List of women's firsts

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This is a list of women's firsts noting the first time that a woman or women achieved a given historical feat. A shorthand phrase for this development is "breaking the gender barrier" or "breaking the glass ceiling." [1][2] Other terms related to the glass ceiling can be used for specific fields related to those terms, such as "breaking the brass ceiling" for women in the military and "breaking the stained glass ceiling" for women clergy.[3][4] Inclusion on the list is reserved for achievements by women that have significant historical impact.

Arts and entertainment[edit]

Academy Awards[edit]

Emmy Awards[edit]

Film (aside from the Academy Awards)[edit]

Grammy Awards[edit]

Literature (aside from the Pulitzer and Nobel Prizes)[edit]

Pulitzer Prizes[edit]

Television (aside from the Emmy Awards)[edit]

Theater (aside from the Tony Awards)[edit]

Tony Awards[edit]

  • 1998: Julie Taymor, first woman to win a Tony award for best director of a musical.[24][25]
  • 2014: Audra McDonald, won the Tony Award, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play this year, making her the first woman to ever earn six Tony Award wins (not counting honorary awards) and the first woman to win a Tony Award in all four acting categories.[26][26]

Other[edit]

Aviation and Aerospace[edit]

Date Name Milestone
June 4, 1784 Élisabeth Thible First known woman to ride in a hot air balloon.[32][33][34]
1805 Sophie Blanchard First woman to pilot a hot air balloon.[35]
March 8, 1910 Raymonde de Laroche First woman to receive a pilot's license.[36]
1910-1911 Lilian Bland First woman in the world to design, build, and fly an aircraft.[37][38]
1912 Harriet Quimby First woman to fly across the English Channel.[39]
1914 Eugenie Mikhailovna Shakhovskaya First woman commissioned as a military pilot; she flew reconnaissance missions for the Czar in 1914.[40][41]
1915 Marie Marvingt First woman to fly a fighter plane in combat.[42][43]
1928 Amelia Earhart First woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.[44]
1930 Amy Johnson First woman to fly from Britain to Australia.[45]
May 18, 1953 Jacqueline Cochran First woman to break the sound barrier.[46]
June 16, 1963 Valentina Tereshkova First woman in space.[47]
1963 Betty Miller First female pilot to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean.[48]
1964 Jerrie Mock First woman to fly solo around the world.[49]
1984 Svetlana Savitskaya First woman to space walk.[50]
February 1995 Eileen Collins First woman space shuttle pilot.[51]
2009 Patricia Mawuli Ghana's first female civilian pilot, and the first woman in West Africa certified to build and maintain Rotax engines.[52]
September 18, 2006 Anousheh Ansari First female space tourist.[53]
2014 Nicola Scaife, from Australia Winner of the first women's hot air balloon world championship, which was held in Poland.[54]

Computing[edit]

See: Timeline of women in computing

Dentistry[edit]

Education[edit]

Further information:

Year Name Milestone
1608 Juliana Morell First woman to earn a doctorate degree.[55]
1678 Elena Cornaro Piscopia First woman to earn a Philosophy doctorate degree.[56][57]
1732 Laura Bassi First woman to officially teach at a European university.[58][59][60]
1875 Stefania Wolicka-Arnd First woman to receive a PhD in the modern era.[61][62]

International bodies[edit]

Military[edit]

Nobel Prizes[edit]

Police[edit]

Politics[edit]

Religion[edit]

Further information:

Sports[edit]

Further information:

Voting[edit]

Main article: Women's suffrage

Women's Rights[edit]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

References[edit]

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