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United KingdomDoctor

Frances Hoggan

Frances Elizabeth Hoggan was a pioneering Welsh doctor who became the first woman from the UK to receive a doctorate in medicine from any European university. Despite facing societal expectations and limitations placed on women, she pursued her dreams in medicine. Hoggan’s tireless efforts for social reform and groundbreaking achievements have left an indelible mark on history.

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United KingdomDoctor

Sophia Jex-Blake

Sophia Jex-Blake was a pioneering figure in women’s education and the medical profession. She overcame societal obstacles and discrimination to become the first practicing female doctor in Scotland. Jex-Blake played a crucial role in founding two medical schools for women, providing opportunities for future generations of female doctors. Her dedication and determination continue to inspire women in their pursuit of equal opportunities in healthcare.

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United KingdomActivistDoctor

Marion Gilchrist

Marion Gilchrist (1864-1952) was a pioneering figure in Scottish medicine and a leading activist in the Women’s suffrage Movement. Facing numerous challenges, she became the first female graduate of the University of Glasgow and was one of the first two women to qualify in medicine from a Scottish university. Her determination and passion for equality made her a trailblazer in both medicine and the fight for women’s rights.

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United KingdomDoctor

Mary Scharlieb

Dame Mary Ann Dacomb Scharlieb, DBE, was a pioneering British female physician and gynaecologist in the late 19th/early 20th centuries. She overcame opposition to pursue her ambition of becoming a qualified doctor and dedicated her career to improving women’s healthcare. Her contributions to the field of medicine, particularly in gynaecology, were widely recognized, making her one of the most distinguished women in medicine of her time.

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United KingdomDoctorSurgeon

Maud Chadburn

Maud Mary Chadburn was a pioneering British surgeon, co-founder of the South London Hospital for Women and Children, and advocate for women’s healthcare. She made significant contributions to medicine and inspired future generations of female surgeons, breaking barriers and promoting gender equality in the field. Her legacy as a dedicated and groundbreaking professional remains an inspiration to this day.

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United KingdomDoctorSurgeon

Louisa Martindale

Louisa Martindale, CBE FRCOG, was an English physician, surgeon, and writer. She made significant contributions to women’s healthcare, and played an active role in advocating for women’s rights and social reform. Martindale’s passion, determination, and unwavering commitment to improving healthcare and advocating for women’s rights make her a true pioneer and a significant figure in women’s history.

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United KingdomDoctor

Caroline Matthews

Caroline Twigge Matthews, MBChB (1877–1927) was a British doctor and war correspondent, widely recognized as a “war heroine.” She dedicated her life to providing medical aid and care during times of conflict and disaster, leaving a lasting impact on society. Matthews became known as the “Florence Nightingale of the Balkans” for her bravery and resilience in serving others during the Balkans War and World War One. Despite being taken as a prisoner of war, she continued to carry out her duties, earning numerous accolades for her invaluable contributions to medicine and saving lives. Her untimely death marked the end of a remarkable life dedicated to healthcare and humanitarian work.

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United KingdomDoctor

Mabel L. Ramsay

Mabel Lieda Ramsay was a remarkable British medical doctor and suffragist, who left an indelible mark on society through her groundbreaking achievements and tireless dedication to improving women’s healthcare. Born on November 14, 1878, in Wandsworth, London, Mabel was the daughter of Scottish Naval officer Andrew John Ramsay and Annie Catherine Theile.

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United KingdomPolitician

Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, was a British stateswoman and Conservative politician. She became the first female British prime minister, serving from 1979 to 1990. Thatcher implemented economic policies that emphasized deregulation, privatization, and reducing the power of trade unions, earning her the nickname “Iron Lady.” Her leadership during the Falklands War and impact on British politics left a lasting legacy.

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AustriaUnited KingdomChemist

Ida Freund

Ida Freund was a trailblazer in chemistry and a pioneering advocate for women’s education in science. Despite facing adversity, she excelled in her studies and became the first woman to be appointed as a staff lecturer in chemistry in the United Kingdom. Her impact extended beyond academia, as she fought for gender equality and contributed to the field through research. Her indomitable spirit continues to inspire future generations of scientists.

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EgyptUnited KingdomChemist

Dorothy Hodgkin

Dorothy Hodgkin was a British chemist who made significant contributions to X-ray crystallography. She confirmed the structure of penicillin and vitamin B12, revolutionizing medicine and winning her the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Her work in understanding the structure of insulin also advanced our understanding of blood sugar regulation. Hodgkin’s research continues to impact drug development and the study of biological processes today.

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United KingdomAnthropologist

Jane Goodall

Dame Jane Morris Goodall DBE, formerly Baroness Jane van Lawick-Goodall, is an English primatologist and anthropologist. Born Valerie Jane Morris-Goodall on April 3, 1934, in Hampstead, London, she is considered the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees after studying their social and family interactions for over 60 years.

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United KingdomBiochemistChemist

Kathleen Culhane Lathbury

Kathleen Culhane Lathbury was a British biochemist known for her groundbreaking work with insulin and vitamins. Throughout her career, Lathbury made significant contributions to the field of chemistry, particularly in the field of pharmaceuticals. Her dedication to her work, perseverance in the face of adversity, and pioneering research have left a lasting impact on the scientific community.

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GermanyUnited KingdomUnited States

Isabel Maddison

Ada Isabel Maddison (1869 – 1950) was a British mathematician best known for her work on differential equations. Maddison had a remarkable academic journey, overcoming many obstacles as a woman in a time when higher education was not readily accessible to women. Her contributions to mathematics and her perseverance in pursuing her passion have left a lasting legacy.

