Firsts for Women: April 2021

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:

  • Noura Al-Matrooshi – first Arab woman astronaut  
  • Sarah Al-Suhaimi – first woman member of the Saudia airline's board of directors
  • Kerry Callahan – first woman to serve as a producer of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Women’s Final Four
  • Cristina Corbucci – first woman traffic controller to work atop the retractable podium in Rome’s famous Piazza Venezia
  • Stephanie Frappart – first woman to referee a men's World Cup qualifier
  • Chrystia Freeland – first woman in Canadian history to present a federal budget
  • Alessandra Galloni – first woman to be named Reuters’ editor-in-chief
  • Kim Godwin – first Black woman to run a broadcast network news operation as president of ABC News
  • Kim Janey – first Black woman to serve as mayor of Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  • Gena Johnson – first woman nominated as best audio engineer by the Academy of Country Music Awards
  • Tishaura Jones – first Black woman to serve as mayor of St. Louis, Missouri, USA
  • Nethra Kumanan – first Indian woman sailor to qualify for the Olympics
  • Nthabeleng Likotsi – first Black woman to own a mutual bank in South Africa
  • Megan McArthur – first woman that will be put on the moon by NASA’s SpaceX lander 
  • Nicola McDermott – first Australian woman high jumper to clear 2-meters 
  • Faten Ali Nahar – first woman to apply to run for president of Syria
  • Sofia Sakorafa – first woman to become head of the Hellenic Athletics Federation, Greece’s oldest sports federation
  • Amanda Sullivan – first woman amputee in the world to graduate from a fire academy
  • Hope Trautwei – first pitcher in NCAA Division I softball history to have a perfect game, striking out every batter in seven innings 
  • Rebecca Welch – first woman to referee in men’s English Football League
  • Pamela Whitten – first woman to be named president of Indiana University
  • Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson – first Black women to win Oscars for makeup and hairstyling 
  • Christine Wormuth – first woman to be nominated secretary of the United States Army
  • Youn Yuh-jung – first Korean actress to win an Oscar (for best supporting actress)
  • Chloé Zhao – first woman of color to win top honor at Directors Guild Association Awards, first woman of color and first Chinese woman to win the best director Oscar, first woman to win four Oscar nominations in a single year (best film editing, best adapted screenplay, best picture and best director categories)

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].

1 MAY 2021