Visible Women

From Time’s Up activists to Stacey Cunningham: the women making waves this week

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Sarah Biddlecombe
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Dropping every Friday, Women Making Waves is a series highlighting the women who rocked the boat, pushed for change and made history around the world this week.  

Stacey Cunningham becomes the first ever female president of the New York Stock Exchange

It’s been a long time coming but, for the first time in its 226-year history, a woman has been named to lead the New York Stock Exchange.

Stacey Cunningham has been named the successor to Thomas Farley, making her the 67th president of the organisation as well as the first ever woman to take on the role.

Cunningham currently works as the chief operating officer at the organisation, having started her career there as an intern in 1994. The news of her appointment is particularly welcome considering how male-dominated the industry still is; as CNN Money recently reported: “Of the 21 executives of Intercontinental Exchange Group, NYSE’s corporate parent, only four including Cunningham are women.”

Taking to Twitter to celebrate her well-deserved promotion, she wrote: “Since the moment I stepped onto the trading floor, the NYSE has always held a special place in my heart.

“I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to lead this organization.”

Sylvia Pankhurst portraits shine a light on working conditions for women

A collection of beautiful portraits painted by women’s suffrage leader Sylvia Pankhurst are set to “expand the way we represent working women as subjects in art history”.

The four portraits, painted by Pankhurst when she visited the Midlands in 1907, show women working in mills and potteries in Stoke and Glasgow. They will soon enter the national art collection, having been bought by the Tate gallery.

“At a time when gender pay gaps and women’s rights at work remain urgent topical issues, these images remind us of the role art can play in inspiring social change,” Ann Gallagher, Tate’s director of collection for British art, commented.

Pankhurst had originally intended for the pictures to shine a light on the poor working conditions suffered by women at the time, including the “hot and airless” mills and the way women were forced to work as assistants to men when making pottery.

Helen Pankhurst, Sylvia’s granddaughter, described Sylvia as “an artist as well as a champion of working women’s rights, her first passion not as well known as her second”.

“In these beautiful pieces these interests are powerfully combined,” she says.

Time’s Up activists head to court for Weinstein hearing

Yesterday marked a first – and vital – victory in the case of Harvey Weinstein.

Judge James Bourke has ruled not to dismiss the charges of sexual abuse made against the disgraced Hollywood producer, rejecting a motion from Weinstein’s attorneys that the charges against him be dropped. The case will now proceed to trial, with a court date set for 7 March.

And several Time’s Up activists were outside the court to hear the ruling, including actors Amber Tamblyn, Marisa Tomei and Kathy Najimy, and Time’s Up president Lisa Borders.

Tweeting an image of the women gathered outside of court, Tamblyn wrote, “It is a small victory. But there’s a long way to go….

“We’ll be there again on March 7th and look forward to seeing him prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

A photo of Rachel McAdams goes viral for all the right reasons

Despite its ubiquity, breastfeeding is still considered taboo, with women still routinely shamed for breastfeeding their babies in public.

Which all made Rachel McAdams’ latest cover shoot particularly impressive.

Appearing on the front of Girls, Girls, Girls magazine, the actress, who gave birth six months ago, posed not only in luxury lingerie and diamonds, but also wearing breast pumps.

Magazine editor Claire Rothstein, who shot the image, wrote that “breastfeeding is the most normal thing in the world”. 

“I can’t for the life of me imagine why or how it is ever frowned upon or scared of,” she says.

With runway models appearing with breast pads and McAdams’ shoot, it may not be too long before breastfeeding gets the spotlight – and respect – it deserves.

Women Making Waves is part of Stylist’s Visible Women campaign to raise awareness of women who’ve made a difference to society. See more Visible Women stories here.  

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Sarah Biddlecombe

Sarah Biddlecombe is an award-winning journalist and Digital Commissioning Editor at Stylist. Follow her on Twitter

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