Spicie’s Top 12 Women Of 2012

Spicie’s Top 12 Women Of 2012

By Amanda Fox

It’s that time of year when the best and worst lists of the previous year flood the web, recounting all the highlights and lowlights of the ending year. There were plenty of lowlights to be sure, but there were plenty of highlights as well and that’s what we want to focus on – the good that this year has been for women. Some women will be very well known while others may have slid under the radar. This, is our Spicie year of the woman. Our top list is different from most. We don’t care how many followers someone has on Twitter or if they are famous just for the sake of being famous. What we care about is the example they set for others to follow.

 

Marissa Mayer President and CEO of Yahoo

12. Marissa Mayer
Mayer went from being Google’s first female engineer in 1999 to the president and CEO of Yahoo in July of 2012. Since then, Mayer has improved employee morale, raised the stock price, tuned Flickr back into something people want to use, and put the long overdue overhaul of Yahoo Mail and the homepage in place. In a half year that began when she was 6 months pregnant mind you and only 37 years old.

 

 

 

Adele

11. Adele

Sure we love the music, and who hasn’t belted out some “Rolling In The Deep” when you thought no one was around, but we love Adele for something else. Adele is, to us, a body image hero for women. She is a size 14-16 and it does not stop her from carrying herself like the sexiest woman on Earth. She stated in various interviews over the course of the year, which usually queried her about her weight, that she would only shed pounds if it was to improve her health or sex life – both which she claims are just fine. Gotta love it!!

 

 

Rebel Wilson

 

10. Rebel Wilson
With “Pitch Perfect” and “Bachelorette” under her belt, Rebel Wilson is fast on her way to being the “it girl” in Hollywood. Rebel is already being hailed as a pioneer into the realm of a Hollywood that accepts a new kind of leading lady – the plus sized variety. It also doesn’t hurt that she’s packed with talent and has offers for more wok lining up as quickly as she can review them.

 

 

Angela Merkel

9. Angela Merkel
German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, is regarded by Forbes as the second most powerful person in the world during 2012 and the most powerful woman. Merkel has been the driving force and strong hand behind trying to ease the European debt crisis. Merkel acted as the backbone of the EU debt crisis coalition which won the Nobel Peace Prize. While her popularity and electability are in question in 2013, she is seen by many analysts as being pivotal to stabilizing the world economy in the coming years.

 

 

Cathy Hughes

8. Cathy Hughes
Hughes, Founder of Radio One which spawned Interactive One and TV One, had more of a year of recognition than achievement – which isn’t to say she somehow didn’t take care of business on a grand scale. Hughes was awarded the NAACP Chairman’s Award, the Distinguished Nebraskan Award,  the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Washington Area Broadcasters Association, Ida B. Wells-Barnett Living Legacy Award and an appointment from President Obama (2011) as chair to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Council on Under-served Communities. On the side she generated some $430m in revenue. Not a bad year at all!

 

 

Darla Moore & Condoleeza Rice

7. Condoleeza Rice and Darla Moore
Whether you are a fan of their politics or business practices, what we can be fans of is that they were the first two women granted membership to Augusta National Golf Club. It took Augusta 58 years to admit their first African-American member, and 22 years after that, including a decade of intense public scrutiny of their admissions policies, Condi and Darla broke another barrier. Also, kudos to IBM for making a stink over their then newly appointed CEO, Ms. Virginia Rometty, not being extended an invitation which forced Augusta’s hand a bit.

 

 

Malala Yousafzai

6.  Malala Yousafzai
Malala Yousafzai is a 15 year old schoolgirl in Pakistan that stood up for women’s right to have an education. For speaking out, she was shot in the head by members of the Taliban. She survived, and is recovering in England. Pakistani officials planned to rename a college in her honor, however, Malala requested they abstain from that for fear that being associated to her would make the college a target of terrorists and cause more pain, death and destruction.

 

 

Pussy Riot

5. Pussy Riot
In February, the women that make up the punk band Pussy Riot sang a song that was critical of Vladimir Putin and wound up spending several months incarcerated for doing so. Although this display took place in an Orthodox Church, which was possibly in poor taste, church leaders felt the women were treated with undue harshness by the government and lobbied for their release. Pussy Riot member Yekaterina Samutsevich was sentenced to two years imprisonment which was later commuted to conditional incarceration.

 

 

Melinda Gates

4. Melinda Gates

Putting her religious beliefs as a Catholic aside, Melinda Gates announced in 2012 that family planning would be her signature cause. Her goal is to ensure that some 120 million women around the world in need of proper contraception (primarily Depo Provea) will have full and proper access to it by 2020. Gates said; “From the very beginning, we said that as a foundation we will not support abortion, because we don’t believe in funding it . . . I had to wrestle with which pieces of religion do I use and believe in my life, what would I counsel my daughters to do,”.

 

First Lady Michelle Obama

3. Michelle Obama
In a year of controversy, mud slinging and general business as usual political campaign nastiness, the First Lady remained as composed and focused as ever. She stuck to her platform and causes she championed prior to the electoral season and exuded nothing but class under intense scrutiny.

 

 

 

Ellen with HRC

2. Ellen De Generes
Ellen continued to entertain with her talk show, but what really made 2012 a winner is that she took on the 50,000 or so member strong misleadingly named “One Million Moms” organization and not only won, she made them look ridiculous while doing it. One Million Moms attempted to organize boycotts against JC Penny for choosing Ellen as a spokesperson based on her being a lesbian. Without ever being mean, Ellen pointed out their idiocy, maintained her sponsorship deal, helped JCP realize increased sales and sent the 50k moms movement packing to rail against other companies they deemed to be “not family friendly.”

 

1. Tammy Duckworth, Tammy Baldwin, Kyrsten Sinema, Tulsi Gabbard, Mazie Hirono

 

How can we pick just one? Put the political affiliations aside and take a moment to realize the significance of these women in 2012. Each broke barriers in politics that will swing the door wide open for others to follow. Again, forget about their political ideologies and celebrate the achievement and what it means to generations of women to come.

 

  • Tammy Duckworth, who lost both of her legs while serving in Iraq, is the first disabled woman elected to the US House.
  • Tammy Baldwin is the first openly lesbian member of the US Senate.
  • Kyrsten Sinema is the first openly bisexual member of Congress.
  • Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii is the first Hindu, male or female, elected to Congress.
  • Mazie Hirono, a Japanese immigrant, is the first Asian-American US Senator.

 

 

 

 

 

Many more women could easily make this list, but these are the women we followed over the course of the year that made a difference for us in one way or another. Each had a different impact – some subtle and others high profile. Each, in some way, helped re-shape the world and make it a better place for all of us – not just women. We take this moment to celebrate them and thank them for their contributions.

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