department since it was founded in 1789.
President Joe Biden chose Janet Yellen to head the Treasury Department, and she was sworn in by Vice President Harris in January.
Yellen was also the first woman to serve as chair of the Federal Reserve. In addition to being the first woman to serve as treasury secretary, Yellen would also be the first person of any gender to have led the Federal Reserve, the White House Council of Economic Advisers, and the Treasury Department.
At Super Bowl LV in February, Sarah Thomas was the NFL's first-ever female referee to officiate a Super Bowl.
Thomas is the first full-time female referee in the NFL's 100-year history. She was also the first woman to referee at an NFL playoff game in 2019, and the first woman to work a major college football game.
"I've always said that if you do something because you love it and not try to prove somebody wrong or get recognition for it, the recognition probably just is going to happen," Thomas told CBS News in 2019.
Chloe Zhao became the first Asian woman to win a Golden Globe for best director.
Zhao won the best director award for "Nomadland," a film starring Frances McDormand about a widow who decides to live out of her van. She is the second woman ever to win a Golden Globe for directing — the first was Barbra Streisand for "Yentl" in 1983 — and the first Asian woman to win.
Also a first: more than one woman was nominated in the best director category at the 2021 awards. Regina King was nominated for the period drama "One Night in Miami" and Emerald Fennell for "Promising Young Woman."
Zhao made history again when she and Emerald Fennell were nominated for best director at the Oscars, marking the first time two women have been nominated.
Fennell directed "Promising Young Woman," which centers around a medical school drop-out dedicated to catching predatory men.
Zhao is the favorite to win the award after taking home the Golden Globe for best director earlier this year. She would become only the second woman ever — Kathryn Bigelow won in 2010 for "The Hurt Locker" — and the first Asian woman to win the Oscar for best director.
In March, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala became the first woman and first African to lead the World Trade Organization since it was founded in 1995.
Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a Nigerian-American economist, previously served as Nigeria's finance minister and foreign minister, and was the first woman to hold both of those positions.
Taylor Swift became the first woman in Grammys history to win album of the year three times.
"Folklore," Swift's eighth studio album, was written and produced entirely during quarantine. It debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, received rave reviews from critics, and became the best-selling album of 2020.
She previously won album of the year in 2010 for "Fearless" — at that time, the youngest artist ever to do so — and in 2016 for "1989."
The only other artists who have won album of the year three times are Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra, and Paul Simon.
Beyoncé became the woman with the most wins in Grammys history, with 28 awards.
Beyoncé won best music video for "Brown Skin Girl" and best R&B performance for "Black Parade." She also received two trophies — best rap performance and best rap song— for her feature on Megan Thee Stallion's "Savage."
She was the most-nominated artist at the 63rd annual ceremony and won four of her nine nominations, bringing her lifetime total to 28. Country singer Alison Krauss previously held the record with 27 wins.
In April, Youn Yuh-jung became the first Asian woman to win any individual motion picture category at the SAG Awards.
Yuh-jung won best supporting actress for her performance in "Minari" about a Korean grandmother who visits her family in Arkansas in the 1980s.
Sandra Oh, who has won SAG Awards for her roles in the TV shows "Killing Eve" and "Grey's Anatomy," is the only other Asian woman to win a individual SAG Award in a television category.
Read the original article on Insider