Nellie Tayloe Ross was the first woman to serve as governor of a state (Wyoming), elected to succeed her deceased husband (1925).
Frances Perkins was named Franklin Roosevelt’s Secretary of Labor. She was the first female member of a Presidential cabinet (1933).
Audra McDonald was the first person to earn 6 Tony Awards and the first woman to have won Tony Awards in all four acting categories, and the only African American performer to be nominated in all four acting categories.
Aretha Franklin was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (1987).
Eileen Collins was the first female space shuttle pilot (1995).
Jeanne Kirkpatrick was the first woman to serve as US Ambassador to the United Nations (1981).
Marie Curie was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize (Physics), sharing the prize with Antoine Henri Becquerel and Pierre Curie (1903).
Lettie Pate Whitehead was the first American woman to serve as director of a major corporation, The Coca-Cola Company (1934).
Mia Hamm was the first woman inducted into the World Football Hall of Fame in Pachuca, Mexico (2013).
Madame CJ Walker was the first female millionaire.
Bessie Coleman was the first African American to acquire an International Pilot’s License (1921).
Mae Jemison was the first African American woman to travel in space (Space Shuttle Endeavor) (1992).
Elizabeth Dole was the first woman to serve in two different cabinet positions (Secretary of Transportation and Secretary of Labor) in 2 different administrations (Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush).
Dr. Sally K. Ride was the first American woman in space (1983).
Sarah Thomas was the first full-time female official hired by the NFL (2015).
Kathryn Smith was hired by the Buffalo Bills as the NFL’s first full-time female coach (2016).
Shirley Chisholm was the first African-American woman in Congress (1968).
Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman in the U.S. to receive a medical degree (1849).
Sarah E. Goode was the first African American woman to receive a patent (1885).
Elaine Chao was the first American woman of Asian descent to be appointed to a president’s cabinet in our nation’s history, and the longest tenured Secretary of Labor since World War II.
Arabella Mansfield was the first woman lawyer (1869).
Muriel “Mickey” Siebert was the first woman to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange and the first woman to head one of its member firms (1967).
Dr. Antonia Novello was the first woman (and first Hispanic) to serve as the U.S. Surgeon General (1990).
Janet Yellen was confirmed as the first female chairperson of the Federal Reserve Board (2014).
Anna Bissell was the America’s first female CEO (Bissell Sweeper Company) (1889).
Katharine Graham was the owner of the Washington Post and first female Fortune 500 CEO (1972).
Ursula Burns was named CEO of Xerox and became America’s first African American female Fortune 500 CEO (2009).