20 Inspirational Women To Introduce To Your Class

20 Inspirational Women To Introduce To Your Class

15th March 2019

Although influential women should be celebrated all year round, Women’s History Month is a great opportunity to introduce and discuss their fantastic achievements in your classroom. In this list, I have tried to include a range of women from different eras, ethnicities and professions with the hope that they will inspire the children you teach – the leaders of tomorrow. Follow the links to learn more about each of these women. Perhaps your students could write a biography about a woman of their choice.

Amelia Earhart (1897 – 1939)

Amelia Earhart

  • American Aviator
  • First Woman to fly solo across Atlantic Ocean
  • Disappeared during a flight in 1937

Aretha Franklin (1942 – 2018)

Aretha Franklin

  • American Singer/Songwriter
  • Civil Rights Activist
  • First female in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
  • 20 Grammy Awards

Anne Frank (1929 – 1945)

Anne Frank

  • German-born Jewish Diarist
  • Fled to Amsterdam during World War II
  • Hid in secret annexe
  • Diary published in 1947

Benazir Bhutto (1953 – 2007)

Benazir Bhutto

  • Pakistani Politician
  • First female leader of a Muslim nation
  • Prime Minister of Pakistan (1988)
  • Killed by suicide bomber in 2007

Bridget Riley (1931 – Present)

Bridget Riley

  • English Painter
  • Known for Op Art Movement

Elisa Leonida Zamfirescu (1887 – 1973)

Elisa Leonida Zamfirescu

  • Romanian Engineer
  • World’s first female chemical engineer
  • Led Red Cross Campaign Hospital during World War I
  • Involved in activism for disarmament

Ellie Simmonds (1994 – Present)

Ellie Simmonds

  • English Paralympian Swimmer
  • Youngest British Athlete in 2008 Paralympics
  • BBC Young Personality of the Year (2008)
  • Youngest person ever to receive MBE, aged 14 (2009)

Emmeline Pankhurst (1858 – 1928)

Emmeline Pankhurst

  • English Political Activist
  • Founded the Women’s Social and Political Union
  • Member of Suffragette Movement

Florence Nightingale (1820 – 1910)

Florence Nightingale

  • English Founder of Modern Nursing
  • Known as the ‘Lady with the Lamp’
  • Led team of nurses during Crimean War
  • Funded St. Thomas’ Hospital and Nightingale Training School for Nurses

Jane Goodall (1934 – Present)

Jane Goodall

  • English Primatologist
  • Environmental Activist
  • Studied, researched and lived with wild chimpanzees
  • Made a Dame of the British Empire (2004)
  • UN Messenger of Peace

JK Rowling (1965 – Present)

JK Rowling

  • English Author of Harry Potter Series
  • Awarded an OBE in 2001
  • Unemployed to multi-millionaire in five years

Malala Yousafzai (1997 – Present)

Malala Yousafzai

  • Pakistani Human Rights Activist
  • Blogger for the BBC about life under Taliban Rule
  • Survivor of a gunshot to the head
  • Youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (2014)

Marie Curie (1867 – 1934)

Marie Curie

  • Polish Physicist and Chemist
  • Discovered the elements Polonium and Radium
  • Studied and researched radioactivity
  • First woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics
  • First person to be warded two Nobel Prizes

Mary Somerville (1780 – 1872)

Mary Somerville

  • Scottish Researcher of Mathematics and Science
  • Self-taught Mathematician
  • Author of several Maths and Science books
  • Made maths and science more accessible to a wider audience

Nicola Adams (1982 – Present)

Nicola Adams

  • English Boxer
  • Winner of the first ever Olympic Women’s Boxing Gold Medal (2012)
  • First open LGBT competitor to win an Olympic Gold Medal in boxing

Rosa Parks (1913 – 2005)

Rosa Parks

  • American Civil Rights Activist
  • Arrested for breaking segregation laws
  • Her arrest led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott led by Dr Martin Luther King Jr
  • Known as ‘the mother of the Civil Rights movement’

Stephanie Kwolek (1923 – 2014)

Stephanie Kwolek

  • Polish American Chemist
  • Inventor of Kevlar
  • First woman to receive Lavoisier Medal for Outstanding Technical Achievement (1995)

Suu Kyi (1945 – Present)

Suu Kyi

  • Burmese Politician, Diplomat and Author
  • Led peaceful protests for democracy in Burma
  • Remained under house arrest for almost 20 years
  • Released in 2010 and was formally elected leader of the opposition in 2012

Valentina Tereshkova (1937 – Present)

Valentina Tereshkova

  • Russian Cosmonaut
  • First woman to travel in space
  • Only female cosmonaut to complete a solo space flight

Mary Anning (1799 – 1847)

Mary Anning

  • English Fossil Hunter and Palaeontologist
  • Discover dinosaurs: icthyosaur, plesiosaur and dimorphodon