Lydia Villa-Komaroff (b. 1947) is a Mexican-American molecular biologist. She is a founding member of SACNAS, The Society
for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science.
She completed her PhD in cell biology at MIT in 1975, and later was part
of the team that discovered how bacteria could generate insulin. In 1996 she
started working for Northwestern Unviersity and became its Vice President for
Miriam Naveira (1934-2018) was the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court of
Puerto Rico, which she did for almost twenty years. She was also its first
She held two degrees, one in chemistry and one
in law. She was first appointed to the Supreme Court in 1985, and became Chief
Justice in 2004, a position she held until retirement.
Wright de Kleinhans (1846-1896)
was an early Mexican feminist. Through her magazines, Violetas de Anahuac and
Mujeres de Anahuac, she promoted female education and the idea that men
and women were intellectually equal.
She was a journalist and a member of numerous
literary societies around Mexico, always advancing ideas of gender equality and
the possibility of distancing oneself from the feminine ideal of marriage and
motherhood. One of her greatest achievements is the book Mujeres notables mexicanas
(1910), which contains 116 biographies of important Mexican women, of which
29 were indigenous – an important recognition at the time.
Romana Acuesta Bañuelos (1925-2018) was the first Hispanic treasurer of the United States. She served in this position from 1971 to 1974.
Even though she was born in the USA, she was deported to Mexico at a young age, and made a living at first as a dishwasher and tortilla maker. Eventually, she started her own tortilla business, Ramona’s Mexican Food Products, which grew to a multi-million-dollar corporation. She was a co-founder of the Pan-American National Bank, aiming to help struggling Latinos in Los Angeles.