March is Women’s History Month – Help Us Celebrate!

Authored by Head of School Fran Bisselle
Living leadership is different from studying it. Leadership in action looks like rolling up Rosie the Riveteryour sleeves to get things done. It’s about solving problems, not being a part of them. It’s about humility, and not seeking credit. It’s about being a part of something larger than oneself. It’s about using the habits of the mind, character, and heart—cultivated when things are calm—to think through complex situations, listen with authentic empathy, and work to make a difference.

HB’s mission states, “At this moment in history, there is great need for women of vision and courage who are empowered for leadership in a multicultural and globalized society.” As a historian, I would assert that there are many, many moments in history that have needed and will continue to need women of vision and courage who roll up their sleeves and lead. Perhaps that is why we have chosen Rosie the Riveter as our HB icon this March, which is Women’s History Month. You’ll see our version of Rosie on all of our social media channels this month, and we’ll even have a special Rosie photo area stationed in the Atrium on March 8 as we celebrate International Women’s Day. As a girls’ school with a 142-year history of educating and empowering young women, HB is proud to celebrate Women’s History Month. Every day this March, we’ll be sharing content related to our own school history and we’ll be featuring the voices of women in the HB community and beyond. New material will be posted throughout the month on all of our digital platforms: FacebookTwitterInstagramHBlog, and, so be sure to follow along for videos, inspirational quotes, special contests, and much more. We’d love to add your voice to the mix as well, so please like, comment, and share.

“Rosie the Riveter” wasn’t meant to capture the likeness of merely one woman. Rather, she represented the wartime efforts of 6 million women who joined the workforce in the early 1940s to replace men who had gone to Europe. Women served the war effort by taking on intense industrial jobs in the defense industries—building tanks, bombs, and weapons; they operated heavy construction machinery; worked in lumber and steel mills; and took care of our national infrastructure. In fact, the US aircraft industry employed more than 300,000 women, making up 65 percent of that industry’s total workforce, which only employed one percent women before the war. Together, these tough, creative, and strong women created an entirely new image and set the stage for upcoming generations of women to know that girls can do anything they set their minds to—anything!

The first iconic image of Rosie the Riveter was captured by Norman Rockwell, becoming Rosie the Riveter Originalthe cover of the May 29, 1943 Memorial Day issue of The Saturday Evening Post. Even though Rockwell’s image was the first depiction of “Rosie,” she is more widely recognized by J. Howard Miller’s image with the call to action “We Can Do It!” behind her. Miller’s “We Can Do It!” poster was picked up by the feminist movement in the ’70s and ’80s as a modern symbol of female empowerment and leadership.
As we celebrate Women’s History Month at Hathaway Brown School and continue our mission of inspiring our students to achieve their utmost potential and to rise boldly to the challenges of their times, we do so embracing the spirit of Rosie. She helped to shape a future of unbounded possibility for women. And in return, HB pledges to roll up our sleeves every day so that we will stand among the country’s leading schools in educational innovation and be such a force for the common good beyond our campus that we are respected, like Rosie the Riveter was, as a civic treasure for generations to come.
We Can Do It!

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