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Women in Numbers

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Facts and figures on females from throughout the world. 

By Madison Matous, Illustrations by Jessica Wetterer

150 Pounds of Gingerbread

In 1969, White House Sous Chef Hans Raffert, who would later become The White House Executive Chef,  established an annual trend, creating the first gingerbread house for the Nixon White House. Themes for the gingerbread houses in years since have varied from models of the White House to Santa’s North Pole workshop. In 1994, one pastry chef even made a gingerbread house that replicated President Bill Clinton’s childhood home in Hot Springs, Ark. The tradition continues today with Executive Pastry Chef Susie Morrison, who became the first woman to gain the position, in 2014. Last year, Morrison used 150 pounds of gingerbread, 100 pounds of bread dough, 20 pounds of gum paste, 20 pounds of icing and 20 pounds of sculpted sugar pieces to create the traditional White House gingerbread house.

 

1913

Feb. 6, 2018: Then when London will unveil the statue of Millicent Garrett Fawcett at Parliament Square. The statue, crafted by Gillian Wearing, will be the first depiction of a woman to ever be placed in the square. Fawcett will join the company of Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln and Nelson Mandela on the square. In 1897, Fawcett became the president of the National Union of Women Suffrage Societies, an organization that was instrumental in the passage of the law that gave women the right to vote. The statue of Fawcett will hold a placard inscribed with the quote, “Courage calls to courage everywhere,” which was a part of the speech Fawcett gave in 1913.

 

3,000 Square Feet

Clothing retailer Nordstrom is trying out a new look. In response to changing consumer trends, the chain opened a new hybrid store, Nordstrom Local, earlier this year in West Hollywood, Calif. The new storefront takes up only 3,000 square feet, a scant size compared with the traditional Nordstrom store of about 177,000 square feet or less. Another difference: Nordstrom Local doesn’t carry any clothing at its location. Instead, customers can order clothes online to try on and buy at the store or take advantage of the personal stylists who curate clothing options tailored to shoppers’ preferences.

 

40 Years

The release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi Dec. 15 will mark the 40th anniversary of the Star Wars film franchise. After a 10-year gap in production, The Force Awakens was released in 2015 as the beginning of the saga’s sequel trilogy, and introduced Rey, the central character in the new films. Continuing from where The Force Awakens left off, the latest installment follows Rey as she continues her journey with Finn, Poe and Luke Skywalker. Carrying even more weight to the film’s debut is the recognition that this was the last film Carrie Fisher starred in before she passed away last year. Fisher was most known for her role as Princess Leia, a beloved character of the franchise.

 

15 Percent

According to the National Girls Collaborative Project, women make up only 15 percent of the engineering workforce, a stat toy companies like GoldieBlox and Roominate are seeking to change with the development of toys geared toward girls that teach basic engineering principles through building and storytelling. GoldieBlox gives girls a role model to look up, one who isn’t afraid to get dirty and make mistakes. Founded in 2012 by Debbie Sterling, an engineer herself, the company has taken off in the past few years, winning several awards for filling a gap in the industry by bringing innovative building projects to girls. Roominate, created by Alice Brooks, equips girls with the tools to build their own pet vet, for instance, and adds the elements of creating circuits and motors to help bring their creations to life.

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