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Meet the 12 women honored at Time's Women of the Year Gala

These women are inspiring equality in the worlds of science, business, entertainment, medicine and beyond.
Photos of various women are seen at the TIME Women of the Year Gala.
Posted at 9:19 AM, Mar 07, 2024

This year’s Time Women of the Year Gala was a night of empowerment, warmth and celebration, as attendees gathered to recognize 12 trailblazing women for their contributions within the realms of sports and entertainment, business and economics, science, medicine and beyond.

The theme for Women’s History Month 2024 is “Women Who Advocate for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion,” and each of this year’s Time Women of the Year honorees happen to be working toward a more equal future in their own unique way. Time CEO Jessica Sibley said in a statement that all of this year’s recipients are “leading the way in creating a more equal world and are making real change through their commitments to the environment, human rights, fair treatment for all people, and more.”

The 2024 Time Women of the Year honorees

Time magazine released a Women of the Year issue that celebrated the 12 Women of the Year recipients for 2024 and featured “Barbie” director Greta Gerwig on the cover. Whether as a writer or director (or both), Gerwig always brings women’s stories to the foreground in her films. In addition to her storytelling prowess, however, she has proven to be a powerhouse when it comes to box office earnings. “Barbie” was not just a smash hit as a U.S. summer flick in 2023, it made box office history and had an impact on audiences around the world.

Did the Academy Awards snub 'Barbie' star, director?
Greta Gerwig, left, and Margot Robbie accept the award for best comedy for

Did the Academy Awards snub 'Barbie' star, director?

"Barbie" was the No. 1 box office hit of 2023, yet the film's director is not among the five considered for Best Director.


Gerwig may have graced the cover, but all of Time’s Women of the Year are making strides toward greater representation and opportunities for women. The 12 honorees for 2024 are:

Greta Gerwig, writer, director and actor

Taraji P. Henson, actor and entrepreneur

Andra Day, singer and actor

Coco Gauff, tennis player

Leena Nair, global CEO of Chanel

Yael Admi, co-founder and leader of Women Wage Peace

Reem Hajajreh, founder and director of Women of the Sun

Nadia Murad, president and chairwoman of nonprofit Nadia’s Initiative

Marlena Fejzo, medical scientist and professor of research on hyperemesis gravidarum

Jacqui Patterson, founder and executive director of the Chisholm Legacy Project

Ada Limón, U.S. poet laureate

Claudia Goldin, economic historian and labor economist

How Women's History Month became an international celebration
A monument depicting suffragists titled

How Women's History Month became an international celebration

It started in New York City in 1909 as National Woman's Day. Now, Women's History Month is celebrated with events worldwide.


Toasting to the future

During the gala, the Women of the Year honorees gave toasts in which they celebrated their own contributions and acknowledged the other strong women in the room and around the world. Taraji P. Henson was honored not simply for her accomplishments as an entertainer, but for her outspokenness about the pay inequity that women face in Hollywood.

“I try to be the light on stage, hoping to burn a fire in someone’s heart so they never forget to dream, to remember, to empathize, to be enraged, just to feel something — anything,” Henson said in her toast. “To my fellow recipients, congratulations. Congratulations, all of you… Keep setting the world on fire with your light. It is needed! Burn, baby, burn.”

Other honorees included Grand Slam winner Coco Gauff and Grammy-winning artist Andra Day, who recently sang “Lift Every Voice and Sing” at the 2024 Super Bowl. Day also performed a song at the Women of the Year Gala, closing out the night.

Brynn Anderson / AP

A special recognition, the Time Earth Award, was given to Jacqui Patterson, who is the founder of the Chisholm Legacy Project. Shailene Woodley presented Patterson with the award, commending Patterson for being a champion for “people who face an unjust burden of risk and complication because of our climate crisis.”

One of the most moving toasts came from poet Ada Limón, who is the first Latina to become U.S. poet laureate. Her toast included a recitation of her poem that will be engraved — in Limón’s own handwriting — on NASA’s Europa Clipper spacecraft. The poem will travel on the spacecraft 1.8 billion miles to Jupiter’s second moon. Watch Limón recite “In Praise of Mystery” in the YouTube video below:

This story was originally published by Kate Emswiler at Simplemost.com.