Women around the world face constant challenges on the path to personal and professional success and happiness. Wages that pale in comparison to the ones received by male counterparts, partner-inflicted violence, unequal access to housing; the list could truly stretch on forever. Nevertheless, Monday’s International Women’s Day celebrates the multitude of achievements women have logged against the odds, and the corresponding, video-format Google Doodle illustrates the power of women as creatives by showing a succession of hands at work: drawing, climbing, operating cameras, etcetera. Even today, women are breaking new ground in fields previously reserved only for men.
The Google Doodle itself was illustrated by Hélène Leroux, who responded to the dictated “Women Firsts” theme by thinking about how her own artistic career may have been an impossible dream for some of her ancestors. “My great grandmother (who I remember drawing with when I was a child) was an incredible artist, but she was never really allowed to pursue art professionally,” Leroux said in an interview with Google. “I eventually became the first woman in my family to pursue art studies and create a profession from drawing. I wish she could have had the same opportunity back then! l actually snuck in a shot from my profession as an animator in the video. When I started, it was a field dominated by men, and I’m proud to see so many women animators and directors now.”
When women dominate the conversation in artistic fields, it’s invariably inspiring to see, but just as interesting to observe is the phenomenon of women finally being hired in authoritative roles in sports, which is a profession dominated by outmoded gendered attitudes about strength and leadership. Overall, in 2021, it’s clear that the world has yet to truly acknowledge and compensate women in the way that we deserve, but we’re on our way.