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Women who are changing the world

Women doctors, artists, scientists, mathematicians, writers and politicians who are making history

Women who are changing the world Women doctors, artists, scientists, mathematicians, writers and politicians who are making history

We women have demonstrated extraordinary tenacity and strength countless times throughout history, facing challenges and overcoming obstacles with relentless determination. Our role has been varied and often transformative, influencing politics, economics, science and culture at large. In many parts of the world, women have been and are capable leaders and rulers, embodying strength, wisdom and determination, such as Angela Merkel Chancellor of Germany, Sheikh Hasina Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Mia Mottley Prime Minister of Barbados, Jacinda Ardern Prime Minister of New Zealand, and Kamala Harris first female Vice President of the United States of America. We have created movements of social and political change, fighting for our rights and those of others. From the suffragettes who fought for the right to vote, to the civil rights activists who marched for racial equality, and the modern women who fight for gender equality, the history of women is steeped in courage and resilience.

Gender pay gap: the data

Despite the progress we have made over the years, many of us still face wage discrimination, limited access to education and health resources, systemic sexism and structural barriers. Women tend to earn less than men for similar or the same work. For example, in the United States, in 2022, women earned on average about 82% of what men earned. In 2018, women earned 14.8% less than men in the European Union when comparing average gross hourly earnings. Note that this gender pay gap is present in all Member States, but varies from country to country. 

Women and the right to realize their potential

Despite the adversities we all encounter on our path, our resilience and impeccable education have led us to succeed in every field, from medicine to technology, politics and the arts. When women are educated, they become agents of change and can transform their communities and the entire world. However, there is a need to create an environment that promotes gender equality and gives women the same opportunities as men. We women must unite and support each other, not only today, but always by creating support networks that foster personal and professional growth, because every woman has the right to realize her potential and live a full and meaningful life.

Women who are changing the world

By celebrating the strength and potential of women, we can create a better future for all. With this article we want to praise the women who are changing the world, also celebrating all the women who came before us and made everything possible. These women have contributed and continue to contribute significantly to progress in their respective disciplines, continuing to inspire and guide the next generation of professionals.

Christine Lagarde

Christine Lagarde is a French economist and lawyer, currently president of the European Central Bank (ECB). Prior to assuming this position in November 2019, she served as managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from 2011 to 2019. She also held several other senior positions in the public and private sectors, including Minister of Economy, Finance and of the Industry of France.

Ursula von der Leyen

Ursula von der Leyen is a German politician and the first woman to serve as President of the European Commission, taking up the post in December 2019. Before becoming President of the European Commission, she was Defense Minister of Germany from 2013 to 2019 and he held various other senior political positions in the German government.

Amina Mohammed

Amina Mohammed is a British-Nigerian politician who currently holds the position of Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations since January 2017. She previously served as Nigeria's Minister of Environment and played a significant role in the adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in 2015.

Hadiyah-Nicole Green

Dr. Hadiyah-Nicole Green is an American medical physicist and biomedical engineer. She is best known for her work in cancer therapy, particularly the development of a nanotechnology-based therapy for laser treatment of cancer. He founded the OraLee Smith Cancer Research Foundation to support his research and efforts to fight cancer. His research and work have received wide recognition, and he has received numerous awards and honors for his contributions to the field of cancer medicine and research.

Frances H. Arnold

Dr. Frances H. Arnold is an American biochemist and chemical engineer. She was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2018 for her pioneering work on directed protein evolution, a technology that allows scientists to design and produce useful enzymes for a wide range of applications, including biofuel production and drug synthesis. Arnold is the fifth woman in history to receive the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. She is currently a professor of chemical engineering, bioengineering, and biochemistry at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

Tschabalala Self

Tschabalala Self is a young American artist known for her figurative artworks that explore the representation of the body, race and gender. His works often incorporate mixed media such as drawing, painting and collage, creating vibrant and powerful images that reflect on the complexities of the human experience. Self has gained widespread attention for her innovative approach to the representation of the black and female body and has exhibited her work in galleries and museums around the world.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a renowned Nigerian writer. She is the author of several critically acclaimed novels, including “Half of a Yellow Sun,” “Americanah” and “The Purple Hibiscus.” She is also known for her speech on the status of women entitled "We Should All Be Feminists”, which was published as a stand-alone book and has become a landmark in the debate on gender equality.

Shirin Neshat

Shirin Neshat is a renowned Iranian visual artist and filmmaker. She is best known for her photographic and cinematic work exploring the complexities of women's lives in Iran and the Muslim world. His works often address topics such as politics, religion, gender and cultural identity. Neshat is known for her distinctive and powerful style that combines iconic imagery and poetic text to convey profound and provocative messages.

Chioma Nnadi

Chioma Nnadi is a Nigerian fashion journalist and editor. In March 2023 she was announced as Edward Enninful's successor and became Head of Editorial Content for Vogue UK in October 2023, becoming the first black woman to hold this role. Nnadi has helped shape Vogue's coverage of a wide range of topics, including diversity, inclusion and emerging cultural movements.

Janet Mock

Janet Mock is a well-known American journalist, writer, television producer and LGBTQ+ rights activist. She became a leading figure in the transgender rights movement, and wrote several memoirs chronicling her experiences of life as a transgender woman. Janet Mock is an influential voice in the public discourse on diversity, inclusion and human rights.

Kizzmekia Corbett

Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett is an American virologist and immunologist who worked at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). She was one of the lead scientists involved in COVID-19 vaccine development at the National Institutes of Health. His research and work in the fields of infectious diseases and vaccinations have contributed significantly to global efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lubaina Himid

Lubaina Himid is a British artist and academic of Tanzanian origin, best known for her work in conceptual art and contemporary art. His work addresses themes such as race, colonization, history, and cultural identity, often using a variety of media including painting, printmaking, collage, and installation. In 2017, Himid became the first black woman to win the Turner Prize, one of the UK's most prestigious art prizes, for her outstanding contribution to contemporary art.

Jordan Casteel

Jordan Casteel is a renowned American painter known for her portraits of black people, often inspired by her daily life and surrounding communities. His works capture the humanity and complexity of his subjects, exploring themes of identity, race, class and culture. Casteel is particularly known for her portraits of African American men, often depicted in urban and intimate settings. His work has been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums around the world and is widely appreciated for his sensitivity and ability to capture the essence of his subjects.

Katie Bouman

Dr. Katie Bouman is an American computer scientist who contributed significantly to the development of the algorithm used to create the first direct image of a black hole, acquired in 2019. Bouman was an important part of the team that worked on this project at MIT Haystack Observatory and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. His leadership in computer vision and machine learning was critical to the success of the historic black hole image. Bouman is currently a professor at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

Mira Murati

Ermira "Mira" Murati is an Albanian engineer, researcher and tech executive, and has held the position of Chief Technology Officer of OpenAI since 2018. Murati joined OpenAI in 2018 as a researcher, later becoming Chief Technology Officer, leading the work of company on ChatGPT, Dall-E and Codex. While working on the expansion of machine learning, she is an advocate for the responsible and ethical use of AI technologies.