Everyone who watched this year's Oscars witnessed at least one powerful moment for women, amid the forgettable montages and fast food antics. Best Actress winner Frances McDormand gently placed her Academy Award statuette on the ground and informed millions of viewers that she had "some things to say." McDormand asked every single female nominee in the room to stand up, before cryptically ending her speech with the phrase, "inclusion rider."
Women giving recognition to women in Hollywood is certainly moving, especially on live TV. But most people watching at home (and, most likely, watching from their seat at the Dolby Theatre) noticed two things: the amount of women who stood up after McDormand's request was dismally small, and the only ones with name recognition had very, very recognizable names already, like Meryl and Saoirse.
To celebrate International Women's Day this year, we want to throw some more names into the mix. And we went directly to the women who inspire us already, both on and off the screen. Who are we talking about when we say, "the future is female"? Who is making sure women's stories get told? And who will be standing up at the Oscars when this sure-to-be-repeated McDormand command happens five years from now? Take a look at our slideshow to find out who's next.
In honor of International Women’s Day, Refinery29 is asking women to pay-it-forward by endorsing a female colleague or expert in their field. Head here to discover inspiring women across all of the categories R29 covers.