Condoleezza Rice was just confirmed as our newest Secretary of State. While I don’t agree with her politics, I love her achievement. Here’s a non-white woman who was (1) born in the segregated south, (2) speaks a half dozen foreign languages, (3) has been Provost of one of the best Universities in the country (Stanford), (4) has been the National Security Advisor for the last 4 years & (5) now has won one of the most, or arguably the most, important positions in the current administration. Pretty amazing for a woman who just turned 50! You can read more about her here and here.
I went to a meeting a week or two ago for only women faculty. It was an odd experience because so many of the women there felt that there were still many gender inequities for women faculty at our University. Some individuals, such as the President of Harvard, believe that women just "lack natural ability" in some fields. Luckily, I have not personally experienced that sort of attitude. But given that such beliefs are apparently held, even today, by high powered individuals, Condi’s achievement is even more outstanding.