Open menu

Awesome Women @awesome-women

149 Images
Art, photographs, stories, and biographies of women who are awesome in one way or another. - Awesome Women (@awesome-women)
Shenative is a socially driven handbag @awesome-women

SheNative is a socially driven handbag & accessories company dedicated to empowering Indigenous women, positively impacting the way they are represented in the media, and changing how they are perceived by the rest of the world.

Devon Fiddler, Founder & Chief Changemaker of SheNative is an Indigenous woman of the Waterhen Lake First Nation in Saskatchewan, Canada. She founded SheNative with a mission to inspire Native Women and girls to see themselves differently.

“I grew up a shy, timid Native girl, not having the best childhood experience with so much external negativity due to who I was, right down to the colour of my skin. I’ve since realized that I didn’t have to be who I was expected to be, and I could be whoever I wanted! So, I did it!”

Devon recognized a common problem based on her own personal experiences and those of her friends, family and other Native women around her. She recognized the need for change, and started looking for a way to help other woman and girls, to tell them that it’s okay to be amazing and pursue their passions. And so, SheNative was born. Devon recognized that changing the way Native women perceive themselves will start a chain reaction of empowerment, encouraging these women to provoke a positive change in public perceptions.

SheNative is currently at $9,700 (65% of their $15,000 goal) with 7 days left in the campaign. Jump on board now and help them make it!

Reclaimingthelatinatag ruth ocumárez is @awesome-women


Ruth Ocumárez  is Dominican former beauty queen, actress and model. Born and raised in Santo Domingo, Ocumárez became a celebrity in her nation by becoming the first woman of predominantly African heritage to represent the Dominican Republic in the Miss Universe pageant

Albinwonderland smalllindsay click here to @awesome-women




I am incredibly proud to present a project that I worked very hard on that has finally premiered on the internet! Over a year ago, back when I still worked at Hero4Hire Animation as the art director/lead design, I was given the reigns to direct a big project for the Geena Davis Institute on Gender and Media. Its a wonderful foundation that fights for the interest of one of the things very closest to my heart; that being the portrayal of girls and women in animated media, as well as for equality of roles for women working within animation. Things are slowly changing (Rebecca Sugar being the first women to get her own show on CN!!!), but animation is still largely dominated by men, especially in roles of power like direction and creators. This is often reflected in the female characters that arise from this disparity, that can often be cookie cut outs, token in nature, or at worst just there for the pure reason of sassy eye candy. That’s not to say there aren’t great female characters in media, but the numbers are actually quite staggering. Even being really in tune with the issue myself I was blown clear away by the actual numbers when I attended the institutes conference in NYC last year. I’d recommend taking a look at the research found here, as it’s really eye opening.

So I got to meet Geena Davis. I’d never met a celebrity before, let alone sat down with one over tea to show her my drawings and pitch book for the short I had made for her foundation. It was a little nerve wracking as I sat there in the small NYC cafe waiting for her arrival, only made more so when she walked in and was the tallest person ever. Let me describe to you the inner monologue of someone who has a stunningly beautiful, 20 foot tall movie star walking at them:


Needless to say Geena is a rad lady and super nice. Also I managed to not make any “There’s no crying in baseball” jokes despite how my terrible brain kept a constant feed of them supplied to me throughout our ensuing conversation.

The project went through a few stages before the finished product. Initially it was drafted to be a more story based short. I’d written a 14 page script which even still I think is pretty funny/informative, about traveling through the various animated stereotypes of girls (and boys too!). Maybe someday that will see the light of day, but it ended up a studio decision in interest of time/funds to go with a more infographic style short piece instead. Which is fine, because flat art is my bread and butter baby. Aw yiss gimmie dat illustrator program.

Anyway before I get too far off and write a novel, I am super proud to present this piece for the foundation and It was a joy to work on, and a privledge to be given a writing, directing, and design position on it given the content. I am flattered that Hero4Hire and Geena put that much salt in me.

This project, of course, would be nothing without the others who made it possible. Adrian Garcia, whom I worked with on storyboards, also made the animatics and did most of the effects animation you see here that makes everything look so 3-D and beautiful. He’s such a pro. Dan Flynn and Mike Nordstrom who did all the beautiful character animation. Evan Sussman who did all the post work that really made this thing look special. And Mari Kidder! My super sweet intern turned junior design assistant who is going to graduate college this year! She came in for a week long whirlwind and saved our butts for which I will be forever grateful, haha. Oh man we would have died without her help aaa aaaa.

But I digress, This project was my baby. I would be honored if everyone took a peek at our little film, and even more honored if it helped people think a little harder about the issues it brings to the spotlight.

Thank you!

Linds, your animation was incredible. So incredible, it brought me to tears. I’m so proud of you, and this project seems so positive and amazing. 

Sacheen littlefeather is a native american woman @awesome-women

Sacheen Littlefeather is a Native American woman who is a civil rights activist. She is known for dressing in Apache dress and presented a speech on behalf of actor Marlon Brando, for his performance in The Godfather, when he boycotted the 45th Academy Awards ceremony on March 27, 1973, in protest of the treatment of Native Americans by the film industry.

Littlefeather’s heritage includes Apache, Yaqui, Pueblo, and European ancestry. On her official website, she states her father was from the White Mountain Apache and Yaqui tribes from Arizona and that “Cruz” is her father’s recognized tribe name. A member of Indians of All Tribes, Littlefeather had participated in the occupation of Alcatraz Island by American Indians’ rights activists in 1969.

She represented Brando and his boycott of the Best Actor Oscar for The Godfather as a way to protest the ongoing siege at Wounded Knee, and Hollywood’s and television’s misrepresentation of American Indians. Brando had written a 15-page speech for Littlefeather to give at the ceremony, but when the producer met her backstage he threatened to physically remove her or have her arrested if she spoke on stage for more than 60 seconds. Her on-stage comments were therefore improvised. She then went backstage and read the entire speech to the press.

Rosemarie reed is an award winning producer of @awesome-women

Rosemarie Reed is an award-winning producer of documentary films. And she travels the world. When she is not in New York or Berlin, the two places she likes to call home, she can be found in Paris, London, Moscow, or Sydney in pursuit of her films. Most of her work portrays women in science, politics, history and the arts, some famous, some forgotten. Her goal is to document the achievements, plights, and legacies of women often invisible to the larger world.

Rear admiral grace murray hopper december 9 @awesome-women

Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906 – January 1, 1992) was an American computer scientist and United States Navy officer. A pioneer in the field, she was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer, and developed the first compiler for a computer programming language. She conceptualized the idea of machine-independent programming languages, which led to the development of COBOL, one of the first modern programming languages. She is credited with popularizing the term “debugging” for fixing computer glitches (motivated by an actual moth removed from the computer). Owing to the breadth of her accomplishments and her naval rank, she is sometimes referred to as “Amazing Grace.” The U.S. Navy destroyer USS Hopper (DDG-70) is named for her, as was the Cray XE6 “Hopper” supercomputer at NERSC.

Hopper graduated first in her class in 1944, and was assigned to the Bureau of Ships Computation Project at Harvard University as a lieutenant, junior grade. She served on the Mark I computer programming staff headed by Howard H. Aiken. Hopper and Aiken coauthored three papers on the Mark I, also known as the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator. Hopper’s request to transfer to the regular Navy at the end of the war was declined due to her age (38). She continued to serve in the Navy Reserve. Hopper remained at the Harvard Computation Lab until 1949, turning down a full professorship at Vassar in favor of working as a research fellow under a Navy contract at Harvard.

In 1952 she had an operational compiler. “Nobody believed that,” she said. “I had a running compiler and nobody would touch it. They told me computers could only do arithmetic.”

In 1954 Hopper was named the company’s first director of automatic programming, and her department released some of the first compiler-based programming languages, including ARITH-MATIC, MATH-MATIC and FLOW-MATIC.

