Alice Dearing, Getty


Momiji Nishiya, @Momiji Nishiya 


Joely Proudfit (Luiseño/Payómkawichum), Rob Stein

Firsts for Women: July 2021

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:

  • Veronica Toro Arana – first Puerto Rican woman rower to compete at the Olympics.
  • RoseAnne Archibald – first woman elected as national chief of Canada’s Assembly of First Nations.
  • Ashleigh Barty – first Australian woman to win Wimbledon since 1980.
  • Daisy Chittilapilly – first woman to head Cisco India as President.
  • Alice Dearing – first Black woman swimmer to represent team Great Britain in the Olympics. 
  • Hidilyn Diaz – first woman to win Olympic gold for the Philippines after winning the women's 55kg weightlifting event.
  • Leah Goldstein – first woman to win Race Across America (RAAM) solo cycling division.
  • Lee Kiefer – first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in individual foil fencing.
  • Sunisa "Suni" Lee – first Hmong American to be named to a U.S. Olympic team.  
  • Fiame Naomi Mata'afa – first woman to be elected as prime minister of Samoa.
  • Momiji Nishiya – first woman to win a gold medal in skateboarding at 13 years old.
  • Candace Parker – first woman basketball player to be on the cover of the NBA 2K video game.
  • Joely Proudfit (Luiseño/Payómkawichum) - first Indigenous woman to serve on the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls.
  • Nino Salukvadze – first woman to compete in nine Olympic Games.
  • Mary Simon – first Indigenous woman to be appointed as Governor General of Canada.
  • Tracy Sormanti – first women to be inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame.
  • Loa Dika Toua – first woman to compete in five Olympic games in weightlifting.
  • Anastasija Zolotic – first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in taekwondo.

To follow along with more Olympic "firsts" and other groundbreaking accomplishments for women around the world, follow our new Firsts for Women Instagram account (@firstsforwomen).

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 pr@zonta.org.

1 AUGUST 2021