Today we celebrate women on International Women’s Day. International Women’s Day was started as a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. So many women in history have been instrumental in making changes for a better future for us all. March 8th is officially designated as a day to celebrate those who have paved the way for others.

As a business run partially by women in the surf and skate industry for over 40 years, we witnesses as the  gender bias in these sports has begun to shift. We have seen multiple generations of women who have worked hard in the sports and proven their talent to many. The movement is so great that even magazine like Vogue are taking notice. In an article released today, Vogue hired skateboarder and photographer Arto Saari to capture the impact women like Lacey Baker, Samarria Brevard, Vanessa Torres, Alexis Sablone, Jenn Soto, and Mariah Duran are making in the skate world. Here is a glimpse of the way these women are making a change for others.

Watch Vogue’s “New Guard” Video About Women Impacting Skateboarding

Women taking a stand for change

“Women, of course, are not new to the sport of skateboarding—since the skateboard was invented in California sometime around the middle of the 20th century, women such as Patti McGee, Peggy Oki, Kim Cespedes, and Laura Thornhill have played integral roles in the sport’s development. Women are, unfortunately, radically new to the industry of skateboarding, which has long been a boys’ club of contests, sponsorships, paychecks, and glory. The world didn’t get its first woman pro skateboarder until 1998, when Elissa Steamer was signed to Toy Machine. “It was a huge deal. There was no way around it,” says Steamer, an undisputed legend for her contributions to the sport, over the phone—though, she admits that in spite of the lack of opportunity, being a pro skater was a goal she’d had since she was a little girl.” – Vogue Magazine

Still there if so much farther to go. Though female skaters are now beginning to get sponsorships that include shoe deals and are now included in major competitions, endorsements and competition purses are significantly less for females. Men usually still earn 25 times as much as the women in the skate world.

‘Burnside and Mimi Knoop enlisted the help of lawyer Drew Mearns and formed the Action Sports Alliance. “A lot of people think it [was] about girl power. It was so not like that,” says Knoop, sitting on the edge of an empty pool with her board in the San Fernando Valley. “I just wanted to skate. If I could get a sponsor to pay me, that meant I could skate more and didn’t have to have a job working somewhere else. So, for me, it was about creating that opportunity for other girls.In 2005, the Action Sports Alliance staged a women’s boycott of the X Games until pay and media coverage were improved. A year later, they landed a meeting with John Skipper, then president of ESPN, who agreed he would bring the women’s prize winnings up every year until it was equal to the men’s earnings. “He was true to his word,” says Knoop. In 2008, the women and men’s champions both took home $40,000. “And it’s been equal ever since.”’ – Vogue Magazine

Although women in these sports are beginning to see changes, they are still struggling to pay the bills through skateboarding alone. Many must take on a second job to pursue a career in skate. However, this generation is changing the future so that one day the women in skate may make as much as anyone who is worthy of a pro status.