In the spring of 1959 a two day conference known as the CODASYL brought together computer experts from industry and government. Hopper served as the technical consultant to the committee, and many of her former employees served on the short-term committee that defined the new language COBOL. The new language extended Hopper’s FLOW-MATIC language with some ideas from the IBM equivalent, COMTRAN. Hopper’s belief that programs should be written in a language that was close to English rather than in machine code or languages close to machine code (such as assembly language) was captured in the new business language, and COBOL would go on to be the most ubiquitous business language to date.

“The most important thing I’ve accomplished, other than building the compiler, is training young people. They come to me, you know, and say, “Do you think we can do this?” I say, “Try it.” And I back ‘em up. They need that. I keep track of them as they get older and I stir ‘em up at intervals so they don’t forget to take chances.”

Bearer of the pioneer award from the electronic @awesome-women

Bearer of the Pioneer Award from the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Augusta Ada Lovelace Award from the Association of Women in Computing, Anita Borg is undoubtedly the computer scientist who contributed the most to the cause of introduction of women to the field of computer technologies. Highly respected as a professional, she makes her greatest mark as a mentor of young women in a career that has traditionally been considered a man’s field.

In 1987, after attending a technical conference where she was one of a handful of women scientists present, Dr. Borg starts Systers, an electronic mailing list exclusively for female engineers on subjects related to technology. Since then her passion to study computers transforms into an aspiration for using computers to link people. The Systers list grows to include more than 2,500 women in 38 different countries. It is run by Anita herself until 2000.

In 1994, Borg co-founds the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women, a technical conference held every two years that focuses on the career and research interests of women in information and computer sciences.

Anita leaves Digital Equipment’s Western Research Laboratory in 1997 and joins the Xerox Corporation’s Palo Alto Research Center. Soon after starting her new job, she founds the Institute for Women and Technology (I.W.T.), a nonprofit organization which main goal is to encourage young women to enter the technology industry. In 2003, after Dr. Borg dies, the institute’s name is changed into The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology. The organization is highly supported by major companies in the computer branch. It receives $150,000 in funding from Sun Microsystems and Xerox, as well as resources and personnel from Lotus Software (now a division of IBM), Carnegie Mellon University, and Boston University.

Since its foundation, the ABI has continued to grow each year. In 2007 it more than doubled the number of its sponsors to 14 and its programs reached women its 23 countries worldwide.

In her professional career as a computer scientist and as a mentor of young women in technology, Dr. Borg receives many awards, including Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Pioneer Award and the Augusta Ada Lovelace Award from the Association of Women in Computing. In 1998, she is inducted into the Hall of Fame of Women in Technology International. In 1999, US President Bill Clinton appoints her to the Presidential Commission on the Advancement of Women and Minorities in Science, Engineering, and Technology; she is charged with recommending strategies to the nation for increasing the breadth of participation fields for women. In 2002, Anita is awarded the 8th Annual Heinz Award for Technology, the Economy and Employment.

Anita Borg dies of brain cancer in 2003. To honor her contribution to the integration of women in the field of computer and information technology, in 2004, Google establishes the Google Anita Borg Scholarship, through which they hope to continue her mission to encourage women to excel in computing and technology and become active leaders in the branch.

“Women will change the corporation more than we expect.”

“I want all of these folks connected. We’re all doing too much reinventing of the wheel, … The Internet enables us to share the ideas we have without having to create another hierarchy. We hope that these two projects will come together and create a structure of continued involvement.”

Rachel fuller brown november 23 1898 january @awesome-women

Rachel Fuller Brown (November 23, 1898 – January 14, 1980) was a chemist best known for her long-distance collaboration with microbiologist Elizabeth Lee Hazen in developing the first useful antifungal antibiotic, Nystatin, while doing research for the Division of Laboratories and Research of the New York State Department of Health. She was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1994.

Nystatin, still produced today under various trade names, not only cures a variety of potentially devastating fungal infections, but has also been used to combat Dutch Elm disease in trees and to restore artwork damaged by water and mold.

Penicillin had been discovered in 1928, and in the years that followed, antibiotics were increasingly used to fight bacterial illness. However, one side effect was that these antibiotics allowed for a rapid growth of fungus, which could lead to sore mouths or upset stomachs. Other fungal diseases without cures including infections attacking the central nervous system, athlete’s foot, and ring worms were also a major problem during this time. However, fungal diseases were not well understood at this time, and there were no antifungal medications safe for human use. At this time, people knew of microorganisms called actinomycetes that lived in soil and were known to produce antibiotics, some of which killed fungus. However, these antibiotics also proved fatal in tests involving lab mice and thus could not be put into production.

In her New York City laboratory, Hazen cultured organisms found in soil samples and tested their ability to fight against two fungi: Cryptococcus neoformans, a fungus responsible for the chronic disease cryptococcosis, which affects lungs, skin, and other body parts like the central nervous system, and Candida albicans, which causes candidiasis, which can be minor in some cases (e.g. a vaginal yeast infection), or a serious infection in patients treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics. If she found such promising antifungal activity in a particular culture, she would mail it to Brown in a mason jar.

At her end, Brown isolated the active agent in the culture, or the ingredient in the soil sample that could potentially be used to cure these fungal diseases. This required meticulous labor as well as a great deal of patience and paintstaking attention to detail. After isolating the active ingredient, Brown would return the sample to Hazen in New York, where it was retested against the two fungi. If effective, the toxicity was then evaluated in animals.

Nystatin was also the first antifungal antibiotic to be safe and effective in treating human diseases. Not only did it cure many serious fungal infections of the skin, mouth, throat, and intestinal tract, but it could also be combined with antibacterial drugs to balance their side effects.

Royalties for Nystatin totaled $13.4 million. As Brown and Hazen did not want any of the money for themselves, the philanthropic Research Corporation used half for grants to further scientific research and the other half to support what became known as the Brown-Hazen Fund.

Both Brown and Hazen received many awards for their collaborative work, the first major prize being the Quibb Award in Chemotherapy in 1955. Brown was also elected fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences in 1957. On Brown’s retirement in 1968, she received the Distinguished Service Award of the New York Department of Health. In 1972, she was also given the Rhoda Benham Award of the Medical Mycological Society of the Americas. Brown and Hazen were the first women ever to receive, in 1975, the American Institute of Chemists’ Chemical Pioneer Award.

Gertrude belle elion january 23 1918 february @awesome-women

Gertrude Belle Elion (January 23, 1918 – February 21, 1999)[1] was an American biochemist and pharmacologist, and a 1988 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Working alone as well as with George H. Hitchings, Elion developed a multitude of new drugs, using innovative research methods that would later lead to the development of the AIDS drug AZT.[2]

Rather than relying on trial-and-error, Elion and Hitchings used the differences in biochemistry between normal human cells and pathogens (disease-causing agents) to design drugs that could kill or inhibit the reproduction of particular pathogens without harming the host cells.

Elion’s inventions include:

In 1988 Elion received the Nobel Prize in Medicine, together with Hitchings and Sir James Black. Other awards include the National Medal of Science (1991)[5] and the Lemelson-MIT Lifetime Achievement Award (1997). In 1991 she became the first woman to be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.[6]

In Tom Brokaw’s Greatest Generation, there is a chapter devoted to her.

“I had no specific bent toward science until my grandfather died of cancer. I decided nobody should suffer that much.”

“The idea was to do research, find new avenues to conquer, new mountains to climb.”

Stephanie louise kwolek born july 31 1923 is an @awesome-women

Stephanie Louise Kwolek (born July 31, 1923) is an American chemist of Polish descent who invented poly-paraphenylene terephtalamide—better known as Kevlar. She was born in the Pittsburgh suburb of New Kensington, Pennsylvania. Kwolek has won numerous awards for her work in polymer chemistry.

