1933 – 2020
“Whatever you choose to do, leave tracks. That means don’t do it just for yourself. You will want to leave the world a little better for your having lived.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg dedicated her life to fighting for equality. Soft-spoken, yet fierce; shy, yet strong, she was not afraid to stand up for what she believed was right and to speak out about it. She started her law career after having started a family and whilst looking after her sick husband. She was one of only nine women in a class of 500 students and was criticised for taking a man’s place on the course. She graduated top of her class there and at Columbia Law, where she finished her law training. Even then, she struggled to get work and didn’t receive the same pay as male lawyers. All this became part of her passion to fight gender discrimination (being treated differently because of your gender).
One of her proudest achievements was when President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009 which aimed to reduce unfair pay based on gender.
She became a member of the Supreme Court (America’s highest national court) in 1993 and although she suffered several illnesses toward the end of her life, she never gave up her commitment to doing the right thing.
Even though some people might shout you down, what are you willing to speak out for?
If you were inspired by Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s story, read Rachel Carson’s story on our website. She also faced discrimination and found it difficult to be taken seriously as a female scientist.
Who inspires you to show courage and be true to who you are?