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ScotlandUnited KingdomActivist

Chrystal Macmillan

Jessie Chrystal Macmillan, a remarkable suffragist, peace activist, barrister, and feminist, was born on June 13, 1872, in Edinburgh, Scotland. She became a pioneer in women’s education, playing a crucial role in the fight for women’s rights and peace during a time of significant social and political change. Macmillan’s unwavering dedication and determination made her a prominent figure in women’s history, paving the way for future generations of women and advocating for a world governed by peace, justice, and equality.

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United KingdomBiochemistChemist

Dorothy Maud Wrinch

Dorothy Maud Wrinch (1894-1976) was a prominent mathematician and biochemical theorist known for her groundbreaking work in deducing protein structure using mathematical principles. Born in Rosario, Argentina, she later moved to England and pursued her education in mathematics at Girton College, Cambridge. She played a significant role in supporting and promoting the work of Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein. Her contributions to the fields of mathematics and biochemistry continue to inspire scientists worldwide.

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United KingdomMathematician

Charlotte Scott

Charlotte Angas Scott was a British mathematician who played a crucial role in the development of American mathematics and the mathematical education of women. Her groundbreaking achievements include becoming one of the first British women to earn a doctorate in mathematics and challenging the rules of the Cambridge Mathematical Tripos Exam. She dedicated her career to Bryn Mawr College, where she taught mathematics for almost four decades, inspiring generations of women to pursue mathematical studies. Recognized for her contributions, Scott became the first female President of the American Mathematical Society in 1924.

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United KingdomActivistWriter

Jane Austen

Jane Austen, born in 1775 in Steventon, Hampshire, was an English novelist. Known for her insightful perspective on the British landed gentry during the late 18th century, Austen’s novels, such as “Pride and Prejudice” and “Sense and Sensibility,” offer a critique of societal values and women’s dependence on marriage for standing. Her keen social commentary, biting irony, and realism have earned her immense acclaim. Although her novels gained popularity after her death, her life remains shrouded in mystery.

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FranceUnited KingdomMilitary

Violette Szabo

Violette Reine Elizabeth Szabo, GC, was a British-French SOE agent during WWII. Despite being captured and enduring unimaginable cruelty in Ravensbrück concentration camp, she remained resilient and refused to provide valuable information to her captors. Executed at the age of 23, she was posthumously awarded the George Cross for her bravery, becoming a symbol of resistance against oppression.

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United KingdomTrack & Field

Mary Lines

Mary Lines (1893–1978) was a British athlete who made significant contributions to the world of sports in the early 20th century. Recognized for her exceptional talent in track and field events, Lines achieved remarkable success, capturing numerous gold medals and establishing herself as a trailblazer for women in sports. Her determination and skill continue to inspire athletes to this day.

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United KingdomActivist

Emily Davison

Emily Wilding Davison was an English suffragette who fought tirelessly for women’s right to vote in Britain during the early twentieth century. She remains one of the most iconic and influential figures in the history of the suffrage movement. Davison’s unwavering commitment to her cause led her to participate in numerous acts of civil disobedience, endure multiple arrests and hunger strikes, and ultimately make the ultimate sacrifice for women’s rights.

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ScotlandUnited KingdomRoyalty

Catherine, Princess of Wales

Catherine, Princess of Wales, is a highly esteemed member of the British royal family. She married Prince William, the heir apparent to the British throne, in 2011. Catherine is known for her charitable work, dedication to mental health awareness, and influence in the world of fashion. Her story will continue to inspire generations to come.

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FranceUnited KingdomActivist

Christine Loudes

Dr. Christine Marie-Helene Loudes (1972 – 2016), a human rights lawyer, dedicated her life to advocating for gender equality and women’s rights. She played a pivotal role in ending female genital mutilation (FGM) as the head of Amnesty International’s End FGM campaign. Through her tireless efforts, Dr. Loudes raised awareness, changed policies, and protected women’s rights. Her influential career and academic achievements continue to inspire others to fight for justice and human rights.

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United KingdomActivistBusiness

Linda Bellos

Linda Ann Bellos OBE (born 13 December 1950) is a British businesswoman, radical feminist, and gay-rights activist. She has made significant contributions to the feminist movement, particularly as the first non-white lesbian to join the Spare Rib feminist collective in 1981. Bellos’ steadfast commitment to social justice and equality has led her to advocate for the rights of marginalized communities and challenge the discourse surrounding race and gender.

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United KingdomAviationLGBTQIA

Roberta Cowell

Roberta Elizabeth Marshall Cowell (1918-2011) was a British racing driver and Second World War fighter pilot. She was the first known British trans woman to undergo gender-affirming surgery in 1948. Cowell’s pioneering spirit and determination to live an authentic life have significantly contributed to the history of transgender individuals in the United Kingdom. Her courage continues to inspire and pave the way for future generations.

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United KingdomLGBTQIAMilitary

Caroline Paige

Caroline Paige, born in 1959, is a trailblazer in the UK Armed Forces and a prominent advocate for transgender equality. As the first openly transgender officer, Paige served with distinction in various military operations before transitioning in 1999. Despite facing public scrutiny, she remained steadfast in her commitment to inclusivity and paved the way for transgender individuals in the military. Paige’s story is a testament to resilience and the ongoing fight for equality.

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United KingdomMartial Artist

Nicola Fairbrother

Nicola Kim Fairbrother MBE, a prominent judoka from the United Kingdom, achieved remarkable success in the sport. Her journey began in 1989 when she emerged as the champion of Great Britain, setting the foundation for her future achievements. Fairbrother represented Great Britain at the 1992 Olympics, winning a silver medal. She continued to shine, securing multiple European and World titles. Fairbrother’s retirement in 1999 marked the end of an era, leaving a void in British judo. She was awarded the MBE for her exceptional services to judo and has made significant contributions to the sport through her various roles.

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United KingdomActivistBusiness

Jayne Ozanne

Jayne Margaret Ozanne, a British evangelical Anglican, has made significant contributions to LGBTQI rights and advocacy. She has been involved in various organizations and initiatives, and her story exemplifies the power of faith, activism, and personal integrity in effecting positive change in society.

