Alison Brittain (Premier League)


Samantha Cristoforetti (European Space Agency)


Sam Kerr (Sam Kerr via Instagram)


Sandra Douglass Morgan (Las Vegas Raiders)


Shreejana Rana

Firsts for Women: July 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:

  • Emma Allen – first woman to work as The New Yorker magazine's cartoon editor in charge.
  • Samina Baig – first woman from Pakistan to summit K2, the world's second highest mountain.
  • Sian Beilock – first woman president of Dartmouth College, USA.
  • Mindy Benson – first woman to be named president of Southern Utah University, USA.
  • Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD – first woman to be director of the National Cancer Institute, which funds the majority of cancer research in the U.S.
  • Mary McLeod Bethune – first Black person to be honored with a statue in the U.S. Capitol's Statuary Hall. She was an educator, activist and founder of Bethune-Cookman University.
  • Beyoncé – first woman to have 20 top ten solo hits on Billboard's Hot 100 charts.
  • Susan Booth – first woman to be named artistic director of Chicago's Goodman Theatre.
  • Alison Brittain – first woman appointed chair of the Premier League, the top level of the English football (soccer) league system.
  • Jessica Campbell – first woman named a full-time assistant coach in the American Hockey League (AHL).
  • Samantha Cristoforetti – first European woman to conduct a spacewalk.
  • Chase Ealey – first American woman to win the shot put world title at the World Athletics Championships and the first woman's shot put world champion to win on the first attempt.
  • Tori Franklin – first American woman to win a triple jump world medal.
  • Gita Gopinath – first woman to feature on the "wall of former chief economists" of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
  • Heather Hirotaka – first woman to be named Washington State Archivist.
  • Jennifer Jones – first woman to serve as president of Rotary International.
  • Janee' Kassanavoid – first Native American woman to medal at the World Athletics Championships.
  • Sam Kerr – first woman to make the global cover of EA Sports' FIFA video game. FIFA 23 will feature women's clubs for the first time.
  • Arlette Laan – first woman to complete all 11 National Scenic Trails, approximately 19,000 miles, in the United States.
  • Lt. Amanda Lee – first woman to serve as a Blue Angels demonstration pilot.
  • Maj. Or Livni – first woman officer to head one of the Israel Defense Force's light infantry battalions.
  • Danielle Marmer – first woman to hold an on-ice role, as a player development and scouting assistant, with the Boston Bruins, a National Hockey League (NHL) team.
  • Brooke Merrell – first woman superintendent of Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska, USA.
  • Sandra Douglass Morgan – first Black woman president of a National Football League (NFL) team.
  • Athing Mu – first American woman to win 800 meters at World Athletics Championships.
  • Michelle L. Patrick – first woman to be named president of Robert Morris University in Pennsylvania, USA.
  • Shreejana Rana – first Nepali woman to lead a Zonta International district, as the governor of District 25, which covers Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
  • Jennifer Rumsey – first woman CEO of Cummins Inc, a 103-year-old American company that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines.
  • Juliana Stratton – first Black woman to be named chair of the National Lieutenant Governors Association.
  • Julia Vaizer – first woman to be named medical chief for IndyCar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
  • Lori Collier Waran – first woman president of Richmond Raceway, a short track that hosts the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
  • Lisa Holder White – first Black woman to serve on the Illinois Supreme Court.
  • Susanne Young – first woman attorney general for Vermont.

Moments we missed in June:

  • Yaël Braun-Pivet – first woman speaker of France's lower house of parliament.

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 pr@zonta.org.

1 AUGUST 2022