Kwolek was born in New Kensington, Pennsylvania, in 1923. Her father, John Kwolek, died when she was ten years old. Kwolek attributes her interest in science to him and an interest in fashion to her mother, Nellie Zajdel Kwolek. In 1946, Kwolek earned a degree in Chemistry from Margaret Morrison Carnegie College of Carnegie Mellon University. Kwolek had planned on becoming a doctor and hoped that she could earn enough money from a temporary job in a chemistry-related field to go to medical school.

While working for DuPont, Kwolek invented Kevlar. In 1964, in anticipation of a gasoline shortage, her group began searching for a lightweight yet strong fiber to be used in tires. The polymers she had been working with at the time formed liquid crystal while in solution, something unique to those polymers at the time. The solution was “cloudy, opalescent upon being stirred, and of low viscosity” and usually was thrown away. However, Kwolek persuaded technician Charles Smullen, who ran the spinneret, to test her solution. She was amazed to find that the new fiber would not break when nylon typically would. Both her supervisor and the laboratory director understood the significance of her discovery and a new field of polymer chemistry quickly arose. By 1971, modern Kevlar was introduced.

In 1986, Kwolek retired as a research associate for DuPont. However, she still consults for DuPont, and also serves on both the National Research Council and the National Academy of Sciences. During her 40 years as a research scientist, she filed and received either 17 or 28 patents. In 1995, she became the fourth woman to be added to the National Inventors Hall of Fame. In 1996, she received the National Medal of Technology, and in 2003, she was added to the National Women’s Hall of Fame. She received the 1997 Perkin Medal from the American Chemical Society, and a 1980 award from the ACS for “Creative Invention”.

Dorothy dietrich is an american stage magician and @awesome-women

Dorothy Dietrich is an American stage magician and escapologist, and the first and only woman to have performed the bullet catch in her mouth. She was also the first woman to perform a straitjacket escape while suspended hundreds of feet in the air from a burning rope. She is the first woman to gain prominence as a female escape artist since the days of Houdini, breaking the glass ceiling for women in the field of escapes. She has been named as one of the top four escape artists in history. Early on as a teenager she already was dubbed as “The First Lady of Magic.” Dietrich, often called the female Houdini, has duplicated many of Houdini’s original escapes, and has gone one step further by doing the Jinxed Bullet Catch Stunt — the one that Houdini backed away from.

She developed what is known as a flash act that included doves, a rabbit, a duck and two poodles. Early on she was considered a “leading dove worker”. She also developed several routines few women had ever attempted. Sawing men in half, escaping from a straitjacket, sleight of hand with coins via the Misers Dream, The Bullet Catch, and levitating audience members. It was her goal to level the playing field between men and women in the field of magic. Until she broke these barriers women were not allowed full membership in such organizations as The Society of American Magicians and London’s Magic Circle, which early on she tried to join. She has pioneered and paved the way for women in the field today.

Dietrich also crusades against those who falsely claim to speak to dead relatives of vulnerable grieving citizens. Early on, Dietrich realized that there were those who would use magic and various deceptive arts to manipulate and even cheat people out of money. So following in the footsteps of famous debunkers who came before her such as Houdini, Milbourne Christopher and James Randi, she takes on such a role where possible.

On September 27, 2011 a group she formed, that came to be known in the media as The Houdini Commandos, secretly replaced the statuary bust at Houdini’s grave site that had been missing due to vandalism for 36 years. Her world famous attraction Scranton’s Houdini Museum that she runs with mystery entertainer Dick Brooks has been asked by both the family of Houdini and the management of the cemetery to take over the upkeep of the grave that has been in disarray for many years due to neglect.

With more than 30 years of assisting non profit @awesome-women

With more than 30 years of assisting non-profit organizations, and a wide-ranging business and government career, Jocelyne Côté-O’Hara is applying her wealth of experience to Ryerson’s Board of Governors. Côté-O’Hara has been a senior executive in the telecom and IT fields for more than two decades. She is a corporate director at MTS Allstream, Xerox Canada and BEST Venture Funds, vice-chair of the UBC-based Network Centre of Excellence in Mathematics and a governor of the Commonwealth Games of Canada.

Earlier in her career, Côté-O’Hara held senior positions with various federal departments, including an executive assignment with Petro Canada International Assistance Corporation, financial analyst with the Treasury Board of Canada and senior staff member to the prime minister. Recently, she was appointed to the RCMP Reform Implementation Council and the Internal Audit Committee of the federal Office of the Privacy Commissioner.

Appointed to the board in 2005, Côté-O’Hara joined Ryerson because she “knew it had dynamic leadership and was experiencing a period of exceptional growth and extensive transformation.” A strong advocate of education, Côté-O’Hara plans to see the university through its next phase of development and engagement with the city.

“Ryerson is a uniquely positioned university both in mandate and in location. It will always have a special character and it’s important to maintain that,” says Côté-O’Hara.

An active member of many community, voluntary and trade organizations, Côté-O’Hara has received the Award for Excellence from the International Association of Business Communicators, a citation for outstanding contribution from the executives of the Public Service of Canada and was named Woman of the Year by Canadian Women in Communications. She is a graduate of the University of Ottawa and the Advanced Management Program of the Harvard Business School.

Côté-O’Hara encourages alumni to stay connected with Ryerson and get involved. She also recommends continuous self-improvement by enrolling in courses offered through The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education. “Lifelong learning can come from the university that gave you your early education,” she says. “Ryerson is constantly evolving and so should you as alumni.”

Deb levine is the visionary leader of the @awesome-women

Deb Levine is the visionary leader of the organization and provides guidance and strategy for the ISIS staff and board. She believes that reducing shame and embarrassment about sexual topics is guaranteed to create future generations of sexually confident, mature adults.

Deb has been working in the field of youth sexual health since 1993, when she discovered the power of the Internet to discuss sensitive topics while creating the immensely popular Go Ask Alice. Her work has been cited in former President Clinton’s Advisory Council Report on Education and the Internet, and in 2009, she was a Pop!Tech Social Innovation Fellow.

In addition to authoring a book, The Joy of Cybersex (Ballantine, 1998), Deb has authored and co-authored numerous professional papers that have been published in journals such as the American Journal of Public Health, Journal of Sexuality Research and Social Policy, and AIDSCare.

She has written sex advice columns for AOL, Time-Warner, Planned Parenthood Federation, and Yahoo! and has been extensively quoted in print in the New York Times,, and The Wall Street Journal. Deb has also enjoyed notoriety on the Fox News Channel’s Bill O'Reilly show, and has been interviewed on National Public Radio.

Deb holds a Bachelor’s of Social Work from Cornell University and a Master’s of Arts in Experiential Education from New York University. She was also a non-degree student at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

Recently named one of the 10 filmmakers to watch @awesome-women

Recently named one of the “10 Filmmakers to Watch in 2011” by Independent Magazine, Nancy Schwartzman’s work explores the intersection of sexuality, new media, and the complexities of modern relationships. She is the director and producer of the documentary films The Line (Media Education Foundation, 2009) and xoxosms (May 2011).  She is in development on several projects involving young people and sexuality.

A catalyst for social change and an innovator for women’s rights, she is part of the winning team in the Apps Against Abuse Technology Challenge – a national competition sponsored by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contest was launched in July 2011 by Vice President Joe Biden and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The Circle of 6 app  is free and available for download at the iTunes store.

Using cutting edge media tools for story telling and activism, she is the founder and Executive Director of The Line Campaign, Inc a 501 © 3 dedicated to empowering young leaders to end sexual violence using original media to inspire action. Drawing on her experience in the field of transmedia activism and advocacy, she is a much sought-after speaker, traveling to colleges, conferences, community centers, high schools and non-profits in the Unites States and internationally, including at Yale, Brown, Stanford, M.I.T., Sex::Tech, Media That Matters, and more. Using film, PSAs and workshop discussions, Schwartzman challenges thousands of students to “think twice” and to change normative sexual behavior among college youth.

