Being the first to do something takes a drive to keep advancing, the inspiration to see yourself in a position where no women have yet been, and the courage to make change happen.

Take it from the first female to lead the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) in its 20 year history.

NNSA Administrator Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty recounts the historical firsts for women in the energy workforce. Watch as she shares some of the stories of women who have advanced the Department of Energy’s National Laboratories and major scientific discoveries.

Video Url
Firsts: Barrier Breakers & History Makers
Video courtesy of the Department of Energy

Beyond the stories of Liane Russell, Dixy Lee Ray, Darlene Hoffman, Jill Hruby, and Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty, there are many other women who have shown the world that women are at the top of the energy sector.

Read about more of these barrier breakers in our blog here, and see stories about current women in the energy workforce in our STEM Rising: Women @ Energy series online at

AnneMarie Horowitz
AnneMarie Horowitz has been with the Energy Department since 2010 and is the Acting Communications Director for the Arctic Energy Office.
more by this author