Help Women Lead Change honor extraordinary Iowa women

Women Lead Change (WLC) is requesting nominations for historic Iowa women who “have inspired, pioneered and championed extraordinary accomplishments through their lives and their work.”

The posthumous Iowa Women of Achievement Awards, presented by WLC, will recognize the contributions of historical Iowa women who made outstanding and lasting contributions to the citizens of Iowa and the nation. Up to three awards are presented annually and commemorated with plaques on the Iowa Women of Achievement Bridge in Des Moines.

“This award will be a visible reminder to all crossing the Iowa Women of Achievement Bridge of their contributions to their work, communities, and the status of women,”  the organization said on its website.

Among last year’s award winners were: Jessie Field Shambaugh (1881-1971), the mother of 4-H; and Lou Henry Hoover (1874-1944).

The former First Lady of the United States and wife of President Herbert Hoover, Ms. Hoover was born in Waterloo, Iowa, and attended Stanford University where she was the first woman to receive a degree in geology. A gifted writer, she also penned the first comprehensive history of the White House and its furnishings. And as First Lady, she championed the Girl Scouts of America and advocated for women in leadership and athletics.

Nominees for the 2022 awards should be historical deceased women who were: born in Iowa, achieved prominence within Iowa, or had been a resident of Iowa for an extended period. Nominations remain current for three years and may then be resubmitted if not previously selected. Nominations are due here by Sept. 1. 

Nominees will be selected on merit in the following areas:

  • Lasting contributions made by the nominee.
  • Nominees served as a role model or change agent.
  • Impacted the social, cultural, economic or political well-being of the community, state or nation.
  • Inspired future generations.

To nominate an outstanding historical Iowa woman, fill out the online form. While there is no limit to the amount of information you can provide, WLC asks that you be brief, include endorsements from others as well as information about why this woman stands above others in her field or area of contribution.

When choosing someone to honor, consider these questions the group said:

  • What lasting contributions have been made by the nominee?
  • Are people better because of the contributions of the nominee?
  • Is the state, nation or world better because of the contributions of the nominee?
  • Did the nominee serve as a role model or change agent?

This year’s honorees will be recognized at a luncheon at the WLC Central Iowa Conference on Tuesday, Oct. 25, at the Iowa Events Center. GuideOne Insurance is a sponsor of the Iowa Women of Achievement Awards.

Iowa Women of Achievement who are currently honored on the bridge include in alphabetical order:

  • Barbara Lee Boatwright (1924-2012)
  • Sue M. Wilson Brown (1877-1941)
  • Carrie Chapman Catt (1859-1947)
  • Zada Mary Cooper (1875-1961)
  • Joy Cole Corning (1932-2017)
  • Theresa “Billee” Davis (1909-1979)
  • Willie Stevenson Glanton (1922-2017)
  • Lou Henry Hoover (1874-1944)
  • Ola Babcock Miller (1871-1937)
  • Louise Rosenfield Noun (1908-2002)
  • Sister Bernadine Pieper, CHM (1918-2000)
  • Gertrude Elzora Durden Rush (1880-1962)
  • Jessie Field Shambaugh (1881-1971)

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