She is currently the Advocacy Director for Sundance Film Festival winner, “The Invisible War”. An early adopter, in founding, an initiative active from 2003-2005, she combined cutting edge mapping technology with community surveys and business participation. Schwartzman’s work is rooted in a passion for story telling and her activism is rooted in feminism and human rights.

Schwartzman’s first documentary film, The Line (2009), premiered at the International Women’s Film Festival in Tel Aviv and has screened in Toronto, Ankara, Taiwan, Liberia and continues to play nationally around the world. It is a fearless 24-minute documentary that chronicles one woman’s personal journey after she is raped – exploring the line of consent, justice, accountability and today’s media saturated “rape culture”. Launched in tandem with the film, The Line Campaign is an interactive space for dialogue about boundaries and consent. It has been lauded by the Center for Social Media and the Fledgling Fund.

Michaëlle jean pc cc cmm com cd frcpschon born @awesome-women

Michaëlle Jean PC CC CMM COM CD FRCPSC(hon) (born September 6, 1957) is a Canadian journalist and stateswoman who served as Governor General of Canada, the 27th since Canadian Confederation, from 2005 to 2010.

Jean was a refugee[1] from Haiti—coming to Canada in 1968—and was raised in the town of Thetford Mines, Quebec. After receiving a number of university degrees, Jean worked as a journalist and broadcaster for Radio-Canada and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), as well as undertaking charity work, mostly in the field of assisting victims of domestic violence. In 2005, she was appointed governor general by Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, on the recommendation of Prime Minister Paul Martin, to replace Adrienne Clarkson as vicereine, and she occupied the post until succeeded by David Johnston in 2010. Early in her tenure, comments of hers recorded in some of the film works by her husband, Jean-Daniel Lafond, were construed as supporting Quebec sovereignty and her holding of dual citizenship caused doubt about her loyalties. But Jean denied separatist leanings, renounced her citizenship of France, and eventually became a respected vicereine. Jean is currently the Special Envoy for Haiti for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and Chancellor of the University of Ottawa.

Michaelle Jean was sworn in as a member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada on September 26, 2012,[2] giving her the accordant style of The Honourable; however, as a former governor general of Canada, Jean is entitled to be styled for life with the superior form of The Right Honourable.

With her family, Jean fled Haiti to escape Duvalier’s regime, under which Jean’s father was in 1965 arrested and tortured.[6] Jean’s father left for Canada in 1967 and Jean, her mother, and sister, arrived the following year;[6] the family settled together at Thetford Mines, Quebec.[4][7] Jean’s father, however, became increasingly distant and violent, and her parents’ marriage eventually fell apart; she, with her mother and sister, then moved to a basement apartment in the Little Burgundy neighbourhood of Montreal.[6][8]

Jean received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Italian and Hispanic languages and literature from the University of Montreal, and, from 1984 to 1986, taught Italian Studies there, while completing her Master of Arts degree in comparative literature. She then went on with language and literature studies at the University of Florence, the University of Perugia, and the Catholic University of Milan. Besides French and English, Jean is fluent in Spanish, Italian, and Haitian Creole, and can read Portuguese.[7]

Concurrent with her studies between 1979 and 1987, Jean coordinated a study on spousal abuse and worked at a women’s shelter,[6] which paved the way for her establishment of a network of shelters for women and children across Canada. She also involved herself in organizations dedicated to assisting immigrants to Canada obtain the entry they desired, and later worked for Employment and Immigration Canada and at the Conseil des Communautés culturelles du Québec, where Jean began writing about the experiences of immigrant women.[7]

Jean became a reporter, filmmaker, and broadcaster for Radio-Canada in 1988,[3][7] hosting news and affairs programmes such as Actuel, Montréal ce soir, Virages, and Le Point; she was the first person of Caribbean descent to be seen on French television news in Canada.[6] By 2004, Jean was hosting her own show, Michaëlle, while continuing to anchor RDI’s Grands reportages, as well as acting occasionally as anchor of Le Téléjournal.[7]

Jean was Canada’s first governor general of Caribbean origin; the third woman (after Jeanne Sauvé and Adrienne Clarkson); the fourth youngest (after the Marquess of Lorne, who was 33 years old in 1878; the Marquess of Lansdowne, who was 38 years old in 1883; and Edward Schreyer, who was 43 years old in 1979); the fourth former journalist (after Sauvé, Roméo LeBlanc and Clarkson); and the second after Clarkson to not only have neither a political nor military background, but also to be a visible minority, to break the tradition of Canadian-born governors general, and to be in an interracial marriage. Jean was also the first representative of Queen Elizabeth II to have been born during the latter’s reign, and her appointment saw the first child living in Rideau Hall, the official residence, since Schreyer and his young family lived there in the early 1980s.

Summaries of Jean’s time as the Queen’s representative emerged by mid-2010; Jean was regarded as having fulfilled the role in an admirable, though not perfect, fashion. It was noted that she used the office, her speaking abilities, and photogenic nature to Canada’s advantage, promoting freedom, human rights, and urban youth, and to bring attention to socio-economic problems in the country’s north.[6] She was commended for her dedication to the arts, Aboriginal Canadians, the Armed Forces, and her outreach to Haiti following the earthquake there, but critiqued for specific incidents, such as referring to herself as Canada’s head of state and making public comments that skirted the political.[80][81][82] Her ability to personally connect with those she met was also noted, as well as her frequent displays of emotion; commentators dubbed her the empathizer-in-chief.[21]

Gloria evangelina anzaldúa september 26 1942 @awesome-women

Gloria Evangelina Anzaldúa (September 26, 1942 – May 15, 2004) was a scholar of Chicano cultural theory, feminist theory, and Queer theory. She loosely based her most well-known book Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza on her life growing up on the Mexican-Texas border and incorporated her lifelong feelings of social and cultural marginalization into her works.

Her works weave English and Spanish together as one language, an idea stemming from her theory of “borderlands” identity. Her autobiographical essay, “La Prieta,” was published in (mostly) English in This Bridge Called My Back, and in (mostly) Spanish in Esta puente, mi espalda: Voces de mujeres tercermundistas en los Estados Unidos. In her writing, Anzaldua uses a unique blend of eight languages, two variations of English and six of Spanish. In many ways, by writing in “Spanglish,” Anzaldua creates a daunting task for the non-bilingual reader to decipher the full meaning of the text. However, there is irony in the mainstream reader’s feeling of frustration and irritation. These are the very emotions Anzaldua has dealt with throughout her life, as she has struggled to communicate in a country where she felt as a non-English speaker she was shunned and punished. Language, clearly one of the borders Anzaldua addresses, is an essential feature to her writing. Her book is dedicated to being proud of one’s heritage and to recognizing the many dimensions of her culture.[3]

She has made contributions to ideas of feminism and has contributed to the field of cultural theory/Chicana and queer theory.[4] One of her major contributions was her introduction to United States academic audiences of the term mestizaje, meaning a state of being beyond binary (“either-or”) conception, into academic writing and discussion. In her theoretical works, Anzaldúa calls for a “new mestiza,” which she describes as an individual aware of her conflicting and meshing identities and uses these “new angles of vision” to challenge binary thinking in the Western world. The “new mestiza” way of thinking is illustrated in postcolonial feminism. In the same way that Anzaldúa felt she could not be classified as only part of one race or the other, she felt that she possessed a multi-sexuality. When growing up, Anzaldúa expressed that she felt an “intense sexuality” towards her own father, to animals and even to trees. She was attracted to and later had relationships with both men and women.[2]

While race normally divides people, Anzaldúa called for people of different races to confront their fears in order to move forward into a world that is less hateful and more useful. In “La Conciencia de la Mestiza: Towards a New Consciousness,” a text often used in women’s studies courses, Anzaldúa insisted that separatism invoked by Chicanos/Chicanas is not furthering the cause, but instead keeping the same racial division in place. Many of Anzaldúa’s works challenge the status quo of the movements in which she was involved. She challenged these movements in an effort to make real change happen to the world, rather than to specific groups.