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United KingdomJournalistLGBTQIA

Jane Hill

Jane Amanda Hill, born in 1969 in Eastbourne, Sussex, is an English newsreader and one of the main presenters for BBC News. With her extensive experience and versatility as a newsreader, Hill has become a prominent figure in the field of journalism, known for her dedication to delivering accurate and credible news to the public.

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United KingdomMathematician

Joan Clarke

Joan Clarke was a brilliant English cryptanalyst and numismatist who made significant contributions to the Enigma project at Bletchley Park during World War II. She overcame gender barriers in her field and played a crucial role in breaking the German Enigma Code. Her legacy as a pioneering female cryptanalyst continues to inspire future generations in mathematics and code-breaking.

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United KingdomBalletDancer

Sophie Rebecca

Sophie Rebecca, born in either 1980 or 1981, is an English ballet dancer who has made significant contributions to the world of dance as the first openly transgender person to train on the Royal Academy of Dance’s courses for female dancers. Her pioneering journey within the ballet world has not only challenged traditional norms but has also paved the way for greater inclusivity and acceptance.

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United KingdomNaval Architect

Susan Mary Auld

Susan Mary Auld (1915-2002), born Susan Denham Christie in Tynemouth, was a pioneering woman in naval architecture. She became the first woman to graduate as a naval architect from Durham University and made significant contributions to the shipbuilding industry. Despite facing discrimination, Susan’s talent and determination paved the way for greater gender diversity in a traditionally male-dominated field. Her remarkable career and indomitable spirit continue to inspire generations of women in naval architecture.

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AustraliaUnited KingdomGame Developer

Siobhan Reddy

Siobhan Reddy is a South African-Australian video game executive who has made significant contributions to the gaming industry. Born in South Africa, she grew up in Campbelltown, New South Wales in Australia. It was during her time at Macarthur Anglican School in New South Wales that Reddy discovered her passion for filmmaking and technology.

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United KingdomActivistEngineer

Clara Barker

Clara Michelle Barker, a British engineer and material scientist, has become an influential role model for the LGBT+ community. Her outstanding work has earned her recognition and numerous awards. Clara’s dedication and expertise in the field of material science are showcased in her completed thesis on thin film coating at Manchester Metropolitan University. As a transgender woman, she is passionately involved in advocating for LGBT+ diversity and women in STEM, working to create a supportive and inclusive environment in places like the University of Oxford. Clara’s commitment to fostering diversity and visibility in STEM has earned her well-deserved recognition, including the Points of Light award from the UK Prime Minister’s Office in 2017 and the Individual Champion/Role Model award from the University of Oxford in 2018. Her inspiring journey and impactful contributions establish her as a prominent figure and influential role model.

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United KingdomArcherComputer Scientist

Hannah Dee

Hannah-Mary Dee is a British cognitive scientist and computer scientist specializing in computer vision. She has made significant contributions to the field of computer science, particularly in the analysis of human behavior using computer vision techniques. Dee has also been an advocate for women in IT and has organized events to promote their participation in computing.

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United KingdomComputer ScientistMathematician

Beryl May Dent

Beryl May Dent, an English mathematical physicist and technical librarian, played a crucial role in the development of early analogue and digital computers. Her groundbreaking research on interatomic forces and data analysis has had a lasting impact on the scientific community. Despite her role as a librarian, Dent continued to contribute to scientific research and made valuable contributions to the field of semiconducting materials. Her achievements in mathematics, physics, and computer science have left an indelible mark on scientific research and engineering.

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United KingdomEngineer

Kerrine Bryan

Kerrine Bryan, an engineer and author from the United Kingdom, is passionate about advocating for gender equality in STEM. She founded Butterfly Books and has written children’s books to challenge misconceptions about the engineering profession. Through her work, Bryan aims to inspire young readers to pursue their dreams and seize opportunities in the world of STEM.

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United KingdomUnited StatesLawyer

Barbara Judge

Barbara Thomas Judge, Lady Judge CBE (née Singer; 28 December 1946 – 31 August 2020), was an American-British lawyer and businesswoman. Known for her dedication to breaking barriers and promoting gender equality, she became the first female chairman of the Institute of Directors and held leadership roles in various organizations. Her philanthropic contributions and commitment to empowering women have left a lasting impact on society.

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IndiaUnited KingdomEngineer

Roma Agrawal

Roma Agrawal MBE FICE HonFREng is an Indian-British-American chartered structural engineer based in London. She has worked on several major engineering projects, including the Shard. Agrawal is also an author and a diversity campaigner, championing women in engineering.

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United KingdomArcher

Queenie Newall

Sybil Fenton Newall, known as Queenie Newall, was an English archer who made history by winning the gold medal at the 1908 Summer Olympics in London. Her victory at the age of 53 made her the oldest female gold medalist at the Olympic Games, a record that still stands today. Queenie’s triumph inspired future generations of female archers, proving that women could compete and excel in traditionally male-dominated sports.

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United KingdomArchaeologist

Gertrude Caton Thompson

Gertrude Caton Thompson, FBA (1888-1985), was an English archaeologist who played a critical role in the field at a time when women were underrepresented. She conducted archaeological work in various regions and made significant contributions, including developing an excavation technique and providing valuable insights into ancient civilizations in Egypt and Zimbabwe. Caton Thompson’s dedication to archaeology and her influential positions in organizations have had a lasting impact on the field.

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United KingdomEngineer

Dawn Bonfield

Dawn Bonfield MBE FREng FICE FIStructE FIMMM FWES is a renowned materials engineer and a champion for diversity and inclusion in the field of engineering. With an illustrious career spanning various prestigious organizations, Bonfield has made significant contributions to the field of materials engineering. Her commitment to improving the representation of women in engineering led her to join the council of the Women’s Engineering Society in 2011 and establish National Women in Engineering Day in 2014. Her tireless efforts have earned her numerous awards and accolades.

