They say behind every great man is a great woman. But just as often, great women take the lead.
In 1865, Emily Roebling married her husband Washington. He was the chief engineer who oversaw construction of the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. Two years into the project, he developed decompression sickness while he was working underwater. He was debilitated so severely that he lay bed-ridden for nearly a decade.
Meanwhile, there was still a bridge to be built. And, so, Emily, who had engineering experience herself, took over her husband’s responsibilities, including day-to-day supervision of workers, dealing with politicians, and overseeing the construction process itself. Thanks to Emily, the Brooklyn Bridge opened on May 24th, 1883, and was hailed as the eighth wonder of the world. It is still an icon of architecture 150 years later.
From Emily Roebling to Susan B. Anthony, Rosa Parks, and beyond, women have always played a crucial role in our country becoming what it is today. That’s just as true for every woman reading these words, even if you’re not a household name.
Strong women are vital to the health and well-being of our nation at every level. Whether they’re the CEO of a company or the CEO of a household, strong women don’t stand behind men, they serve together with them. And often, they lead.