Pearl cleage born december 7 1948 is an @awesome-women

Pearl Cleage (born December 7, 1948) is an African-American author whose work, both fiction and non-fiction, has been widely recognized. Her novel What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day was a 1998 Oprah Book Club selection. Cleage is known for her feminist views, particularly regarding her identity as an African-American woman. Cleage currently teaches drama at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia.

Pearl notably writes about topics at the intersection of sexism and racism, specifically on issues such as domestic violence and rape in the black community.[7] She has been a supporter of the Obama administration.[8] Cleage is an activist for AIDS and women’s rights, experiences from which she draws from for her writings.[9]

Elizabeth jennings graham 18301901 was a black @awesome-women

Elizabeth Jennings Graham (1830–1901) was a black woman who lived in New York City. She figured in an important early civil rights case, when she insisted on her right to ride on a streetcar in 1854.

On Sunday, 16 July 1854, Jennings set off for the First Colored Congregational Church, where she was organist. As she was running late, she boarded a streetcar of the Third Avenue Railroad Company at the corner of Pearl and Chatham streets. The conductor ordered her to get off. When she refused, the conductor tried to remove her by force. Eventually, with the aid of a police officer, Jennings was ejected from the streetcar.

Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune commented on the incident in February 1855:

She got upon one of the Company’s cars last summer, on the Sabbath, to ride to church. The conductor undertook to get her off, first alleging the car was full; when that was shown to be false, he pretended the other passengers were displeased at her presence; but (when) she insisted on her rights, he took hold of her by force to expel her. She resisted. The conductor got her down on the platform, jammed her bonnet, soiled her dress and injured her person. Quite a crowd gathered, but she effectually resisted. Finally, after the car had gone on further, with the aid of a policeman they succeeded in removing her.

There was an organized movement among black New Yorkers to end this discrimination, led by notables such as Jennings’s father, Thomas, Rev. J. W. C. Pennington, and Rev. Henry Highland Garnet. Her story was publicized by Frederick Douglass, and received national attention.

Jennings filed a lawsuit against the driver, the conductor, and the Third Avenue Railroad Company in Brooklyn, where Third Avenue was headquartered. She was represented by the law firm of Culver, Parker, and Arthur. Her case was handled by the firm’s 24-year-old junior partner, Chester A. Arthur, future President of the United States.

In 1855, she received a verdict in her favor. In his charge to the jury, Brooklyn Circuit Court Judge William Rockwell declared:

Colored persons if sober, well behaved and free from disease, had the same rights as others and could neither be excluded by any rules of the Company, nor by force or violence.

The jury found for Jennings, and awarded damages in the amount of $225.00 (comparable to $5,000 to $10,000 in 2008 dollars). The judge added 10% and $22.50 in costs. The next day, the Third Avenue Railroad Company ordered its cars desegregated.

The Third Avenue Railroad, one of the first four street railway companies to be franchised in the city, had been in operation only one year at the time of the Jennings incident. The Jennings case was instrumental in establishing policy for a new service industry. A month after the verdict, a black man was refused admission to a car of the Eighth Avenue Railroad, another of the first four companies. He won a similar judgment confirming that in New York passengers could not be refused a ride based on race. New York’s public transit was fully desegregated by 1861.

Lucy parsons circa 1853 march 7 1942 was a @awesome-women

Lucy Parsons (circa 1853 – March 7, 1942) was a labor organizer, socialist, and legendary orator. Lucy was of Native American, Black, and Mexican ancestry, born in Texas as a slave. She moved to Chicago where she was a key organizer in the labor movement and also participated in revolutionary activism on behalf of political prisoners, people of color, the homeless, and women. She said, “We [women] are the slaves of slaves. We are exploited more ruthlessly than men.” We salute Lucy Parsons, known by the Chicago Police Department as “more dangerous than a thousand rioters”. Know your revolutionary women’s history.

Coolchicksfromhistory portrait of zitkala sa by @awesome-women


Portrait of Zitkala-Sa by Gertrude Kasebier, about 1898.

Zitkala-Sa was the pen name of writer and activist Gertrude Simmons Bonnin (1876-1938).  She exposed the hardships faced by students at Native American boarding schools by writing about her own experiences as a student and as a teacher.  Zitkala-Sa also published a book of tribal folklore called Old Indian Legends and composed The Sun Dance Opera with composer William F. Hanson. 

In 1930, Zitkala-Sa founded the National Council of American Indians, the first trans-tribal Native American organization to lobby the government for better treatment of Natives. 

A selection of Zitkala-Sa’s writings can be read online here.

An analysis of Gertrude Kasebier’s portraits of Zitkala-Sa can be read here.

Ellen johnson sirleaf born 29 october 1938 is @awesome-women

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (born 29 October 1938) is the 24th and current President of Liberia. She served as Minister of Finance under President William Tolbert from 1979 until the 1980 coup d'état, after which she left Liberia and held senior positions at various financial institutions. She was one of the founders and the political leader of National Patriotic Front of Liberia, the warlord Charles Taylor’s party. She placed second in the 1997 presidential election won by Charles Taylor. She won the 2005 presidential election and took office on 16 January 2006. She successfully ran for re-election in 2011. Sirleaf is the first elected female head of state in Africa.

Sirleaf was awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, jointly with Leymah Gbowee of Liberia and Tawakel Karman of Yemen. The women were recognized “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.”[1]

Tawakkol karman arabic توكل كرمان tawakkul @awesome-women

Tawakkol Karman (Arabic: توكل كرمانTawak[k]ul Karmān) (born 7 February 1979[9]) became the international public face of the 2011 Yemeni uprising that is part of the Arab Spring uprisings. She has been called by Yemenis the “Iron Woman” and “Mother of the Revolution.”[10][11] She is a co-recipient of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize,[12] becoming the first Yemeni, the first Arab woman,[13] and the second Muslim woman to win a Nobel Prize and the youngest Nobel Peace Laureate to date.[14]

Karman is a Yemeni journalist, politician and senior member of the of Al-Islah political party, and human rights activist who heads the group “Women Journalists Without Chains,” which she co-founded in 2005.[5] She gained prominence in her country after 2005 in her roles as a Yemeni journalist and an advocate for a mobile phone news service denied a license in 2007, after which she led protests for press freedom. She organized weekly protests after May 2007 expanding the issues for reform.[5][15] She redirected the Yemeni protests to support the “Jasmine Revolution,” as she calls the Arab Spring, after the Tunisian people overthrew the government of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011. She has been a vocal opponent who has called for the end of President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s regime.[16]

Leymah gbowee is a liberian activist who led a @awesome-women

Leymah Gbowee is a Liberian activist who led a women’s peace movement that helped bring an end to her country’s long civil war, a story depicted in the film Pray the Devil Back to Hell. In this excerpt from her new book, Gbowee tells the story of how she first managed to get a meeting with the warlord/President Charles Taylor.

“Once again, we sat. The movement we called the “Mass Action for Peace” would later appear to be a spontaneous uprising. It was prompted by emotion — by women’s exhaustion and desperation — but there was nothing spontaneous about it; managing a huge daily public protest was a complicated task and we planned every move we made. The women from CWI and Muslim Women for Peace were responsible for the day-to-day activities on the field. If they said it was time to sing, we sang. We also formed committees to handle different jobs, such as finding buses to bring women to the protest from the internally displaced persons camps.”

The Nobel Peace Prize 2011 was awarded jointly to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkol Karman “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work”.

Out on the tarmac i watch as captain patricia @awesome-women

Out on the tarmac, I watch as Captain Patricia Yapp Syau Yin RMAF, 33, climbs the rung of the ladder and into the cockpit of the MiG-29 Fulcrum for a combat air tactics drill.

Today, it’s to be a face-off with the American F/A-18D Hornet, the Russian Sukhoi SU-30MKM and the British Hawk.

