was the first female chief justice of California. She was appointed to the
court in 1977.
her career, she achieved a number of significant firsts: she was the first
woman to hold a cabinet-level job in the state of California, as Secretary of
Agriculture, first female justice, and the first female deputy public defender
in Santa Clara County. One of her most important positions was her strong
opposition to the death penalty, and the decision that the state must provide
free abortions for poor women.
Still Anderson (1848-1919)
was one of the first black physicians in the United States. She was a pioneer
in medicine in the African-American community in Philadelphia.
obtained her degree from Oberlin College, as the youngest student in the class,
and the only black one. She obtained an internship with the New England Hospital
for Women and Children, despite initial obstacles on account of her race, and
later opened her own dispensary. In addition, she was a social activist
campaigning for racial equality.
Muriel Duckworth (1908-2009) was a pacifist and feminist activist from Canada. She was the founder of the Nova Scotia Voice of Women for Peace, and was the first woman in Halifax to run for a seat in the Nova Scotia legislature.
She was a founding member of the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women, and served as its president for two years. Her efforts were rewarded with the Pearson Medal of Peace and the Order of Canada, among others.
Howell Warner (b. 1939)
is an aviation pioneer who, in 1976, became the first female captain of a
scheduled US airline.
taking flight lessons at seventeen, and became an instructor herself after
graduating. She was hired by Frontier Airlines in 1973, after five years of
constant applications, marking a first in the civil aviation industry. While
there were no other female pilots at the time, by 1978 there were about 300
throughout the United States.
Virginia Held (b. 1929) is a feminist philosopher whose work focuses on the ethics
of care. Her research has sparked discussions regarding traditional roles of
women in society and the ethics of caring for others.
She obtained her PhD from Columbia University
in 1968 and went on to teach at Hunter College in New York. She also served as
the President of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical
Maria Mutola (b. 1972) is a former track and field athlete from Mozambique. She
is regarded as one of the best female athletes in the 800 m event, as well as
one of the longest-running, competing at the highest level for twenty years.
She won her first medal in the 1988 African
Championships, and later won many more in World Championships, Commonwealth Games
and Olympic Games (for a total of 21 gold, 5 silver and 4 bronze).
Mahalia Jackson (1911-1972) was a singer known as ‘The Queen of Gospel’, being one
of the most influential artists in the genre. She was also active in the civil
rights movement in the United States.
Her career spanned more than four decades,
during which time she recorded around 30 albums, 12 of which were certified
gold. She often sang before Martin Luther King’s speeches and helped raise
funds for the movement. In 1972 she received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement
Valmy (1926-2015) was a
pioneer in the field of aesthetics and skin care. She founded the first esthetician
school in the United States in 1966.
Born in Romania,
she first opened a salon in Bucharest before being forced out of the country by
the communist regime. She opened her first skincare school in New York in 1966,
emphasising techniques now known as the “Valmy method”, which seek to “reveal,
not conceal” the natural beauty of healthy skin. She also served on the United
States National Council on Vocational Education.