National Women’s Month: 7 Influential Women

In honor of National Women’s Month, we’re listing seven powerful women who have been incredibly influential in shaping modern education. Whether advocates, educators, or academics responsible for groundbreaking discoveries, the dedication that each of these women has shown to education is something to be celebrated.

  1. Malala Yousafzai: This famous activist has been publicly fighting for girls’ rights to education for almost a decade. In 2014, she became the youngest recipient in history of the Nobel Peace Prize at 17 years old, and her charity, the Malala Fund, has been actively working to give girls all over the world access to education for the last 8 years4.
  2. Roberta Bondar: As Canada’s first female astronaut and first neurologist of any gender in space, Bondar has received countless awards, including the Order of Canada, the Order of Ontario, the NASA Space Medal, and over 22 honorary degrees, as well as becoming a member Canadian Medical Hall of Fame1.
  3. Catherine Brewer: Brewer was the first woman to attend and graduate from university in the United States. She attended Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia, and received the first college diploma in a woman’s name in the year 18402.
  4. Marie Clay: A clinical psychologist in the 1970s, Marie Clay developed the “Reading Recovery Intervention” program, which helped children and students who struggled with literacy. This global program was introduced in the United States in 1984, and is still utilised today2.
  5. Ada Lovelace: Ada Lovelace is widely regarded as the world’s first computer programmer. In the early 19th century, she worked closely with her husband to develop what is widely considered to be the first computer, which led to continuous technological advancements all the way up to present day. 
  6. Alice Ball: Becoming the first woman, and the first African American of any gender, to graduate from the University of Hawaii is an impressive feat, and yet it was still not Ball’s most monumental. She also developed an injectable treatment for leprosy, which became the standard for over two decades before new technology allowed it to be further advanced3.
  7. Laura Eishuth – In North Dakota at the end of the 19th century, Eishuth became the first female superintendent, a role which she was elected into by the public. In doing this, she became not only the first woman to win the position of superintendent, but in fact the first woman to win any elected state office position2


Happy National Women’s Month!


1 “Female Educators Who Changed the World.” Cudoo Blog, 12 June 2020, cudoo.com/blog/female-educators-who-changed-the-world/.

2 Speshock, Shannon. “Women Pioneers in U.S. Education.” Stand for Children, 3 Aug. 2008, stand.org/national/blog/2017/03/08/women-pioneers-us-education.

3 Staake, Jill. “16 Wonderful Women Scientists to Inspire Your Students.” We Are Teachers, 6 Jan. 2021, www.weareteachers.com/women-scientists/.

4 Yousafzai, Malala. “Malala’s Story: Malala Fund.” Malala Fund, 2020, malala.org/malalas-story?sc=header.