At the control tower’s go-ahead, Yapp, who reigns as the first ever woman to become a qualified MiG-29 fighter pilot (source: RMAF) and a member of the RMAF’s Tedung Selar fraternity, salutes and rips away from the tyre-scorched runway. The sudden quiet as it rockets into the sky becomes quite deafening.

Denise wilson is an anomaly in the flying @awesome-women

Denise Wilson is an anomaly in the flying community. She is one of the nearly 38,000 active female pilots in the United States, just six percent of all active pilots in the country, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. She’s been flying for the past 15 years including stints working for Aloha Airlines and other major airlines. What makes her even more rare is that she’s also the founder and president of an aviation company, Desert Jet, which she launched in 2007.

The company acts as brokers for corporations who own their own planes, thereby affording companies who own private aircrafts the opportunity to offset their expenses by chartering out their planes when they are not in use. This arrangement allows Desert Jet to have full operation of the aircraft without the debt and liabilities associated with actual ownership.

The company warehouses and leases out the aircraft on a per-flight basis to the general public for prices that range from $1,500 to $3,500 per hour. “Our clients will call us and tell us where they want to go and what time they want to go. We provide them not only with the aircraft, but also with ground transportation, catering on the flight, and any other special requests,” says Wilson.
The most famous woman pilot of her era amelia @awesome-women

The most famous woman pilot of her era, Amelia Earhart was a promoter of women’s careers in aviation and one of the founders of the Ninety-Nines, the first professional organization of women pilots. Her disappearance in 1937 during an around-the-world flight attempt sent shockwaves through the aviation community. Speculation about what happened to her is widespread nearly three quarters of a century later.

Evelyn mama bird johnson 95 poses by a plane @awesome-women

Evelyn “Mama Bird” Johnson, 95, poses by a plane at Moore-Murrell Airport in Morristown, Tenn., in this 2005 photo. Johnson, the pioneering female pilot and Guinness world record holder has died. She was 102. Johnson held the Guinness Book of World Records certificate for most hours in the air for a female pilot.

Mrs. Johnson was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 2007 after flying for 55 years and spending the equivalent of seven years in the air. She was estimated to have flown 5.5 million miles — equal to 23 trips to the moon — and never had a crash despite her share of mechanical troubles in the sky.

Helen richey 19091947 was a pioneering female @awesome-women

Helen Richey (1909–1947) was a pioneering female aviator and the first woman to be hired as a pilot by a commercial airline in the United States.

Richey was born in McKeesport, Pennsylvania. Her father, Joseph B. Richey, was superintendent of schools in McKeesport from 1902 to 1935. During her teens, Richey was one of the few girls in McKeesport who wore pants. She learned how to fly a plane at age 20. Her father bought her a plane when she obtained her pilot’s license.

In 1932 Richey partnered with another female pilot, Frances Marsalis, to set an endurance record by staying airborne for nearly 10 days, with midair refueling. In 1934 Richey won the premier air race at the first National Air Meet for women in Dayton, Pennsylvania. Also in 1934, Central Airlines, a Greensburg, Pennsylvania–based carrier that eventually became part of United Airlines, hired Richey as a pilot; she made her first regular civil flight with them on December 31, taking a Ford Trimotor on the Washington to Detroit route.[1] She eventually was forced to step down from the cockpit by the all-male pilots union.

After leaving Central Airlines, Richey continued to perform at air shows. In 1936 she teamed with Amelia Earhart in a transcontinental air race, the Bendix Trophy Race. Richey and Earhart came in fifth, beating some all-male teams. Later, Richey flew with the British Air Transportation Authority during World War II.

In addition to being the first female commercial airline pilot, Richey also was the first woman sworn in to pilot air mail and one of the first female flight instructors.

Li ying prepares for a flight in the cockpit of a @awesome-women

Li Ying prepares for a flight in the cockpit of a plane in Shenyang, the capital of Northeast China’s Liaoning province, May 30, 2011. The 25-year-old is the first female civil aviation pilot in the northeastern region of China.

Jessica neuwirth is one of the founders and @awesome-women

Jessica Neuwirth is one of the founders and current Chair of Equality Now.  From 1985 to 1990, she worked for Amnesty International and subsequently for Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton, specializing in sovereign debt restructuring.  She has also worked in the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs and as Director of the New York Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.  She served as a special consultant on sexual violence to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda for the Akayesu and Musema judgments, and worked again for the ICTR on the Media judgment.  As a guest lecturer in 2005, she taught international women’s rights at Harvard Law School. As Special Advisor on Sexual Violence to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in 2010, she organized the UN high-level panel on reparations for victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a B.A. in History from Yale University.

Known among storm chasers in the southwest as the @awesome-women

Known among storm chasers in the Southwest as “The Lightning Lady,” a nickname coined by the manager of the processing lab at Tempe Camera (where she develops her film), Susan Strom is one of the state’s few female storm chasers. “It’s a fairly male-dominated activity,” she says. “I guess women see the danger versus the thrill.”

With her camera and tripod in the passenger seat, she’ll drive as far as Tucson or Flagstaff any night of the week to photograph what she calls “the split-second frontier.” Her dazzling lightning storm photographs are published in numerous books and calendars, showcased in prominent art exhibitions, broadcast on The Weather Channel, and the subject of television news segments from Arizona to the United Kingdom.

Tempe Camera’s processing lab manager, Len Bahl, says Strom has the chops. “Getting a first-rate lightning photograph is an enormous challenge,” he says. “Strom’s shots are super-sharp and have strong composition because she’s well-researched and everything’s pre-scouted when the storm rolls in.”

One evening, after moving to Fountain Hills 16 years ago, she heard a deafening boom and dropped to the floor. The next morning, she looked at her yard and saw a “tree was split in half with a scar burned straight down the middle,” she says. “From then on, lightning made me really nervous, even seeing it from a distance.”

Since fear stems, in part, from the unknown, Strom set out to make lightning known. “I read everything I could get my hands on,” she says. “Fear was soon replaced by fascination, and I would never have guessed what happened next… I actually looked forward to the monsoon. But the odd thing about lightning is that it happens for just a split second, not long enough to get a good look. Photography seemed the answer.”

“My first year storm chasing included four- or five-hour drives each night. If I drove Highway 60 through old mining communities and vast stretches of open land to the eastern part of the state, little towns like Safford gave me lightning all night long. Or I’d find myself near some dry lake bed in Willcox at two in the morning. Thousands and thousands of miles added up on my truck. Wherever lightning went, I wasn’t far behind.” 

Teri fahrendorf brewmaster road brewer founder @awesome-women

Brewmaster, Road Brewer, Founder of Pink Boots Society

In 1989, Teri became the second woman brewmaster at a craft brewery in the USA. She was the first woman brewmaster at a California craft brewery, and the first at an Oregon craft brewery.

Many times during her journey Teri was asked, “How many women brewers are there?” Not knowing the answer, Teri founded the Pink Boots Society and was determined to collect the names and contact information for all women brewers worldwide. This list of women brewers can be found at

Teri continues her career in the beer industry as President of the Pink Boots Society, an international charitable trade organization created to inspire, encourage, and empower women to become professionals in the Beer Industry. She is currently underemployed as a beer store clerk, by choice, in order to get this ground-breaking organization up and running.

Over the 19 years of her active brewing career, Teri was involved in the hiring and/or training of 44 new brewers. She affectionately refers to these talented brewers as graduates of “Triple Rock Brewing School” or the “Steelhead School of Practical Brewing.”

Born in New York, but raised in Wisconsin, Teri believes her brewing career is a natural outgrowth of her childhood fascination with yeast. She made her first loaf of homemade bread at ten, and began fermenting fruit wines and meads while attending the University of Wisconsin. In 1985, Teri switched to brewing beer and never looked back.

Previous to her brewing career, Teri was a systems analyst for Unisys Corporation in San Francisco, a Fortune 100 company at the time.

