Featured Subjects


Jane Addams

SOCIAL WORKER / REFORMER
Jane Addams was one of the most prominent reformers of the Progressive Era, helping to turn America to issues of concern to women, such as suffragism, the needs of children, local public health, and world peace.


Magdalena Aguirre

MENTOR
Magdalena Aguirre is an immigrant from El Salvador who left during the Civil War with her young daughter.


Pancho Barnes

AVIATOR / ENTREPRENEUR
During her lifetime, Pancho Barnes was renowned for her individuality, larger-than-life personality, creativity, entrepreneurship, humor, generosity and integrity. A legend in the aviation community, she was one of the first female pilots to be licensed in the United States, and one of the most respected pilots of the Golden Age of Flight.


Nellie Bly

JOURNALIST
Nellie Bly was an American journalist widely known for her record-breaking trip around the world in 72 days and an exposé in which she faked insanity to study a mental institution from within. She was a pioneer in her field, and launched a new kind of investigative journalism.


Grace Lee Boggs

ACTIVIST / AUTHOR
Grace Lee Boggs spent much of her life advocating for civil rights and labor rights. She became such a noted figure in Detroit's Black Power movement that people assumed she must be partially black. She died in 2015 at the age of 100; her legacy still inspires and challenges people to think about their own activism.



Julia Margaret Cameron

PHOTOGRAPHER
Julia Margaret Cameron was an iconoclastic photographer remembered for bringing art and expressiveness to the new science of photography.



Milena Canonero

COSTUME DESIGNER
Milena Canonero is an Italian costume designer, who has worked for both film and stage productions. She has won four Academy Awards for Best Costume Design, and been nominated for the award nine times.



Jerrie Cobb

PILOT
Jerrie Cobb was a pilot who, by many accounts, should have been the first woman in space.



Hannah Crafts

WRITER
Hannah Crafts (the pen name of Hannah Bond) was an African-American writer who escaped from slavery in North Carolina in the late 1850’s. She wrote The Bondwoman's Narrative by Hannah Crafts, the first novel written by an African-American woman, the only known novel by a fugitive slave woman. The story was published in 2002 for the first time and rapidly became a bestseller.



Rachel Crothers

PLAYWRIGHT / DIRECTOR
Rachel Crothers was an early feminist playwright and director. Among theater historians, she is generally recognized as "the most successful and prolific woman dramatist writing in the first part of the twentieth century."


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Carol Downer

LAWYER
Carol Downer is an American feminist lawyer and non-fiction author who has focused her career on abortion rights and women's health around the world.


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Sara Bard Field

POET/SUFFRAGIST
Sara Bard Field was an American poet, suffragist, and socialist.



Elizabeth Gurley Flynn

ACTIVIST
Elizabeth Gurley Flynn was an activist, labor organizer, and one of the founders of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).



Clara Shortridge Foltz

LEGAL PIONEER
Clara Shortridge Foltz was the first female lawyer on the West Coast, and pioneered the idea of the public defender. The Criminal Courts Building in downtown Los Angeles was renamed after her in 2002, and is now known as the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center.



María Irene Fornés

PLAYWRIGHT / DIRECTOR
María Irene Fornés is a Cuban-American playwright and director, a leading figure of the Off-Off-Broadway movement. She was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize with her play And What of the Night? Other notable works include Fefu and Her Friends, Mud, Sarita, and Letters from Cuba. Fornés is revered in both Hispanic-American and experimental theatre, winning a total of nine Obie Awards.



Gilda Frantz

JUNGIAN ANALYST
Dr. Gilda Frantz is an esteemed Jungian Analyst who continues to practice into her late 80's. She serves as Co-Editor-in-Chief of Psychological Perspectives and recently published her first book, Sea Glass.



Lil Hardin

JAZZ COMPOSER / ARTIST / BANDLEADER
Lil Hardin was a pianist, composer, singer, and band leader who helped introduce America to jazz music. She established a reputation as “Hot Miss Lil,” one of the few female band members of her time. Lil played on many of the first jazz recordings ever made and wrote many of the early songs of the jazz era. Married to Louis Armstrong, she wrote songs and performed with him, helping to make him an international star.



Queen Hatshepsut

PHARAOH
Queen Hatshepsut (1507–1458 BCE) was the fifth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt. She was the second historically confirmed female pharaoh. She is generally regarded by Egyptologists as one of the most successful pharaohs, reigning longer than any other woman of an indigenous Egyptian dynasty.



Sarah Blaffer Hrdy

PROFESSOR OR ANTHROPOLOGY AND PRIMATOLOGY
Sarah Hrdy is professor emerita at the University of California-Davis and Associate in the Peabody Museum of Archeology and Ethnology at Harvard. A former Guggenheim fellow, she has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the California Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. Her books include The Langurs of Abu: Female and Male Strategies of Reproduction; The Woman that Never Evolved; Mother Nature: A History of Mothers, Infants and Natural Selection; and Mothers and Others: The Evolutionary Origins of Mutual Understanding, an exploration of psychological implications of humankind’s long legacy of shared child-rearing which has been awarded both the 2012 J.I. Staley Prize from the School of Advanced Research and a second Howells Prize.



Sister Mary Corita Kent

NUN / ARTIST / EDUCATOR
Sister Mary Corita Kent’s artwork, with its messages of love and peace, was particularly popular during the social upheavals of the 1960s and 1970s. As both a nun and a woman making art in the twentieth century, she was in many ways cast to the margins of the different movements she was a part of. In recent years, Corita has gained increased recognition for her role in the Pop Art movement.



Carobeth Laird

ANTHROPOLOGIST / AUTHOR
Carobeth Laird was an anthropologist and a writer who didn't publish her first book until she was ''discovered'' by student researchers when she was 80 years old. Her best-selling book, ''Encounter With an Angry God: Recollections of My Life With John Peabody Harrington,'' detailed Laird’s life among the American Indians, where she apprenticed with Peabody, who was her mentor in her cultural studies.



Hedy Lamarr

ACTRESS / INVENTOR
Hedy Lamarr was an actress in the “Golden Age” of MGM. She is known for the films Tortilla Flat, Lady of the Tropics, Boom Town, Samson and Delilah, and Ecstasy. She was originally from Vienna, Austria and was often called “The Most Beautiful Woman in Films.” In addition to being a film star, she and composer George Antheil patented a “Secret Communication System” to help the war effort during World War II. This technology paved the way for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.


Mollie Lowery

ADVOCATE
Clara Shortridge Foltz was the first female lawyer on the West Coast, and pioneered the idea of the public defender. The Criminal Courts Building in downtown Los Angeles was renamed after her in 2002, and is now known as the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center.



Rose Mbowa

DRAMATIST, "MOTHER UGANDA"
Rose Mbowa risked her personal safety to defend freedom of speech in Uganda during Idi Amin’s reign, creating programs to empower local African artists and their communities. Mbowa’s inspirational art and teachings are proof that one voice speaking truth in a time of darkness can make a difference.



Maria Sibylla Merian

NATURAL HISTORIAN
Maria Sibylla Merian's gorgeous drawings of the life cycles of plants, spiders, snakes, butterflies and other insects changed the way we see them. The re-issuing of her magnum opus "Insects of Suriname" in 2016 has helped bring her important contributions back to light.



Maggie Wilderotter

CEO
For over ten years Maggie Wilderotter served as CEO of Frontier Communications, a Fortune 500 company. She is frequently identified as one of the Fifty Most Powerful Women in Business.