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United KingdomUnited StatesActivist

Lucy Burns

Lucy Burns was a passionate American suffragist and women’s rights advocate. She played a crucial role in the United States and the United Kingdom suffrage movements, ultimately co-founding the National Woman’s Party with Alice Paul. Burns endured arrests and physical abuse while fighting for women’s rights, and her unwavering commitment made her a significant figure in women’s history.

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United KingdomLaw Enforcement

Edith Smith

Edith Smith (21 November 1876 – 26 June 1923) was the first female police officer in the United Kingdom with full power of arrest. Smith’s pioneering work as a policewoman paved the way for other women to join the force, breaking down barriers and challenging societal norms.

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United KingdomMathematician

Margaret Rock

Margaret Rock (1903-1983) was a mathematician who worked at Bletchley Park during World War II. Her contributions to code-breaking on the Enigma Machine were classified and remained undisclosed for many years. Despite this, Rock’s impact on cryptography and intelligence during the war is undeniable, making her a remarkable figure in women’s history.

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United KingdomComputer Scientist

Karen Spärck Jones

Karen Spärck Jones was a pioneering British computer scientist who revolutionized the field of information retrieval. Her concept of inverse document frequency (IDF) became the foundation for modern search engines, improving the accuracy and relevance of search queries. She was also a strong advocate for women in computer science, believing that computing is too important to be left to men. Her legacy lives on through the Karen Spärck Jones Award, which recognizes exceptional contributions to information retrieval and natural language processing.

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PolandUnited KingdomBusiness

Natasha Sayce-Zelem

Natasha Sayce-Zelem, the Global Head of Partner Engineering at Amazon Prime Video, is a prominent figure in technology and digital development. Born in Leeds in 1983, she began her career as a freelance music photographer before transitioning into the tech industry. Sayce-Zelem is also a staunch advocate for women in STEM and has founded the social enterprise “Empowering Women with Tech” to inspire more women to consider careers in the field. Her contributions have earned her recognition as one of the most influential women working in tech.

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BrazilItalyUnited Kingdom

Larissa Suzuki

Larissa Suzuki, an accomplished University Professor and computer scientist, has dedicated her career to advancing engineering and technology while advocating for increased representation in these fields. She is known for her work at Google, as well as her contributions to smart cities and early breast cancer detection. Born in Brazil, Suzuki’s exceptional talent led her to be recognized as the best student of her class by the Brazilian Computer Society.

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United KingdomMathematician

Ada Lovelace

Ada Lovelace, born in London in 1815, was the only legitimate child of Lord Byron and Lady Byron. Despite her mother’s disapproval of her father, Lady Byron recognized Ada’s intellectual potential and nurtured her interest in mathematics. Ada became fascinated with Charles Babbage’s proposed Analytical Engine and translated an article about it, adding her own extensive notes. Her visionary mindset allowed her to see the potential of computers beyond calculations, making her a pioneer in the field of computer science.

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United KingdomComputer Scientist

Danielle Belgrave

Danielle Charlotte Belgrave is a Trinidadian-British computer scientist based at DeepMind, who uses statistics and machine learning to understand the progression of diseases. Belgrave grew up in Trinidad and Tobago, where her high school mathematics teacher inspired her to work as a data scientist. She pursued her passion by studying statistics and business at the London School of Economics (LSE).

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Great BritainUnited KingdomActivist

Sue Black

Susan Elizabeth Black OBE FRSA, born in 1962, is a British computer scientist, academic, and social entrepreneur. She is renowned for her efforts in saving Bletchley Park, the World War II codebreaking center, through her Saving Bletchley Park campaign.

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CanadaUnited KingdomJewish

Rhea Clyman

Rhea Clyman was a Polish-born Canadian journalist who reported on the devastating Holodomor in the Soviet Union. Her firsthand accounts shed light on the tragic famine and its toll on the Ukrainian people. Clyman’s fearless pursuit of truth and justice made her a prominent figure in journalism and a champion for humanitarian causes.

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United KingdomFigure Skater

Cecilia Colledge

Magdalena Cecilia Colledge (1920-2008) was a British figure skater known for her innovative contributions to the sport. She became the youngest-ever Olympic figure skater at the age of eleven and went on to win numerous titles and medals throughout her career. Colledge’s technical prowess and groundbreaking accomplishments, including being the first woman to perform a double jump in competition, solidified her reputation as one of the top figure skaters of her time. Her legacy in figure skating lives on through the skaters she inspired.

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South AfricaUnited KingdomDancer

Juliet Prowse

Juliet Anne Prowse was a talented dancer and actress known for her stunning legs. Her career spanned four decades and included performances in stage, television, and film. Despite the tragic loss of her father at a young age, Prowse excelled in dance from a very young age. Her breakthrough role in the film Can-Can brought her international fame, and she caught the attention of Frank Sinatra, leading to a strong connection between them. Prowse’s performances in Can-Can and G.I. Blues solidified her place in Hollywood history. She continued to dazzle audiences throughout her career and left behind a remarkable legacy upon her untimely death in 1996.

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United KingdomBalletChoreographer

Alicia Markova

Dame Alicia Markova DBE (1 December 1910 – 2 December 2004) was a British ballerina and a choreographer, director, and teacher of classical ballet. She is widely regarded as one of the greatest dancers of the 20th century and made significant contributions to the world of ballet.

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United KingdomChemist

Helen Sharman

Helen Patricia Sharman, CMG, OBE, HonFRSC, was born on May 30, 1963, in Grenoside, Sheffield. She became the first British astronaut and the first Western European woman to travel to space. Sharman’s remarkable journey broke barriers and inspired generations, exemplifying the endless possibilities for women in science and technology.