Beer specialist mirella amato has dedicated @awesome-women

Beer specialist Mirella Amato has dedicated herself to helping people discover and explore beer since 2007.

Through Beerology, Mirella regularly conducts fun and informative guided beer tasting sessions as well as beer dinners, food pairing workshops and seminars. She can also be seen hosting public beer tastings at various festivals.

Mirella is always striving to further her beer knowledge and sensory evaluation repertoire. She was the first woman in Canada to become a Certified Cicerone (beer sommelier.) She has completed an advanced brewing certificate on the critical control points in brewing at Maska Laboratories in Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec and passed the WSET Intermediate Certificate in Wine & Spirits with honours. More recently, Mirella completed an Advanced Draft Training Course at the Micro Matic Dispense Institute. She is one of only ten National Level BJCP judges in the country and has sat on the jury for homebrew competitions internationally

On september 28th 1865 elizabeth garrett @awesome-women

On September 28th, 1865 Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, after trying repeatedly to get a medical degree but getting turned down because  of her sex, took the Society of Aphothecaries examn and became the first woman physician in England. Mrs. Anderson was the co-founder of the first hospital staffed by women, the first Dean of a British medical school, the first woman M.D. in France, the first woman in Britain to be elected to a school board and, as Mayor of Aldeburgh, the first female mayor and magistrate in Britain.

‘The New Hospital for Women’, developed from the hospital 'St Mary’s Dispensary’, in the 1870s. It was founded to enable poor women to obtain medical help from qualified female practitioners - in that era a very unusual thing. In 1866, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson was appointed General Medical Attendant to 'St Mary’s Dispensary’, where she worked for over 20 years. Later, in 1918, the hospital was named 'Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital’.

Although she may have been one of the toughest @awesome-women

Although she may have been one of the toughest women ever to work in a convent, ‘Black Mary’ had earned the respect and devotion of most of the residents of the pioneer community of Cascade, Montana, before she died in 1914. In fact, Mary Fields was widely beloved. She was admired and respected throughout the region for holding her own and living her own way in a world where the odds were stacked against her. In a time when African Americans and women of any race enjoyed little freedom anywhere in the world, Mary Fields enjoyed more freedom than most white men.

Fields dressed in the comfortable clothes of a man, including a wool cap and boots, and she wore a revolver strapped around her waist under her apron. At 200 pounds, she was said to be a match for any two men in Montana Territory. She had a standing bet that she could knock a man out with one punch, and she never lost a dime to anyone foolish enough to take her up on that bet. By order of the mayor, she was the only woman of reputable character in Cascade allowed to drink in the local bar, and while she enjoyed the privilege, she never drank to excess. She was often spotted smoking cigars in public, and she liked to argue politics with anyone.

Fields was the maid and childhood friend of an Ursuline sister named Mother Amadeus. When the sister served at the Ursuline convent in Toledo, Ohio, Fields joined her there. Later, Mother Amadeus was called to take a position at the new St. Peter’s Convent near what was to become Cascade, Mont., a small town that grew up on the new Montana Central railroad route between Helena and Great Falls. Mother Amadeus became ill with pneumonia in 1885 and called for Fields. Her longtime friend did not take long leaving Toledo for the West. As soon as Fields arrived at St. Peter’s Convent, she set about nursing Mother Amadeus back to health.

When Mother Amadeus was well, Fields stayed on to work at the convent. She handled the stage that brought visitors from the train station, where she would often spend the night waiting for her passengers. She also hauled critical supplies for the convent. She alone handled the wagon team that hauled the goods, no matter what the weather or road conditions. One winter night, a pack of wolves spooked her horses and the wagon overturned. Fields stood guard and protected the food shipment from the wolves through the night, knowing how much the nuns depended on the supplies to survive.

Although the sisters tried their best to smooth Fields’ rough edges by inviting her to participate in services and practice her Catholic faith, Fields preferred the rougher company of the men who worked around the convent. She drank and swore with the best of them, fought them with her formidable fists, smoked cigars, swapped stories and became a crack shot with revolver and rifle. She also worked as hard as she played. At the convent she washed clothes and sacristy linen, cared for as many as 400 chickens, and tended large gardens for the sisters.

One account tells of a gun duel that she had, although no details are available. Then there were the fistfights, most of which she won. During one trip to a ranch, Fields got into a heated debate over a harness. She used a small rock to emphasize her point, and ended up making a dent in the head of the ranch foreman.

Fields traveled to the state capital, Helena, to plead her case. She demanded that she be allowed to confront her accusers, but Bishop Brondell told her that nothing would change his mind. She would have to leave St. Peter’s. Unable to resist the will of her bishop, Mother Amadeus did the next best thing. She moved Fields into nearby Cascade and secured the mail route for her between Cascade and the convent. Mother Amadeus even bought her friend a wagon and a team of horses for the new route. Mary Fields became only the second woman in the country to manage a mail route. She took to her new job, sticking with it for the next eight years.

Matilda of tuscany italian matilde latin @awesome-women

Matilda of Tuscany (Italian: Matilde, Latin: Matilda, Mathilda) (1046 – 24 July 1115) was an Italian noblewoman, the principal Italian supporter of Pope Gregory VII during the Investiture Controversy. She is one of the few medieval women to be remembered for her military accomplishments. She is sometimes called la Gran Contessa (“the Great Countess”) or Matilda of Canossa after her ancestral castle of Canossa.

Douglaswolk julie daubigny was a 17th century @awesome-women


Julie D’Aubigny was a 17th-century bisexual French opera singer and fencing master who killed or wounded at least ten men in life-or-death duels, performed nightly shows on the biggest and most highly-respected opera stage in the world, and once took the Holy Orders just so that she could sneak into a convent and bang a nun. If nothing in that sentence at least marginally interests you, I have no idea why you’re visiting this website. (via Badass of the Week: Julie D’Aubigny, La Maupin) (thank you, Rachel!)

Dame judith olivia dench ch dbe frsa born 9 @awesome-women

Dame Judith Olivia Dench, CH, DBE, FRSA (born 9 December 1934) is an English film, stage and television actress. Dench made her professional debut in 1957 with the Old Vic Company. Over the following few years she played in several of Shakespeare’s plays in such roles as Ophelia in Hamlet, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet and Lady Macbeth in Macbeth. She branched into film work, and won a BAFTA Award as Most Promising Newcomer; however, most of her work during this period was in theatre. Not generally known as a singer, she drew strong reviews for her leading role in the musical Cabaret in 1968.

Over the next two decades, she established herself as one of the most significant British theatre performers, working for the National Theatre Company and the Royal Shakespeare Company. In television, she achieved success during this period, in the series A Fine Romance from 1981 until 1984 and in 1992 began a continuing role in the television romantic comedy series As Time Goes By. Her film appearances were infrequent until she was cast as M in GoldenEye (1995), a role she continued to play in James Bond films through Skyfall (2012). She received several notable film awards for her role as Queen Victoria in Mrs. Brown (1997), and has since been acclaimed for her work in such films as Shakespeare in Love (1998), Chocolat (2000), Iris (2001), Mrs Henderson Presents (2005) and Notes on a Scandal (2006), and the television production The Last of the Blonde Bombshells (2001).

Dench has worked with the non-governmental indigenous organisation, Survival International, campaigning in the defence of the tribal people, the Bushmen of Botswana and the Arhuaco of Colombia. She made a small supporting video saying the Bushmen are victims of tyranny, greed and racism.[83][84] On 22 July 2010, Dench was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters (DLitt) by Nottingham Trent University.[85] The Dr. Hadwen Trust announced on 15 January 2011 that Dench had become a patron of the trust joining existing high profile personalities, Joanna Lumley and David Shepherd.[86] On 19 March 2012 it was announced that Dench was to become honorary patron of the charity “Everton in the Community”, the official charity of Everton F.C. in Everton, Liverpool. It was also revealed that Dench is a supporter of Everton.[87] She is an advisor to the American Shakespeare Center. She is patron of East Park Riding for the Disabled, a riding school for disabled children at Newchapel, Surrey.[88] In 2011 along with musician Sting and entrepreneur Richard Branson she publicly urged policy makers to adopt more progressive drug policies by decriminalizing drug use.[89]

Arthur laurents needed a maria for his upcoming @awesome-women

Arthur Laurents needed a Maria for his upcoming Broadway revival of “West Side Story.” The 91-year-old director, who wrote the libretto for the legendary 1957 musical, found her on YouTube.

