Firsts for Women: October 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:

  • Donna Adams – first woman to serve as commissioner of Tasmania Police.
  • Yara Alhogbani – first woman tennis player to represent Saudi Arabia at the professional level.
  • Sahar Al-Rumaih – first woman appointed as deputy governor for the Central Bank of Kuwait.
  • Sumaiya Said Sulaiman Al Siyabi – first woman to claim the title of top Arab innovator on Qatar Foundation’s Stars of Science.
  • Kasey Badger – first woman referee to take charge of a men’s Rugby League World Cup game. She has been a referee for Australia’s National Rugby League (NRL) since 2019.
  • Carolyn Bertozzi – first woman Harvard College graduate to win Nobel Prize. She was one of three scientists awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the development of click chemistry and bioorthogonal chemistry.
  • Mia Bhuta – first woman of Indian descent to appear in a World Cup game for U.S. Soccer.
  • Mariam Saleh Bin Laden – first woman, first Arab and first Saudi to swim across the Red Sea between Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
  • Maria Sole Ferrieri Caputi – first woman to referee a Serie A soccer match.
  • Cardi B – first woman rapper to earn two 11-times Platinum certificates and first woman rapper to have more than one song surpass Diamond status.
  • Liz Dawson – first woman to serve as president of the New Zealand Olympic Committee.
  • Annie Ernaux – first woman from France to win the Nobel Literature Prize.
  • Pauline Ferrand-Prévot – first woman rider for Ineos Grenadiers, a British professional cycling team that competes at the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) WorldTeam level.
  • Colonel Antoinette ‘Toni’ Gant – first Black woman to serve as a division commander in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the first active-duty Black woman to reach the rank of Brigadier General in the history of the Engineer Regiment.
  • Jasmine Harrison – first woman to swim the entire length of the United Kingdom from Land's End to John O'Groats.
  • Jessikah Inaba – first blind, Black, female barrister in the United Kingdom.
  • Cynthia Ishimwe – first woman to officiate a Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations match.
  • Laura Kavanagh – first woman to serve as commissioner of the New York City Fire Department (FDNY).
  • Nicole Aunapu Mann – first Native American woman to launch into space and the first woman to command a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS).
  • Giorgia Meloni – first woman prime minister in Italy.
  • Cathy Merrick – first woman grand chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs.
  • Divya Nettimi – first woman to launch a billion-dollar hedge fund.
  • Margaret Ramsay-Hale – first woman chief justice of the Cayman Islands.
  • Zeinab Rezaie – first Afghan woman to complete the Ironman World Championship.
  • Filiz Saraç – first woman elected president of the İstanbul Bar Association.
  • Taylor Swift – first person to have five albums debut with over 1 million units sold in their first week in U.S. Nielsen history and the first artist to claim all top 10 entries on the Billboard Hot 100 in a single week. She is also the first female artist to have 11 albums debut at #1 on the Billboard 200 and the most streamed artist in Spotify history
  • Jessica Watkins – first Black woman to complete a long-term spaceflight.
  • Elizabeth Wichmann – first woman air traffic control manager for the Federal Aviation Administration at The Eastern Iowa Airport.
  • Anna May Wong – first Asian American to appear on U.S. currency.

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]