In the history of almost every country on the planet, women have been denied the freedom to exercise their full capabilities. And this mindset of course still prevails in many forms. So when women push through barriers and manage to let their brilliance shine through, it is a moment of victory for the millions of other women engaged in the same struggle. In this article, we will get to know more about seven such American women spanning different decades, who have made the world a better place with their innovation and intelligence.

 Sabrina Paterski

People find it hard to believe that a twenty-six-year-old can have so many astounding accomplishments to her name. But Sabrina Paterski has done it all and is still on the way to many more successes. In her own words, she is “a proud first-generation Cuban-American & Chicago Public Schools alumna”. A theoretical physicist now, she is often dubbed as the next Einstein. She built a functioning and airworthy plane at the age of 14 – and then flew it too. Not only did she graduate from MIT in 3 years but she also won the MIT Physics Orloff Scholarship award.

Tarana Burke

Hailing from New York, Tarana Burke is a civil rights activist. From 2006 and in the years preceding that, she focused on building a healing and empathetic community for women of color from low wealth backgrounds. She knew that the prevalence of sexual assault and harassment was very high and thus, she wanted to encourage women to open up so that they felt less alone in their struggles. In recent years, her work came into the forefront with the #MeToo movement – as numerous women from all around the world came out with their stories of sexual abuse, harassment, and violence in their workplaces, homes, relationships, etc. This has led to accountability being sought from men – and the survivors receiving the support and understanding they deserve.

 Melinda Gates

 Melinda Gates seems to have dedicated her life and work to the upliftment of women around the world through philanthropy. One half of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, she has donated and tried to raise awareness about many global issues over the years. She worked at Microsoft right after her graduation and has always held a fascination for technology. She has written a book and created an online community of innovators and changemakers to come together as well.

 Ellen Ochoa

You may know Ellen Ochoa as the first Hispanic woman to go to space, and you’d be right. But she has many other notable accomplishments to her name as well. She has experience in directing the Johnson Space Center, and she shares three patents in the field of optical systems. It is also remarkable to note that this brilliant astronaut and engineer is adept at playing the flute!

 Linda J. Wachner

Most famous for being the CEO of Warnaco, Linda is a renowned businesswoman and entrepreneur. She was born in a Jewish household and graduated from the University of Buffalo. She was the highest-paid female corporate executive in 1996. When her company went bankrupt, she saw through the whole process of transition and provided her assistance wherever needed.

 Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey is a cherished talk show host who made it through a rough childhood fraught with hardships of every kind. From the age of two itself, she held the desire to learn. As the years progressed, it was clear to her and everyone who listened that she was meant to talk – and express. She worked with CBS when she was still a sophomore. She was on talk shows and local shows for years and her work only drove the ratings up. Through The Oprah Winfrey Show, she provided an empathetic and loving platform for people to share their stories, for over twenty-five years.

 Hedy Lamarr

Love using WiFi and GPS? Well, you have Hedy Lamarr to thank! This American inventor’s achievements are often sidelined to focus on her looks and glamour. Her groundbreaking patent during the Second World War did not get any special attention – even though the same technology paved the way for WiFi, GPS, and Bluetooth as well. The military and, later, the communication industry used her ideas and work – but she barely got the credit.