Women's History

Women across the globe have led remarkable lives since the beginning of time, and it is vital we commemorate these lives and legacies year-round. With over 9,000 entries in the Oxford DNB for women alone, it is clear that there is no lack of women in history even if they are too often forgotten.

This year, the theme of Women’s History Month is Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). Join us in celebrating the lives of women who burst through glass ceilings in the fields of science, mathematics, and more by clicking on the portraits and names below.


Women in STEM

Anning, Mary (1799–1847), fossil collector and dealer

Askonas, Brigitte Alice [Ita] (1923–2013), immunologist and biochemist

Atkins [née Children], Anna (1799–1871), botanist and photographic artist

Bate, Dorothea Minola Alice (1878–1951), palaeontologist

Byron, (Augusta) Ada [married name (Augusta) Ada King, countess of Lovelace] (1815–1852), mathematician and computer pioneer

Cartwright, Dame Mary Lucy (1900–1998), mathematician

Elson, Rebecca Anne Wood (Becky) (1960–1999), astronomer and poet

Fell, Dame Honor Bridget (1900–1986), cell biologist

Ferris, Elizabeth Anne Esther [Liz] (1940–2012), diver, doctor, and campaigner for gender equality in sport

Franklin, Rosalind Elsie (1920–1958), crystallographer

Freund, Ida (1863–1914), chemist

Herschel, Caroline Lucretia (1750–1848), astronomer

Hodgkin, Dorothy Mary Crowfoot (1910–1994), chemist and crystallographer

Lonsdale [née Yardley], Dame Kathleen (1903–1971), crystallographer and pacifist

McLaren, Dame Anne Laura Dorinthea (1927–2007), geneticist

McPherson [née Egelnick], Ann (1945–2011), general practitioner and health campaigner

Meitner, Lise (1878–1968), physicist

Parsons, Rachel Mary (1885–1956), engineer, women’s rights campaigner, and racehorse owner

Pratt [married name Pearless], Anne (1806–1893), botanist

Scott, Charlotte Angas (1858–1931), mathematician

Shilling [married name Naylor], Beatrice (1909–1990), mechanical and aeronautical engineer

Smith, Annie Lorrain (1854–1937), mycologist and lichenologist

Somerville [née Fairfax; other married name Greig], Mary (1780–1872), science writer and mathematics expositor

Warwick [née Moore], Dame Margaret Elizabeth Harvey Turner- (1924–2017), respiratory physician and researcher

Whiteley, Martha Annie (1866–1956), chemist