On Sept. 7, TIME will unveil Firsts, a multimedia project featuring candid interviews with 45 groundbreaking women. Some of these women — Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Aretha Franklin — you know well, and will get to know better through their stories of setbacks and success. Others, you may be meeting for the first time. All of them are extraordinary.
Ava DuVernay, the first black woman to direct a film nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, unpacks the symbolism of the glass ceiling. Madeleine Albright, the first woman to become U.S. Secretary of State, asserts, “There’s plenty of room in the world for mediocre men. There’s no room for mediocre women.” Winfrey, the first woman in history to own and produce her own talk show, describes what it took to bring about change early on in her career.
As you explore these exclusive interviews with pioneering athletes, scientists, lawmakers, entertainers and entrepreneurs, join the conversation on social media. Look for the hashtag #SheIsTheFirst in the coming weeks, and use it to share stories about the groundbreaking women in your life. Has a woman or girl you know been a “first”? The first to win the science fair? The first in her family to attend college? The first to become mayor of her town? Share your photos and stories with us using #SheIsTheFirst. We may feature you in TIME.
In October, Time Inc. Books will publish a hardcover collection of all 45 portraits and interviews. Nancy Gibbs, editor-in-chief of TIME — the first woman to hold that position — writes in the introduction, “Our goal with this book and the extraordinary project on Time.com is for every woman and girl to find someone who moves them, to find someone whose presence in the highest reaches of success says to them that it is safe to climb, come on up, the view is spectacular.” Pre-orders for Firsts are available now at the TIME Shop.