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United KingdomChemistGeologist

Eileen Guppy

Eileen Mary Guppy was a pioneering British geologist, petrologist, and analytical chemist. She made significant contributions to the scientific community, focusing on petrology, analytical chemistry, and geological research. Despite facing gender-based discrimination throughout her career, Guppy’s dedication and determination paved the way for future female geologists. She was recognized for her 39 years of service with the Order of the British Empire, becoming the first female staff member to receive an MBE.

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United KingdomArchaeologist

Dorothy Garrod

Dorothy Annie Elizabeth Garrod, CBE, FBA (5 May 1892 – 18 December 1968) was an English archaeologist who specialized in the Palaeolithic period. She held the position of Disney Professor of Archaeology at the University of Cambridge from 1939 to 1952 and was the first woman to hold a chair at either Oxford or Cambridge. Garrod’s work has had a lasting impact on archaeology and her contributions continue to inspire scholars today.

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United KingdomBusinessCricketer

Rachael Heyhoe Flint

Rachael Heyhoe Flint, a trailblazer in women’s cricket, made significant contributions to the sport both on and off the field. She captained the England women’s cricket team from 1966 to 1978, leading them to victory in the inaugural Women’s Cricket World Cup in 1973. Heyhoe Flint’s determination and resilience made her a true icon of the sport, inspiring generations of women cricketers.

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United KingdomCyclist

Beryl Burton

Beryl Burton, OBE (12 May 1937 – 5 May 1996) was an English racing cyclist who dominated women’s cycle racing in the UK, winning more than 90 domestic championships and seven world titles, and setting numerous national records. She set a women’s record for the 12-hour time-trial which exceeded the men’s record for two years. Burton’s achievements in cycling were groundbreaking and inspirational, not only for women but for the sport as a whole. Dominating both domestic and international competitions, she shattered records and paved the way for future generations of female cyclists.

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United KingdomSwimmer

Lucy Morton

Lucy Morton, later known as Lucy Heaton, was an English competition swimmer who made a significant impact on the sport during the early 20th century. Born on 23 February 1898 in New Tatton, Cheshire, Lucy’s father Alfred worked as a groom in domestic service. The family eventually relocated to Blackpool, where Lucy would begin her remarkable journey as a swimmer.

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United KingdomSwimmer

Judy Grinham

Judith Brenda Grinham MBE, born in 1939 in London, was a trailblazer in British women’s swimming. Her gold medal win in the 1956 Olympic Games put her in the history books, becoming the first Briton to win an Olympic swimming gold medal in over three decades. Grinham’s achievements and dedication to the sport have left a lasting impact on British women’s sports history.

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IndiaUnited KingdomActivist

Sophia Duleep Singh

Princess Sophia Alexandrovna Duleep Singh, born in 1876 in Belgravia, was a prominent suffragette in the UK. Raised in an aristocratic British household with a diverse heritage, she was inspired by her grandmother’s enslavement in Ethiopia, her godmother Queen Victoria, and her father’s exile from the Sikh Empire. Singh’s dedication to women’s rights, as well as her involvement in various suffrage groups, shaped her legacy as a key figure in promoting social change in early twentieth-century Britain.

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Great BritainUnited KingdomActivist

Princess Alexandra, 2nd Duchess of Fife

Princess Alexandra, 2nd Duchess of Fife, played a significant role in the British royal family. As the eldest surviving grandchild of King Edward VII and cousin to George VI, she inherited the Dukedom of Fife. Alexandra actively participated in charitable endeavors and used her position to advocate for women’s rights. Her contributions continue to inspire individuals worldwide.

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FranceUnited KingdomMuslim

Noor Inayat Khan

Noor-un-Nisa Inayat Khan, also known as Nora Inayat-Khan and Nora Baker, was a British resistance agent in France during WWII. She was the first female wireless operator sent from the UK to aid the French Resistance. Noor was captured and executed at Dachau concentration camp. She was posthumously awarded the George Cross for her gallantry and remains an inspiration for bravery and dedication.

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United KingdomSailing

Ellen MacArthur

Dame Ellen MacArthur, born in 1976 in Whatstandwell, Derbyshire, developed a deep passion for sailing at a young age. Overcoming financial challenges, she pursued her dreams and went on to break the world record for the fastest solo circumnavigation of the globe. Her achievements and contributions have made her a role model for many, inspiring them with her determination, resilience, and commitment to creating a more sustainable future.

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United KingdomMilitaryRowing

Heather Stanning

Heather Mary Stanning OBE is a retired British professional rower and Royal Artillery officer. She achieved numerous accolades and records in her career, including winning Olympic gold medals and setting world records.

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United KingdomRugby

Carol Isherwood

Carol Isherwood OBE, born on July 27, 1961, in Leigh, Greater Manchester, England, is a prominent figure in the history of women’s rugby. An English former rugby union player, Isherwood played a vital role in establishing women’s rugby and has made groundbreaking contributions to the sport. Her leadership, determination, and dedication have left an indelible mark on the game and have paved the way for future generations of female rugby players.

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United KingdomEducatorJewish

Bertha Bracey

Bertha Lilian Bracey (1893–1989) was an English Quaker teacher and aid worker who organized relief and sanctuary for Europeans affected by the turmoil before, during, and after the Second World War. Her remarkable efforts included the rescue of many Jewish children threatened by the Holocaust through the operation known as the Kindertransport. Bracey’s selfless dedication to humanitarian work has rightfully earned her recognition as a British Hero of the Holocaust in 2010.

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United KingdomMarathon RunnerRunner

Dale Greig

Dale Greig (15 May 1937 – 12 May 2019) was a Scottish cross country champion and pioneering long-distance runner. She made significant contributions to the world of women’s running and became a trailblazer for future generations of female athletes.