Josefina Scaglione was an Argentine stage actress working in Buenos Aires. She spoke English with a rich Spanish accent, was unknown to American audiences and was exactly what Mr. Laurents had been searching for.

“She has this incredible, ineffable something,” the director says. “She’s trained as an opera singer, she’s trained as a ballet dancer and she’s trained as an actress. It’s unbelievable in somebody that young.”

Ms. Scaglione says her Latin background is enough to help her understand the role, even though she is Argentine, not Puerto Rican. “I love dancing salsa and Latin rhythms and everything, so I think I’m related to that,” she says. She’s also been practicing her Puerto Rican dialect.

So far, she says, the only thing tripping her up is emotion. While rehearsing “Tonight” with Mr. Cavenaugh, she says they got so absorbed that they forgot whose parts were whose. “When we’re so in the moment,” she says, “we forget about singing.”

Karen olivo born august 7 1976 is an american @awesome-women

Karen Olivo (born August 7, 1976) is an American stage and television actress, who is known for originating the role of Vanessa in the Tony Award–winning musical In the Heights both on and off Broadway. She won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance as Anita (2009–2010) in the revival of West Side Story. She is the first and only actor to win a Tony for a performance in West Side Story.

Olivo’s father is of Puerto Rican and Native American descent, and her mother is of Dominican and Chinese descent. She was born in New York City and raised in Bartow, Florida. She attended the Lois Cowles Harrison Center for the Visual and Performing Arts in nearby Lakeland, Florida, and later the University of Cincinnati – College-Conservatory of Music.

Virginia marie ginni rometty born july 1958 is @awesome-women

Virginia Marie “Ginni” Rometty (born July 1958) is an American business executive. She is the current president and CEO of IBM, and the first woman to head the company.[1] Prior to becoming president and CEO in January 2012 she held the position of Senior Vice President and Group Executive for Sales, Marketing, and Strategy at IBM. She has been named to Fortune magazine’s “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” for eight consecutive years, ranking #1 for 2012,[2] and she was ranked #15 on Forbes magazine’s “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” for the same year.[3] She was also named to the Time 100 in 2012.[4]

Portia simpson miller age 66 occupation @awesome-women

Portia Simpson-Miller

Age: 66
Occupation: Jamaican Prime Minister

Simpson-Miller just began her second stint in six years as Jamaica’s PM, and she’s kicking off the country’s 50th anniversary of independence by calling for the island to sever ties with the British monarchy. More impressive, however, is that she did something few thought possible in one of the world’s most homophobic nations: she called for full civil rights for gays and lesbians. One has to understand Jamaica’s violently antihomosexual history to appreciate her courage, which could resonate throughout the region if she’s successful.

Marissa mayer vice president google 2010 rank 42 @awesome-women

Marissa Mayer

Vice president
2010 rank: 42
Age: 36
Mayer calls the shots on product, engineering, and operations for all of Google’s local products, including Google Maps, Google Earth, and local search, and orchestrated the Zagat acquisition. She’s one of the company’s most visible spokespeople, a role that will likely grow with media-shy Larry Page at the helm.
Curate because i am empowered i was able to @awesome-women


Because i am empowered, i was able to navigate and find community that was safe for me as a Filipino person, but at the same time, i did not have a Filipino community that also embraced my radical gender politics. I found Filipino spaces in Toronto still very heteronormative. And i find myself displaced and isolated wherever i turn – in queer spaces, i found many amazing people of colour, but there were very few Filipino people; in Filipino spaces, i did not find a lot of queer and trans visibility and explicit inclusion, and i find this problematic. And so, as i sit with all these reflections and understanding my needs for liberation and validation, i am achingly longing for a space that embraced both my queerness and filipinoness.”

Charm Torres is a queer immigrant filipina and a Registered Nurse practicing LGBTTQQI2SA Primary Care. Her nursing care is founded and guided by philosophies of anti-oppression, pro-choice philosophies, social justice and feminism. She has been doing anti-oppression focused nursing and activism during her whole 10 years in Canada. She has remained committed in practicing and continuing her nursing work in the community as opposed to mainstream hospital care systems. She was previously a Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Nurse Examiner and a Sexual and Reproductive Health Counsellor. (via Queer, Femme, and Filipina: Charm Torres | SAGE | the blog)

h/t etiquette-etc

Mary callahan erdoes is chief executive officer of @awesome-women

Mary Callahan Erdoes is Chief Executive Officer of J.P. Morgan’s Asset Management division, a global leader in investment management and private banking with more than $1.3 trillion in assets under supervision. In addition to being a member of JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Operating and Executive Committees, Mrs. Erdoes leads the firm’s strategic partnership with Highbridge Capital Management and Gávea Investimentos. She is currently ranked the 24th most powerful woman according to Forbes.[4]

In 1996, she joined J.P. Morgan Asset Management as head of fixed income for high-net-worth individuals, foundations and endowments.[2] In March 2005, she was appointed CEO of J.P. Morgan Private Bank.[3] She assumed her current post in September 2009. She has been mentioned as a potential successor to JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon.[6]

She currently serves as a board member of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.[5]

Grace d lieblein president and managing @awesome-women
Grace D. Lieblein

President and managing director
GM Brazil
2011 Global Rank: 22
Country: Brazil
Some three decades after starting as a co-op student at GM’s assembly division in Los Angeles, Lieblein, 51, is now the automaker’s highest-ranking executive in Latin America. After profitably running GM’s Mexico operations – she was the first woman to do so – she took the wheel in Brazil, one of GM’s largest global markets, in June.
Junko nakagawa executive managing director and @awesome-women
Junko Nakagawa
Executive managing director and CFO
Nomura Holdings, Inc.
2011 Global Rank: 34
In a country where very few women occupy “C-level” offices, Nakagawa, 46, shattered two glass ceilings this year. A promotion to CFO made her the first woman to hold the post in Nomura Holdings’ 85-year history. She was also named the first female executive managing director on the board, on which she serves with four men.
Life fifty years ago in march 1962 first lady @awesome-women


Fifty years ago, in March 1962, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy traveled to India on a goodwill tour. Here, offers a series of both published and previously unpublished photographs from Kennedy’s 1962 trip  — images that capture a young woman, wife, mother and fashion icon-in-the-making (“Her every seam has been the subject of hypnotized attention from the streets of Delhi to the Khyber Pass,” Chamberlin wrote) navigating the high-stakes, high-stress worlds of diplomacy and international relations with apparent ease and inimitable aplomb.

(see the photos here)

The caption that accompanied this photo in LIFE: “As day followed vivid day, India’s magic began to work on Mrs. Kennedy and — in a change from the first days of the trip — she became relaxed and easy.”

Honeyspider women of history dae jang geum @awesome-women


WOMEN OF HISTORY | DAE JANG GEUM (fl. early 16th century) (Eun-Kyung Shin)

Jang Geum was the only female Royal Physician in Korean history.

Mentioned several times in official documents and personal journals from the time, very little detail was ever given about her and her life outside the court is completely unknown. It is known, however, that King Jungjong was impressed enough with her knowledge that he entrusted her with the care of himself and his family.

She was, at the time, the third highest ranking officer in the court and was allowed the title Dae (‘great’) before her name. To this day, no other woman in Korea has ever held the position of Royal Physician.