What better day to celebrate the achievements of inspirational women across the globe than on International Women’s Day?
There have been many women throughout the years who have made an impact on our lives as we know it, but some haven’t reaped the credit they deserve.
Well that’s about to change – here are five inspirational women you really need to know about.
1. Megan Hine
Not many of us are familiar with the name Megan Hine, yet most people across the globe would’ve heard of Bear Grylls.
The intrepid adventurer has braved the elements to embark on some of the most dangerous expeditions, but what some may not know is that someone has already endured the challenges ahead of him – Hine.
The wilderness expedition leader and survival expert acts as a fearless survival consultant for Grylls.
It’s her job to test out the death-defying stunts on his behalf before he attempts them himself.
2. Elizabeth Jennings Graham
Before Rosa Parks boldly refused to give up her seat on the bus, helping to kick off the civil rights movement in 1955, another brave woman made a stand for equality.
This woman was Elizabeth Jennings Graham, and in 1854 she stood by her right to ride a street car in New York.
At the time, black people were only allowed a seat on the horse-drawn cars if the white passengers were content with them doing so, and when Jennings Graham refused to disembark the street car, she was forcibly removed.
With the help of her father and his peers, Jennings Graham sued the conductor and driver – and won. And it was that incident, along with several other bold challenges, that helped end segregated public transport in New York.
3. Chien-Shiung Wu
In 1957, theoretical physicists Tsung-Dao Lee and Chen Ning Yang won the Nobel Prize in Physics for for their investigation into parity laws, which they couldn’t have achieved if it wasn’t for one person.
This person was Chien-Shiung Wu who, despite her critical role in Lee and Yang’s work, wasn’t recognised with the award.
Born in China in the early 1900s, Wu was recruited by Columbia University to conduct research on radiation detection and uranium enrichment at the age of 32.
It was in the mid-1950s when Lee and Yang approached her to help them disprove the law of parity, which she did, yet she received little credit for her efforts.
4. Flight Lieutenant Julie Ann Gibson
Julie Ann Gibson made history in 1991 when she became the RAF’s first female pilot.
Although female pilots were pretty prevalent in British aviation by the late 1980s, there was one area in which they couldn’t be found - the military.
That soon changed when the blanket ban on women flying in the military was lifted, and it was in 1990 when Gibson flew her first solo at RAF Linton-on-Ouse.
The following year she completed her training and went on to fly a 32 Squadron at RAF Northolt.
5. Nettie Stevens
Nettie Stevens played a major role in the discovery of the sex-determination system, ascertaining an organism’s gender is dictated by its chromosomes.
Through research on mealworms, Stevens deduced male sperm possesses both X and Y chromosomes, while female eggs have only X chromosomes, and it is these genetics that determine the sex of a species.
Despite Stevens’s early findings in 1905, Thomas Hunt Morgan – a prominent geneticist around at the same time – is often credited with discovering the genetic basis for sex detemination, and he even won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for it 28 years later.