The Woman of the Year event was founded in 1987 by Assemblywoman Bev Hansen (R) and Assemblywoman Sally Tanner (D), who noticed that the California Legislature had no events planned for the month of March, Women's History Month. In celebration of the contributions to society made by remarkable women throughout California, Hansen and Tanner arranged to invite one woman from each Senate and Assembly district to come to the Capitol and be honored for their accomplishments. The women were to be recognized as Woman of the Year in a formal ceremony on the floors of the Senate and Assembly. This yearly event, sponsored and organized by the Women's Caucus, is greatly anticipated by all Legislators today.
2015 Woman of The Year
Left to Right: Minority Leader Kristin Olsen, WOTY Recipient Dr. Paoling Guo, LWC Vice-Chair Cristina Garcia, Speaker Toni Atkins.
The Assembly ceremony, where Assemblywoman Shirley Weber was the keynote, was followed by a luncheon where the honored women and legislators gathered to hear a spoken word performance from Get Lit – Words Ignite, a nationally recognized organization that works to reach at-risk teens, stem dropout rates, and increase literacy among youth in Los Angeles. Get Lit fuses classic poetry with the spoken word movement and reaches over 20,000 at-risk teens each year.
The Senate did not hold a Capitol celebration, but many Senators celebrated in their district.
Read about the 2015 assembly honorees here.
For a list of honorees from the Senate, please click here.
For a list of honorees from the Assembly, please click here.