BEST DIRECTOR: Only three women have ever been nominated in the category: Lina Wertmüller, Jane Campion, and Sofia Coppola, who had the bad luck of releasing Lost in Translation (2003) the same year that Peter Jackson set hobbits loose in Middle Earth. Our money's on: Catherine Hardwicke (Thirteen), who's been tapped to helm The Monkey Wrench Gang, coming in 2009, about a group of 1970s eco-warriors (Robert Redford and Sean Penn also wanted the job). Cast said to include Oscar bait Jack Nicholson and Richard Dreyfuss.
TOP JOB AT THE U.N.: Since its founding 63 years ago, the U.N. has had eight male Secretary-Generals, and women represent just 19 percent of the influential Under-Secretaries-General. Our money's on: Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the Harvard-educated economist--turned--anticorruption crusader. Her term ends in 2012--as does current Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's. Isn't that convenient?
MOONWALKER: NASA is rumored to have trained its first female pilot in 1960, but she was never sent on an Apollo lunar mission; Armstrong and Aldrin strolled the Sea of Tranquility sans female company. Our money's on: Eileen Collins, the first woman to command a shuttle mission. She'll be 61 by the time the next moonwalk rolls around (in 2018), a spring chicken compared with John Glenn, who orbited the Earth in 1998 at a spry 77.
WOMEN BREAKING GLASS CEILINGS IN POLITICS & BUSINESS