Sally Ride is not just an important icon for women. Her achievements as a scientist and an astronaut are important for us all because they opened up the scientific world to anybody who wanted to be a part of it.
When gender is no longer a barrier to entry into any field, we allow for a flow of new ideas and perspectives.
Our backgrounds shape our worldviews. And as the backgrounds of people entering highly influential positions in science, technology, business, politics, you name it, become more diverse, the better society gets for us ALL. Differences in perspective drive innovation and progress!