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United KingdomActorSinger

Lily Allen

Lily Rose Beatrice Allen, born on 2 May 1985, is an English singer-songwriter and actress. Her music career skyrocketed in 2006 with the release of her first mainstream single, “Smile,” which topped the UK Singles Chart. Allen’s albums, including “Alright, Still” and “It’s Not Me, It’s You,” garnered critical acclaim and commercial success. Beyond music, Allen has made forays into television, literature, and acting, showcasing her versatility as an artist. Her bold and authentic approach to her craft has made her a celebrated figure among fans.

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United KingdomSinger

Mel B

Melanie Janine Brown MBE, commonly known as Mel B or Melanie B, was born on May 29, 1975, in Hyde Park, Leeds. She grew up in the Kirkstall area of the city, the daughter of Andrea and Martin Brown. Her father is from Saint Kitts and Nevis, while her mother is British.

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United KingdomWriter

Virginia Woolf

Adeline Virginia Woolf was a prominent English writer and a leading figure in the literary modernist movement. Born in London in 1882, she grew up in an affluent household surrounded by intellectual influences. Woolf’s literary career faced setbacks with her father’s death in 1904, but she went on to establish herself as one of the most influential authors of her time. Her works, including novels like “Mrs Dalloway” and “To the Lighthouse,” have inspired feminist thought and continue to captivate readers worldwide. Unfortunately, Woolf grappled with mental illness throughout her life and tragically took her own life in 1941.

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United KingdomAstrophysicist

Jo Dunkley

Joanna Dunkley OBE is a British astrophysicist and Professor of Physics at Princeton University. She is renowned for her work on the origin of the Universe and the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB).

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United KingdomArcherChemist

Rosalind Franklin

Rosalind Elsie Franklin was a British chemist and X-ray crystallographer known for her contributions to the understanding of molecular structures. Despite her significant work on DNA, her contributions were not fully recognized during her lifetime. Franklin’s research on coal and viruses, along with her discovery of key properties of DNA, played a crucial role in the accurate description of the structure of DNA known as the double helix.

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IrelandUnited KingdomAstronomer

Annie S. D. Maunder

Annie Scott Dill Maunder, an Irish-British astronomer, made groundbreaking contributions to solar astronomy. Her research on sunspots, particularly their movement over the sun’s 11-year cycle, revolutionized our understanding of solar activity. Despite facing gender discrimination, Annie’s talent and dedication led to her eventual recognition as a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. Her perseverance and scientific advancements continue to inspire and shape our understanding of the sun.

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GermanyUnited KingdomAstronomer

Caroline Herschel

Caroline Lucretia Herschel, a German-born British astronomer, made significant contributions to the field of astronomy. She overcame challenges such as limited education and vision loss to become a respected scientist. Herschel’s astronomical discoveries were groundbreaking, leading to prestigious awards and recognition, and inspiring generations of women in scientific fields. Her legacy is an enduring testament to the potential of women in academia and the sciences.

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AustraliaUnited KingdomAstrophysicist

Lisa Harvey-Smith

Lisa Harvey-Smith (born 1979) is a British-Australian astrophysicist, Australia’s Women in STEM Ambassador, and a Professor of Practice in Science Communication at the University of NSW. Her research interests span a wide range of topics in astrophysics, including the origin and evolution of cosmic magnetism, supernova remnants, the interstellar medium, massive star formation, and astrophysical masers.

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IrelandSingaporeUnited Kingdom

Sarah Winstedt

Sarah Winstedt was an Irish-born physician, surgeon, and suffragist who made significant contributions to colonial healthcare in British Malaya. She graduated from the University of Edinburgh and joined the Colonial Medical Service, playing a crucial role in healthcare in Malaya. She also served in the Royal Army Medical Corps during World War I and later became head of the pediatric ward at Singapore General Hospital. Her remarkable accomplishments were recognized through her induction into the Singapore Women’s Hall of Fame and the receipt of the King George V Silver Jubilee Medal.

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United KingdomActivistPolitician

Millicent Fawcett

Dame Millicent Garrett Fawcett was a prominent British politician, writer, and activist who played a pivotal role in the fight for women’s suffrage in the United Kingdom. As the leader of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS), Fawcett orchestrated numerous campaigns and lobbied tirelessly for the right to vote. Her strategic approach and unwavering dedication made her an influential figure in the suffrage movement, ultimately leading to the passing of the Representation of the People Act in 1918. Fawcett’s impact on women’s rights in the UK was so profound that she became the first woman to be honored with a statue in Parliament Square in 2018.

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United KingdomActivistWriter

Jessie Boucherett

Jessie Boucherett, born in November 1825, was a prominent English campaigner for women’s rights. Inspired by the challenges faced by women during the 19th century, she played a pivotal role in raising awareness and advocating for women’s suffrage. Boucherett co-founded organizations such as the Society for Promoting the Training of Women and published influential works that addressed the barriers and injustices faced by women. Her tireless efforts laid the foundation for greater gender equality and empowered future generations of women in Victorian England.

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United KingdomActivist

Myra Sadd Brown

Myra Eleanor Sadd Brown was a pioneering campaigner for women’s rights, an activist, and internationalist. She fearlessly fought for gender equality and played a crucial role in the suffragette movement, paving the way for future generations of women to have a voice in society. Born in Maldon, Essex in 1872, she came from a privileged upbringing and was privately educated. Myra Sadd Brown’s dedication to women’s suffrage knew no limits, as she even broke a window at the War Office and endured force-feeding during her imprisonment. Her tireless efforts and indomitable spirit continue to inspire women around the world.

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United KingdomActivist

Anne Knight

Anne Knight (2 November 1786 – 4 November 1862) was an English social reformer, abolitionist, and pioneer of feminism. She played a significant role in advancing women’s rights and fighting for the abolition of slavery. Known for her fierce dedication and unwavering determination, Knight made important contributions to the feminist movement in the United Kingdom during the 19th century.

