Allow These Trailblazing Women to Inspire You to Break the Glass Ceiling

This interview is part of Time Firsts, a multimedia project featuring 46 groundbreaking women. Watch the rest of the videos at the book at the Time Shop now.

Shonda Rhimes
Photo: Jason LaVeris/Getty

Gender equality issues like inadequate paid maternity and paternity leave, rising sexual assault rates, an alarming pay gap, and at-risk reproductive rights continue to plague the country. And while that may leave you feeling bleak about the future, don’t fret just yet.

Time has unveiled Firsts, a multimedia project that profiles 46 outstandingly accomplished women and will inspire you to work hard and fight to change the status quo. The series features Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes, Oprah, Aretha Franklin, Selena Gomez, and Ava DuVernay (to name a few), all of whom are worthy of bowing down to.

In the video above, Rhimes and female leaders like Madeleine Albright, the first woman to become U.S. Secretary of State, talk about the concept of breaking the glass ceiling and what that concept means to them. “That vocabulary is violent, right? It denotes pressure, it denotes, struggle,” DuVernay begins.

“We have to work much harder and we have to get used to that for a very long time,” Albright says in the video. “There’s plenty of room for mediocre men. There is no room for mediocre women.”

Watch the full clip above—and prepare to be inspired. Check out more Firsts on

Time Firsts Book Inside - Embed
Courtesy Time
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