The next time you raise a glass of rose champagne, give thanks to Madame Clicquot, who invented the first blended rosé 200 years ago, along with the first Vintage. In addition, she was also responsible for inventing a widely-used technique that ensures champagne retains its clear, crisp colour. A true trailblazer in every sense of the word, Madame Clicquot took over her father-in-law’s wine business at the young age of 27 after her husband’s death - hence the name “Veuve”, which means widow. What’s even more extraordinary is that French women weren’t allowed to sit for a high school diploma before 1861, and until 1938, could not even apply for an identity card without a man’s permission! Still, the audacious Madame Clicquot built the basis of a brand that’s now widely recognised for its innovative and entrepreneurial spirit, changing champagne forever.
Coco Chanel was one of the original female entrepreneurs that shaped the fashion industry. She not only built one of the most successful fashion houses in the world from the ground up, she was responsible for introducing a new silhouette that inspired women to leave behind the corseted constraints of the 19th century. Thanks to Chanel, the term ‘little black dress’ was coined, forever changing the fashion industry.
While women today are actually encouraged to embrace STEM careers, back in 1903, Marie Curie was one of few females working in the field. She made history when she was awarded the Nobel Prize for her scientific discoveries, which included radium and polonium. Despite her success, she was reportedly never financially compensated in the same regard as her male colleagues.
Her disappearance remains a mystery, but one thing is for sure: aviator Amelia Earhart lit the trail ablaze for female adventurers. In 1928, she set out to become the first woman ever to fly solo across the Atlantic, earning herself worldwide acclaim and inspiring generations of female flyers to come. “Women must try to do things as men have tried,” she said. “When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.”
You’ve heard of Neil Armstrong’s infamous tagline - “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” – but how much do you know about the first female astronaut to make it into space? Valentina Tereshkova orbited the earth in 1963 at the tender age of 26, setting the stage for a new generation of female pioneers. "If women can be railroad workers, why can't they fly in space?" she asked at the time. “A bird cannot fly with one wing only. Human space flight cannot develop any further without the active participation of women.”