Our site uses cookies

I agree Our site saves small pieces of text information, called “cookies” on your device. Find out more in our privacy policy. You can disable the usage of cookies by changing the settings of your browser. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Sign in…
Forgotten password?

7 Remarkable Women You’ve Probably Never Heard Of, But You Should

 

 

When we asked our members and followers if there’s “an amazing woman, past or present that you think we should know about?” the comments flooded in.

 

There are so many women out there who have done remarkable things and others who are rising right now. But besides being women, all these beautiful human beings have something in common: they are defined by their input to the world and our lives.

“They feed our feminist souls, they arise in us the love and empathy for each other and inspire us to be better people.”

Reading your comments, we found ourselves empowered by the remarkable things these women have done. They feed our feminist souls, they arise in us the love and empathy for each other and inspire us to be better people.

It felt only fair that we share these feelings with you and empower you to spread your wings, find your projects and make them happen. So here are 7 remarkable women you might not have heard of, but you should:

Mary Agnes Chase, Honorary Curator of the United States National Herbarium at the Smithsonian Institution and Botanist at the United States Department of Agriculture, collecting plants in Brazil in 1929
Mary Agnes Chase, Honorary Curator of the United States National Herbarium at the Smithsonian Institution and Botanist at the United States Department of Agriculture, collecting plants in Brazil in 1929

Image credit to Wikimedia

The botanist

Mary Agnes Chase (1869-1963), botanist, travelled to Brazil to identify and catalogue grasses. She published a book in 1918 and her collection of grasses is curated by the Smithsonian. In addition, she was a suffragette and was jailed and force-fed twice for protesting in Washington DC - and although she only had a grammar school education, was awarded an honorary doctorate from University of Illinois at age 89. A pretty amazing woman.

Billie Holiday in 1949
Billie Holiday in 1949

Image credit to Wikimedia.

The musician

Billie Holiday was an African American jazz singer. She was nicknamed ‘Lady Day’ and her career of almost 30 years was a seminal influence on jazz music and pop singing. She performed at the Green Mill jazz club in Chicago back in the day. Patricia Barber is there now almost every Monday night. And if you make the trip to Chicago, visit the Forest Home Cemetery in Chicago where Emma Goldman is buried.

Eleanor Roosevelt holding poster of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Lake Success, New York. November 1949.
Eleanor Roosevelt holding poster of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Lake Success, New York. November 1949.

Image credit to Wikimedia.

The woman behind the man

Eleanor Roosevelt: fascinating woman, diplomat, humanitarian and the longest serving First Lady. She was, in her time, one of the world’s most widely admired and powerful women. Although the ‘Little White House’ and the warm springs in Georgia were made for Franklin Roosevelt, they are equally worth a visit to find out more about Eleanor.

A. Lincoln showing Sojourner Truth the Bible presented by colored people of Baltimore, Executive Mansion, Washington, D.C., Oct. 29, 1864 Abstract/medium: 1 photographic print on cabinet card mount.
A. Lincoln showing Sojourner Truth the Bible presented by colored people of Baltimore, Executive Mansion, Washington, D.C., Oct. 29, 1864 Abstract/medium: 1 photographic print on cabinet card mount.

Image credit to Wikimedia.

Abolitionist and women’s rights campaigner

In 2014, the Smithsonian magazine voted Sojourner Truth one of the 100 most influential Americans of all time. But outside of the United States, few people will have heard of her, an African-American abolitionist and women’s rights campaigner.

Born into slavery, she was separated from her family when she was nine. Twenty years later, and still living in slavery, she had a vision of Jesus calling her to freedom. She managed to escape and went on to become one of the leading voices in the campaign to end slavery and women’s rights.
In 2009 she became the first black woman honoured with a bust at the US Capitol. At the ceremony, Nancy Pelosi explained the statue’s importance: “Every person who visits the Capitol of the US will know her important role in America’s history, and will see her as an inspiration for the work left undone to fight injustice, hatred and cruelty in our society and in the world.”

Emily Carr
Emily Carr

Image credit to Wikimedia.

The painter

Emily Carr is well known in Canada but not outside. She was a west-coast painter who defied Victorian conventions by travelling alone painting West Coast indigenous villages and sites.

Marielou Jepson
Marielou Jepson

Image credit to Wikimedia.

The tech woman

Everyone should know about Mary Lou Jepsen. “I recently heard her speak at a Longnow talk (an organisation everyone should check out anyway!). She is one of the most brilliant women I have ever heard of. She is also personable and just all around amazing!” says O.

Dr. Mary Lou Jepsen is the founder of Openwater, whose goal is to see deep into the body with the detail of a high resolution 3D camera. The implications are broad for both healthcare and for communication directly with thought. Previously, she was an engineering executive at Facebook, Oculus, Google[x] and Intel as well as a founder of four startups including One Laptop per Child where she was CTO, chief architect and delivered to mass production the $100 laptop. Her startup CEO experience includes the world’s only fabless display screen company, which was based in Taipei. She has been a professor at MIT and is an inventor on over 100 published or issued patents in the last five years alone. She has been recognised with many awards including TIME magazine’s “Time 100” as one of the 100 most influential people in the world and as a CNN top 10 thinker and Forbes top 50 women in technology in 2018.

Doctor and women’s rights activist

Have you seen Google Doodle this week? It's Matilde Hildago de Procel, the pioneering Ecuadorian doctor, poet and women’s rights activist. You can find out more about her here: www.independent.co.uk/…/matilde-hidalgo-de-procel-google-do… Also, the Google doodle was made by artist Sophie Diao and can be seen in Latin America, the UK, Italy and Ireland.

 

There are so many more remarkable women who are waiting to be discovered. We’d love to hear if you know any others. Have they inspired you to visit a place? Tell us!