Firsts for Women: August 2022

Zonta International celebrates "firsts for women" in all different sectors in countries and communities around the world.

Looking back on last month, we acknowledge the following women:

  • Lt. Col. Revital Barzani – first woman to command an Israeli Defense Forces air defense combat batallion.
  • Charlie Blackwell-Thompson – first woman to be a launch director for NASA.
  • Shannon Bream – first woman to host Fox News Sunday.
  • Alexis Warr Burton – first woman specializing in Latin/ballroom to win So You Think You Can Dance.
  • Caroline Campbell – first woman director of the National Gallery of Ireland.
  • Eileen Cikamatana – first woman to win weightlifting gold for two countries at the Commonwealth Games.
  • Nomusa Dube-Ncube – first woman premier of KwaZulu-Natal, a coastal South African province.
  • Solange Knowles – first Black woman to compose an original score for the New York City Ballet.
  • Jaida Lee – first woman player to compete in male baseball at the Canada Summer Games.
  • Robynne Maii – first woman chef from Hawaii to win a James Beard Award.
  • Lalisa Manobal – first woman to win “Best K-pop” award at the MTV Video Music Awards.
  • Dr. Sharlene Medina – first woman in Puerto Rico to practice interventional cardiology.
  • Sarah Nurse – first woman to be on the cover of an Electronic Arts NHL game.
  • Capt. Jessica J. O’Brien – first woman to command the Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach.
  • Lana Payne – first woman president of Unifor, Canada's largest private sector labor union.
  • Mary Peltola – first Alaska Native to be elected to the U.S. Congress.
  • Andrea Skinner – first woman to lead Hockey Canada, becoming interim chair of the board of the sport’s governing body.
  • Maritza Chan Valverde – first woman to be chosen as Costa Rica’s ambassador to the United Nations.
  • Susie Winders – first woman chief compliance officer of RE/MAX Holdings.
  • Charlotte de Witte – first woman and first techno artist to close out the iconic Mainstage of Tomorrowland, the world's largest electronic dance music (EDM) festival.
  • Yoshimi Yamashita – first Japanese woman professional soccer referee.

As an organization that has fought for gender equality for more than 100 years, Zonta International believes it is important to celebrate and honor women who are making history. Each month, we will recognize women who have broken the glass ceiling and set an example for future generations to come.

Do you know of a first for women moment that should be recognized? Share with us at [email protected].