India Walton, India Walton Facebook


Shalini Arulanandam, MINDEF


Thasunda Brown Duckett, Getty Images

Rosalind “Roz” Brewer, Getty Images
Firsts for Women: June 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:

  • Elif Aktug – first woman to be elected as managing partner of Swiss wealth manager Pictet.
  • Shalini Arulanandam – first woman officer appointed to head Singapore Armed Forces’ Military Medicine Institute.
  • Cindy Crusto – first Black woman to become a professor for Yale’s School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry.
  • Taya Currie – first woman selected in the Ontario Hockey League draft.
  • Rosalind “Roz” Brewer and Thasunda Brown Duckett – first two Black women CEOs to be listed at the same time on a Fortune 500 list. 
  • Katherine Evans – first woman to head the research or analytics department of a National Basketball Association (NBA) franchise.
  • Sarah Feinberg – first woman nominated to chair New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
  • Anita Frew  – first woman appointed as chair for Rolls-Royce in the U.K.
  • Lydia Griggsby – first woman of color to become a U.S. district judge in Maryland.
  • Robin Goomes  – first woman to backflip in a Crankworx competition, representing New Zealand.
  • Becky Hammon – first woman to become a finalist for an NBA head coaching position.
  • Kamala Harris – first woman to deliver the keynote commencement address at the U.S. Naval Academy.
  • Rene Hatlelid – first woman to lead production of the Indy 500 race.
  • Seul-Ki (Park) Hawley – first woman to play golf in the Mass Open.
  • Debbie Hewitt – first woman set to become chair of England's Football Association.
  • Annette Nance Holt – first Black woman to lead the Chicago Fire Department.
  • Siobhan Keegan – first woman set to become Northern Ireland’s most senior judge.
  • Min Jung Kim – first woman to lead the Saint Louis Art Museum.
  • Oksana Lyniv  – first woman to conduct the Bayreuth Festival, representing the Ukraine.
  • Ankita Raina – first woman from Gujarat, India to compete in the Olympics.
  • Sue Redfern – first woman appointed to officiate in an England men's home international match.
  • K. Alicia Schulhof – first woman elected president of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.
  • Kristen Thompson – first woman to take command of the 55th Wing at Offutt Air Force Base.
  • India Walton – first woman to become mayor of Buffalo, New York, USA.

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 JULY 2021