Women have made great strides in many fields that previously — and to some degree still — were considered the domain of men, such as law and medicine. But in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, the STEM fields, women remain vastly underrepresented. The reasons are many, including culture, gender bias, and stereotyping. Even so, some women have overcome obstacles to distinguish themselves in those fields, but they haven’t always received the recognition they deserve.
You may be familiar with Marie Curie, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and the only person to win two Nobels in different sciences, but there are scores of accomplished women who have not been acknowledged for their achievements.
24/7 Wall St. has compiled a list of living women inventors you should know about, but probably don’t. We created our list from online media, company, and government agency sources.
Many women have succeeded in fields that are overwhelmingly dominated by men. Some had to battle racism as well as sexism. Their achievements have benefited humanity.
Some women on our list have been social activists for causes as wide-ranging as transgender rights to autism awareness. Not all of the women on the 24/7 Wall St. list were trained scientists when they made their mark. Our list includes Joy Mangano, inventor of the Miracle Mop and other consumer products, and Rachel Zimmerman, who was only 12 years old when she invented the Blissymbol Printer.
Some of the women inventors on our list made important contributions to the success of NASA and the space program. Even though the movie “Hidden Figures” highlights the crucial role three African-American mathematicians played in the success of Project Mercury and other space endeavors, it is a reminder of the significant part that women scientists and inventors had in the United States space program.
In the same spirit of recognition, here are living women inventors you should know about.