Successful Women from Across the World - International Women's Day 2018

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In celebration of 2018’s International Women’s Day, we have highlighted just some of the most successful and renowned women in history from across the world. Holding much significance to this day, they have paved the way for progress through generations and have changed the way women are treated across the world.

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Great Britain

Queen Elizabeth II, 1926 – Present

The world’s longest serving monarch, Queen Elizabeth II took to the throne in her mid-twenties. From such a young age she has witnessed great changes in Great Britain and the Commonwealth in society, science, technology, medicine and world affairs. Acting with a sense of unwavering calm and strength, she has since become one of the world’s most recognized and influential members of the royal family. Yas, queen.

Jane Austen, 1775 – 1817

From Pride and Prejudice to Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen is one of Great Britain’s most celebrated female novelists. She famously bridged the gap between romance and realism, applying social commentary through her novels with great wit and confidence, often not accepted during her generation. Her work is still taught in classrooms to this day, providing young women with timeless literary classics.

New Zealand

Elizabeth McCombs, 1873 – 1935

In 1933, McCombs successfully became New Zealand’s first female Member of Parliament, taking the seat in Lyttelton. Although some Labour leaders were not convinced about her candidacy, she was elected with an overwhelming majority; just a few short years after women were allowed to stand for Parliament.

Kate Edger, 1857 - 1935

Paving the way for higher education opportunities for women in New Zealand, Edgar became the first woman in the country to gain a university degree and the first woman in the British Empire to earn a Bachelor of Arts (BA). After only receiving early education from her father and there being no high school for girls in Auckland at the time, her success is unparalleled and she supported women’s suffrage in the early 1930s.


Nellie McClung, 1873 – 1951

A leader in the fight to enfranchise North American women, McClung is one of the most prolific female figures in Canadian history and was also a novelist, reformer, journalist and suffragist. In 1916, Manitoba became the first province to grant women the right to vote, largely due to her efforts.

Agnes Macphail (1890 – 1954)

After being born in rural Ontario, Macphail worked as a schoolteacher and became involved with progressive political movements, which included the United Farm Women of Ontario. In 1921 she was elected to the Commons as a member of the Progressive Party of Canada, and she later went on to initiate Ontario’s first equal-pay legislation.


Edith Cowan, 1861 - 1932

After co-founding the Karrakatta Club, a women’s group that successfully campaigned for the vote for women, Cowan was also chairperson for the Red Cross Appeal Committee during the First World War. Her legacy lives on to this day and she is the face on Australia’s $50 note.

Fanny Durack, 1889 – 1956 and Mina Wylie, 1891 - 1984

After the Stockholm Olympics in 1912 were the first to hold women’s swimming events, talented swimmers Durack and Wylie rallied to be able to compete for Australia. They were initially refused permission, however were later able to, providing they paid for all their own travel and living expenses. Durack went on to win gold in the 100m freestyle event, while Wylie won silver. During the late 1910s, Durack held every world record in women's swimming.


Mary Robinson, 1944 - Present

Already well respected as an academic, barrister and Senator, in 1990 Robinson became the first female President of Ireland. She advocated for a multitude of rights for women, including the legal availability of contraception, the right for women to sit on juries and the removal of the requirement that married women resign from the civil service. She later went on to take up the prestigious position of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Sonia O’Sullivan, 1969 - Present

O’Sullivan was one of Ireland’s most successful and recognized sportswomen of the 1990s, winning medals in the Olympic Games, World Championships and European Championships, to name but a few. After a long period of economic hardship, she inspired confidence to the nation. She currently holds one world and several national records.

Our Professional Internships Abroad stretch from Australia and New Zealand to CanadaGreat Britain and Ireland. Find out more about these professional adventures online or get in touch with one of our team members today over email on or at 866-220-7771!

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