Inspiring Women of All Time

Inspiring Women of All Time

Inspiring Women of All Time

April 9, 2015

From feminism to fashion, women in a world of challenging conventions, made contribution to create new opportunities for their contemporaries and the following genres. Women have been defying all obstacles in fields of science, politics, aviation and so much more. To celebrate Inspiring Women Award 2015, we take a look at some revolutionary women who helped change the world to make it better as we know it today. The stories of these inspiring women tell us, leadership is an attitude that knows no boundary.

Sheryl Kara Sandberg

First Female to Serve on Facebook’s Board of Directors

Sheryl is an American technology executive, activist, and author. As of September 2014, she is the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook. In June 2012, she was elected to the board of directors by the existing board members becoming the first woman to serve on Facebook’s board. Before Facebook, Sandberg was Vice President of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google, and was involved in launching Google’s philanthropic arm Google.org. Before Google, Sandberg served as chief of staff for the United States Secretary of the Treasury.

In 2012 she was named in the Time 100, an annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world according to Time magazine. As of January 2014, Sandberg is reported to be worth over US$1 billion, due to her stock holdings in Facebook and other companies.

Marie Curie

First Women to Win Nobel Prize

Marie Curie, famously known as Madame Curie, is the very first woman in the history of man kind to win a Nobel Prize. She is alsothe only woman to win the award two times for her brilliant contribution in both Physics and Chemistry. Despite being the top student in secondary school, she had to struggle to pursue a higher education in University of Warsaw’s “Floating University”, the secretly held underground informal classes because only male students were allowed to attend the formal classes back then. She discovered Radium and also contributed for the development of X-Rays.

Valentina Tereshkova

First Women in Space

Inspired by Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, former textile worker Valentina Tereshkova volunteered for the Soviet Space Program and travelled to space in 1963 as the “First Woman in Space”. After the death of her father in the World War II, Tereshkova had to leave school and start working at a tire factory to support the family at the age of 16. Later she joined her mother at the cotton mill, but continued her learning through similar courses. Tereshkova earned the title “Hero of the Soviet Union” with honor.

Amelia Earhart

First Female Pilot to Fly Across the Atlantic

Amelia Earhart is famous for being the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic in an airplane back in 1928. She took a plane ride only for 10 minutes at a Long Beach air show in 1920, which was the inspiration for her to pursue flying lessons. She saved money to get flying lessons from pioneer female aviator Anita Neta Shook. In her childhood, Amelia’s family did not have much support from their father as the provider of the family and this led her to become independent. Amelia mysteriously disappeared in 1937 in the event of circumnavigating the globe from the equator.

Margaret Thatcher

First Female Prime Minister of Britain

A former research chemist graduated from Oxford University, Margaret Thatcher was Britain’s first female prime minister. The “Iron Lady” became Britain’s Conservative Party Leader. She was elected as a prime minister and served the country for 11 years starting from 1979 to 1990. Thatcher’s father was a member of the town’s council who first introduced her to conservative politics. In her time, England was facing economic and political turmoil. So she had to battle the recession and had to take initiatives to control inflation. She was also responsible for the mass privatization of many industries in Britain for the betterment of the economy.

Rachel Carson

Pioneer of Environmental Movement

Rachel Carson, who was a marine biologist, environmentalist and writer, helped to shape a growing environmental consciousness by her best-known book “Silent Spring”. She got a lot of first-hand knowledge of nature and wildlife by growing up on a farm in Pennsylvania. She was aware of the environmental impact of fertilizers and pesticides and alerted the world about it. She is famously known as the pioneer of the environmental movement who cared for the future generation and worked to preserve the world.

Lillian Evelyn Moller Gilbreth

Industrial Psychologist, First Female Engineer with a Ph.D

Lillian was an American psychologist and industrial engineer. One of the first working female engineers holding a Ph.D., she is held to be the first true industrial/organizational psychologist. She and her husband Frank Bunker Gilbreth, Sr. were efficiency experts who contributed to the study of industrial engineering in fields such as motion study and human factors. The books Cheaper by the Dozen and Belles on Their Toes (written by their children Ernestine and Frank Jr.) tell the story of their family life with their twelve children, and describe how they applied their interest in time and motion study to the organization and daily activities of such a large family.

Coco Chanel

Fashion Designer

The creator of timeless designs, Coco Chanel is admired in the fashion industry for introducing the simple yet sophisticated outfits. Being raised in an orphanage after the death of her mother, Chanel learned sewing form the nuns, the skill that led to her life’s work. The fashion icon’s one of the revolutionary designs was the “Little Black Dress” by which she showed how gorgeous one would look in it for eveningwear.

Elizabeth Blackwell

The First Female Doctor in the U.S.

For Elizabeth Blackwell, the road to becoming a doctor was not easy. Despite being criticized from the fellow students as well as the general public, Blackwell graduated from a medical school as the very first female doctor in the United States in 1849. She did not stop there, but pioneered in educating women in medicine by establishing a medical school for women in the late 1860s. Later in her life, she became a leading public health activist.

Gertrude Caroline Ederle

First Women to Swim across the English Channel

Gertrude was an American competition swimmer, Olympic champion, and former world record-holder. In 1926, she became the first woman to swim across the English Channel.

Ederle was the daughter of German immigrants. She was the third of six children and was born in New York City. Her father, a butcher, taught her to swim in Highlands, New Jersey, where the family owned a summer cottage.

When she was only twelve, she set her first world record in the 880 yard freestyle, becoming the youngest world record holder in swimming. She set eight more world records after that, seven of them in 1922 at Brighton Beach. In total, Ederle held 29 US national and world records from 1921 until 1925. The press sometimes called her “Queen of the Waves.”

Oprah Winfrey

Popular TV Host, Owner of Oprah Winfrey Network

Media giant Oprah Winfrey who wassexually abused by relatives and friends of her mother in her troubled childhood became the best known television host across the globe. She is not only a television host, but also an actress, philanthropist, publisher, producer and entrepreneur. Her wildly popular program The Oprah Winfrey Show was aired for 25 seasons, from 1986 to 2011. She now owns her own network, The Oprah Winfrey Network which is a joint venture with the Discovery networks. Winfrey received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor in November 2013.

Kathryn Bigelow

First Female Filmmaker to Win an Oscar

By receiving the Academy Award for Best Director in 2009 for “The Hurt Locker”, Kathryn Bigelow made history because she was the first woman to receive an Oscar for the filmmaking category. Kathryn believes that her inspiration came from her father who liked to draw cartoons and dreamed to be a cartoonist, but could not achieve it.

Compiled by Nafia Alam Maha

Source: On Request

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