Celebrating 100 Years of Women Voting – Women Who Shattered The Glass Ceiling

To celebrate the passage of the 19th Amendment and women’s suffrage this week, here at NeW we’re celebrating 10 women who shattered the “glass ceiling.” Check out how these incredible women impacted American history.

  • Sandra Day O’Connor was the first woman to sit on the Supreme Court, nominated by Ronald Reagan. She is famously quoted as having said, “I think the important thing about my appointment is not that I will decide cases as a woman, but that I am a woman who will get to decide cases.”
  • Victoria Woodhull was a leader of the women’s suffrage movement, and the first woman to run as an American Presidential candidate in 1872. Before running for president, she also was the first woman to own a brokerage firm on Wall Street and the first woman to start a weekly newspaper.
  • Alice Stebbins Wells served as the first female police officer, hired on to serve on the Los Angeles Police Department in 1910. She was the first American born woman to be hired on by a police force.
  • Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman in America to graduate from medical school and earn a medical degree in 1849 from Geneva College in New York.
  • Arabella Mansfield became the first female lawyer in the United States. She was the first woman admitted to the Iowa bar in 1869, despite a law stating that only men could join, and passed.
  • Condoleezza Rice was chosen by President George W. Bush as the first woman to serve as national security advisory and later she became the first African American woman to serve as US Secretary of State.
  • Sally Ride was the first female astronaut to fly in space, taking this title in 1983.
  • Jeanette Rankin was the first woman elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1916. Four years later women won the right to vote nationally when the 19th Amendment passed in 1920.
  • Katharine Graham was the first woman to serve as the CEO for a Fortune 500 company, serving as the CEO for the Washington Post Company. She also served as editor of the Washington Post overseeing the publication of the Pentagon Papers and the Watergate scandal.
  • Ann Elizabeth Dunwoody was the first female to attain the rank of four-star General in the United States military, attaining this rank on November 14, 2008.



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