Firsts for Women: November 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:

  • Lakeshia Anderson-Rolle – first woman appointed executive director of Bahamas National Trust, the country’s foremost environmental stewardship organization.
  • Starr Andrews – first Black U.S. skater to win the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating medal.
  • Becca Balint – first woman and first openly LGBTQ person elected to Congress from Vermont.
  • Nancy Barnes – first woman appointed editor of The Boston Globe.
  • Karen Bass – first woman elected mayor of Los Angeles.
  • Manika Batra – first Indian woman to win a medal in the ITTF-ATTU Asian Cup, an annual table tennis competition held by the International Table Tennis Federation and the Asian Table Tennis Union.
  • Charlie Blackwell-Thompson – first woman to serve as a NASA launch director.
  • Kyra Harris Bolden – first Black woman appointed to serve on the bench of the Michigan Supreme Court.
  • Winnie Brinks – first woman to lead a majority in Michigan’s state Senate.
  • Katie Britt – first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from Alabama.
  • Lt. Cmdr. Amber Cowan – first woman executive officer aboard a U.S. submarine.
  • Lisa Demuth – first woman to lead Minnesota House GOP caucus and first Black leader of any of the four legislative caucuses.
  • Nettie Depp – first woman to have a permanent, large-scale monument inside the Kentucky State Capitol.
  • Kate Douglass – first woman to complete the 200-yard breaststroke under 2:02, breaking the record she set in March.
  • Stéphanie Frappart – first woman referee to officiate at a men's World Cup.
  • Michelle Glasgow – first woman chief of the Sipekne'katik First Nation.
  • Maura Healey – first woman elected governor of Massachusetts and first openly lesbian U.S. governor.
  • Trina A. Higgins – first woman appointed U.S. attorney for the District of Utah.
  • Kathy Hochul – first woman elected governor of New York.
  • Lena Horne – first Black woman to have a Broadway theater named after her.
  • Summer Lee – first Black woman elected to Congress from Pennsylvania.
  • Brooke Lierman – first woman elected comptroller in Maryland.
  • Anna Paulina Luna – first Mexican American woman elected to the U.S. Congress from Florida.
  • Andrea Martínez – first woman from Mexico to play college football with men in the country’s top amateur division.
  • Rawya Mansour – first woman from Egypt to receive membership of the Planetary Health Pledge Club.
  • Tony McCombie – first woman to lead an Illinois House caucus.
  • Heather McLaughlin – first woman photographer to shoot ringside for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).
  • Aruna Miller – first Indian American and first South Asian woman elected lieutenant governor in the U.S.
  • Alia Moses – first woman chief judge in the Western District of Texas.
  • Nataša Pirc Musar – first woman president of Slovenia.
  • Neky Ngwe – first woman to win the top prize in The Mic: Africa contest.
  • Caroline O’Connor – first woman to be named president of business operations for the Miami Marlins, a Major League Baseball (MLB) team. The Marlins are now the first major U.S. sports franchise to have women as both president and general manager.
  • Olivia Pichardo – first woman on the roster of a Division I college baseball team in the U.S.
  • Delia Ramirez – first Latina elected to Congress from Illinois.
  • Leslie Rutledge – first woman elected lieutenant governor of Arkansas.
  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders – first woman elected governor of Arkansas.
  • Kari Shimmel – first woman CEO of Campbell Ewald, longtime General Motors advertising agency.
  • Laxmi Singh – first woman police commissioner of Uttar Pradesh, India.
  • Megan Thee Stallion – first Black woman to appear on the cover of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 issue.
  • Julianne Sitch – first woman to lead men’s soccer team to National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Final Four.
  • Kim Ward – first woman to be appointed president pro tempore of the Pennsylvania Senate. In this position, she will select all committee chairs and handle nominations.
  • Millie Thompson Williams – first woman elected second chief of the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas.
  • Melanie Vogel – first woman to complete a coast-to-coast-to-coast through-hike on the Trans Canada Trail.

Moments we missed in October:

  • Major Gen. Peggy Combs – first woman president of the Army and Navy Academy.

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]