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United KingdomWriter

Mary Wollstonecraft

Mary Wollstonecraft, a British writer and philosopher, was a pioneering advocate for women’s rights. She challenged societal norms and argued for women’s education and equality in her influential work, “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman.” Wollstonecraft’s personal life often overshadowed her accomplishments, but her contributions to women’s history continue to inspire feminists around the world.

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United KingdomActivistPolitician

Emmeline Pankhurst

Emmeline Pankhurst was a British political activist who tirelessly fought for women’s suffrage in the United Kingdom. She founded the Women’s Social and Political Union and advocated for suffrage through confrontational tactics, which often led to imprisonment and hunger strikes. Pankhurst’s relentless dedication played a crucial role in achieving voting rights for women in the UK.

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United KingdomChemistDoctor

Alice Vickery

Alice Vickery was an English physician and campaigner for women’s rights. She was the first British woman to qualify as a chemist and pharmacist, breaking gender barriers in the medical field. Vickery’s passion for medicine and social reform began to take shape as she grew up in South London. Throughout her life, she remained dedicated to challenging societal norms, advocating for social change, and empowering women. Her remarkable contributions continue to inspire and empower women to this day.

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United KingdomCyclistEngineer

Theresa Wallach

Theresa Wallach (1909-1999) was a pioneering adventure motorcyclist, engineer, mechanic, and author. She dismantled her first engine in her bedroom at 18 and later studied engineering at Northampton Polytechnic Institute, excelling as the only woman in her course. Wallach’s incredible journey from London to Cape Town with Florence Blenkiron on a Panther motorcycle, as chronicled in her book “The Rugged Road,” solidified her place in history. Wallach’s accomplishments, including her induction into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, continue to inspire and showcase the resilience of women.

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United KingdomAviationPilot

Winifred Brown

Winifred Sawley Brown, also known as Winifred Adams, was an English sportswoman, aviator, and author. Born on November 26, 1899, in Cheshire, Brown’s passion for flying ignited in 1919 when she made her first flight at Hooton Park Aerodrome. In 1930, she made history as the first woman to win the King’s Cup air race, breaking down barriers and inspiring future generations of female aviators.

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United KingdomChemistGeologist

Jane Plant

Jane Anne Plant CBE, FREng, FRSE, FRSA was a pioneering geochemist, scientist, and author. Despite facing significant health challenges, including multiple bouts with cancer, she made substantial contributions to the field of geochemistry and environmental health. Her research on the link between dairy and breast cancer and her development of the BGS Geochemical Baseline of the Environment (G-BASE) program have had lasting impacts on scientific understanding. Plant’s dedication and groundbreaking work earned her numerous accolades, including being appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1997.

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United KingdomUnited StatesAstronaut

Merritt Moore

Merritt Moore (born February 24, 1988) is an American ballerina and quantum physicist. She studied at both the University of Oxford and Harvard University. Moore works to combine her interests in physics and ballet through her research and dedication in both the arts and sciences.

Moore has a Bachelor’s Degree in Physics from Harvard University and a PhD in Atomic and Laser Physics from the University of Oxford. She has danced professionally for many ballet companies across the world including the English National Ballet and Norwegian National Ballet. Moore has performed in Swan Lake and The Nutcracker among other ballets.

She was featured as one of the contestants on BBC’s ‘Astronauts: Do You Have What It Takes?’ in 2017. Moore has also been recognized as one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 and was featured in Glamour Magazine’s Top Ten College Women competition. She has spoken at TEDxOxbridge in 2013 and performed a ballet duet with dance partner Adam Kirkham.

In addition to her achievements in both ballet and physics, Moore started SASters – a group that encourages women to pursue their dreams in the arts and sciences. Currently, she is completing her residency at Harvard University’s ArtLab where her work combines science and dance through the use of robots.

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United KingdomBalletDancer

Margot Fonteyn

Dame Margaret Evelyn de Arias DBE, known as Margot Fonteyn, was a celebrated English ballerina who left an indelible mark on the world of dance. From a young age, Fonteyn displayed a deep love for ballet and quickly rose to become one of the most influential and admired dancers of her time. Throughout her career, she forged close partnerships, embraced television, and captivated audiences with her exceptional technique and ability to bring characters to life. Fonteyn’s partnership with Rudolf Nureyev proved to be one of the most transformative collaborations in ballet history.

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MalaysiaUnited KingdomBowling

Shalin Zulkifli

Shalin Zulkifli, born in London in 1978, is a highly accomplished Malaysian professional ten-pin bowler. She made history as the first female champion of the World Tenpin Masters event in 2001 and was inducted into the International Bowling Hall of Fame in 2004. Zulkifli’s exceptional skills have earned her numerous awards and accolades, establishing her as one of the most prominent figures in professional bowling in Malaysia and Asia.

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United KingdomAviationPilot

Maya Ghazal

Maya Ghazal, a UK-based Syrian refugee, has overcome numerous challenges and made history as the first female Syrian refugee to become a pilot. In addition to her accomplishments in aviation, Ghazal serves as a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Goodwill Ambassador, advocating for the rights and well-being of refugees worldwide. Her journey from war-torn Syria to becoming a symbol of hope showcases the power of determination and resilience.

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IrelandUnited KingdomArchaeologist

Hilda Petrie

Hilda Mary Isabel, Lady Petrie was a British Egyptologist whose contributions to Egyptology as an artist and archaeologist were significant and enduring. She worked closely with her husband, Flinders Petrie, on numerous excavations in Egypt and Palestine, using her artistic skills to record hieroglyphs and create plans of the sites. Hilda also played a crucial role in advocating for women in the field of archaeology, defying societal expectations and challenging the notion that women were mere onlookers.

