You don’t have to be a soccer fan to appreciate the magnitude of the win of the United States Women’s National Soccer Team against the Netherlands. The women won the World Cup for the second consecutive time and their fourth World Cup overall.

As the CEO of a youth organization that serves girls and young women, I am proud to see these women in the spotlight and all they represent to the generations of females following in their footsteps. Girls and young women need to see strong female role models, in every occupation. We often hear, “If you can’t see it, you can’t be it.” This team is showing everyone exactly what girls and young women can be – incredible teammates, advocates, and world champions!

Head coach Jill Ellis is the first coach to win two FIFA Women’s World Cup titles and only the second coach (women or men) to win consecutive titles.  New Jersey native Carli Lloyd became the first player to score in six straight Women’s World Cup games. The team and its players have set many new records and show what hard work, resilience, and dedication can accomplish.  There has been a lot of news about the pay the women’s team earns compared to the men’s team; the bright point is that the pay disparity is a topic of discussion. In general, pay inequity exists across all areas of work from the soccer field to the scientific field and it is time society discusses the issue and take steps to ensure equal pay for equal work.

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The parade in New York City honoring the US Women’s National Soccer Team as World Champions was only the second ticker-tape parade in four years and the last one also was in recognition of this team and its accomplishments. Hundreds of thousands of spectators lined the streets of NYC to catch a glimpse of these superstars. Many in attendance were young girls, their brothers, and other family, basking in the glow of a celebration of and for women.

Congratulations to the players and coaches of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team –World Champions!