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IndiaUnited KingdomAnthropologist

Margaret Murray

Margaret Alice Murray (1863-1963) was an Anglo-Indian Egyptologist, archaeologist, anthropologist, historian, and folklorist who left an indelible mark on her field through groundbreaking contributions. Her achievements include being the first woman appointed as a lecturer in archaeology in the United Kingdom and her significant discoveries in Egyptology. Murray’s passion for understanding ancient civilizations and advancing the status of women in academia made her a trailblazer and a pioneer in her field.

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United KingdomPoetWriter

Hannah More

Hannah More was a prolific English writer, poet, and playwright who not only contributed significantly to the literary world but also made a lasting impact on society. Despite facing challenges and setbacks, her passion for learning, commitment to her faith, and dedication to improving society shone through in her extensive body of work. Her influential role as a writer, educator, and abolitionist solidified her place in history.

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United KingdomSwimmer

Allison Streeter

Allison Streeter, born in 1964 in London, is a renowned English long-distance swimmer who has achieved remarkable feats in the world of open water swimming. Her passion for swimming and incredible endurance propelled her to set numerous world records and become one of the most accomplished swimmers in the world. Streeter’s legacy as a trailblazer and role model in women’s history is indisputable, inspiring countless individuals to pursue their dreams.

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United KingdomMarathon RunnerSwimmer

Mercedes Gleitze

Mercedes Gleitze (1900-1981) was a British professional swimmer who achieved numerous groundbreaking accomplishments in the early 20th century. Born in Brighton to German immigrant parents, she became known for her endurance swimming, breaking records and inspiring others with her determination and courage.

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United KingdomTennis

Blanche Bingley

Blanche Bingley Hillyard, an English tennis player, was one of the leading female players of her time. Her remarkable career spanned nearly three decades and she became the longest-serving female competitor at Wimbledon. Bingley Hillyard won six singles titles at Wimbledon and reached the finals on seven occasions, leaving an indelible mark on the history of tennis. Her dedication and skill paved the way for future generations of female athletes.

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United KingdomSingerSpy

Margery Booth

Margery Myers Strohm, also known as Margery Kallus, was a talented British opera singer and an incredible World War II spy. She captivated audiences with her stunning vocal performances and used her voice to gather crucial details from potential traitors. Despite enduring torture, Margery valiantly refused to reveal any classified information. Her remarkable life and accomplishments serve as an inspiration to all.

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United KingdomTennis

Dorothy Round

Dorothy Edith Round was a British tennis player who achieved major successes in the 1930s. She became the Wimbledon singles champion in 1934 and 1937. Round’s dedication and hard work paid off, solidifying her status as a formidable player on the international stage. She continued to contribute to the sport as a coach, leaving an enduring legacy in women’s tennis.

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GermanyGreeceMalta

Princess Alice of Battenberg

Princess Alice of Battenberg was a remarkable figure in European royal history. She overcame challenges throughout her life, including being born deaf. Her marriage connected her to the Greek and Danish royal families, but political upheaval forced her into exile multiple times. Despite personal struggles, she devoted herself to charity work and sheltered Jewish refugees during WWII. Her legacy as a selfless and dedicated individual lives on.

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United KingdomActivist

Princess Eugenie

Princess Eugenie, born in 1990 in London, is a member of the British royal family. She has shown a strong commitment to education and personal development, even though she was born into royalty. With a bachelor’s degree in English literature and history of art, she has worked in the art world, promoting and supporting artists. Eugenie is also actively involved in various charitable organizations, such as Children in Crisis and Anti-Slavery International, demonstrating her dedication to making a difference in the lives of vulnerable individuals.

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United KingdomArtist

Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll

Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, was a strong supporter of the arts and higher education, as well as a champion for women’s rights. She was an accomplished sculptor and painter, and her dedication to Canadian arts and culture had a lasting impact. Despite facing challenges in her marriage and personal life, she remained steadfast in her passions and advocacy. Princess Louise passed away at the age of 91, leaving behind a remarkable legacy.

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United KingdomSumo Wrestler

Sharran Alexander

Sharran Alexander, born in 1965 in Maida Vale, London, made a name for herself as a sumo wrestler and became a prominent figure in the sport. She achieved remarkable success, winning four gold medals in international competitions and representing Great Britain in the World Sumo Championship held in Japan. Alexander’s inspiring journey has left a lasting impact, breaking societal norms, and paving the way for other women in sumo wrestling.

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United KingdomMilitary

Michelle Norris

Sergeant Michelle Suzanne Claire “Chuck” Norris MC displayed extraordinary bravery and selflessness during the Iraq War. She fearlessly rescued her vehicle commander, Colour Sergeant Ian Page, while under heavy fire. Norris’s actions earned her the Military Cross and made her the first woman to receive such an honor. Her courage and resilience paved the way for other women in the military.

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AustraliaCanadaNew Zealand

Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning British monarch, ruled for over 70 years. She ascended to the throne in 1952 and became queen of multiple Commonwealth countries. Throughout her reign, she navigated significant political changes while maintaining the monarchy’s popularity. Her death in 2022 marked the end of an era, and she was succeeded by her eldest son, Charles III.

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United KingdomComputer Scientist

Sophie Wilson

Sophie Mary Wilson, formerly known as Roger Wilson, is an English computer scientist who has made significant contributions to the field of technology. Her groundbreaking work in designing microcomputers, creating programming languages, and developing the ARM architecture has revolutionized the industry. Wilson’s dedication to computer education has paved the way for countless individuals to pursue careers in technology. Her achievements have earned her recognition as one of the most important women in tech history.

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United KingdomPirate

Mary Wolverston

Mary Wolverston, Lady Killigrew (formerly Knyvett; born before 1525 – died after 1587), was a gentlewoman from Suffolk who married into an ancient Cornish family and was accused of piracy during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603). Mary’s life was filled with intrigue and adventure, as she played an active role in her husband’s piracy activities and managed the family estate.

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