Men may dominate the automotive industry, but it has always had a strong core crafted by brilliant women. Driving was once a men’s job and women needed to sit back and enjoy the ride. But it changed when Bertha Benz made her first cross-country trip a success with her two sons. She made history and stated that gender does not decide how the world works.
Do you know, there was a mechanical engineer named Margaret, and she invented the car heater, that too in 1838. What is more curious is that today’s young ladies are holding back to study Mechanical Engineering. Why?
Women made her presence in every area of the automotive industry as, Chemist, Engineer, Driver, Inventor, Designer and what not.
Let us introduce those incredibly amazing women who helped to bring the automotive industry to the current state.
Women never back down just because it’s a manly thing to do. These bold ladies came to the front and broke the bias.
Born on 25 August 1933, in Mt. Vernon, NY. She is a self-made woman who came up all the way from junior designer to chief designer of Chevrolet’s Interiors Studio in 1972. In the mid-1950 GM motors launched their famous “Damsels design” with the help of 10 female designers. In order to attract more female consumers and also wish to add a female perception in automotive. They are America’s first all-women designer team. Sadly they couldn’t stay long, they left when Bill Mitchell got in charge of the department. The only one who stayed and fought for her right was Suzanne. Bill domineeringly said that “no women are going to stand near my team.” She is a lady, a strong lady who fought alone and amended the industry.
On 24 August 1981 in Leicester, a boy was born, But he was special from other boys. Nobody knows he was meant to do so much in the world. He walked into the world of racing cars with great vision. He became the first transgender racing driver. And proved women are also meant for the men-ruled industry.
Women are not less than any men out there just because of their gender. It was not an easy journey for Charlie. She had to fight for her right and she did. She became hope and light to those who were afraid to stand up for their dream.
Maria Grazia “Lella” Lombardi commonly known as Lella Lombardi. Born on March 26, 1941, in Frugarolo, Italy. She was an Italian race driver, Who debuted in 1974 in Formula One. In the history of Formula 1, she is the only woman who managed to seize the top six in the World Championship Grands Prix. World Championship Grand Prix, is the world’s number one sports competition.
She is one of the two who proved herself with her championship points for a Formula One race.
A woman with dreams, Wilhelmine always wanted to be a car racer. On August 3, 1901, she succeeded in her dream by participating in the longest road trip conducted by Eisenach– Meiningen and it also made history in the Automotive Industry.
The trip was through Germany’s Hainich mountain range and only an inferior engine kept her from reaching the podium.
Ada was born on 10 December 1815, in London, United Kingdom. She was the first computer programmer. It is because of Ada’s programming inventions, we can use modern cars which can control airbag deployment, braking, cruise control, infotainment, GPS mapping, and more.
The name sounds familiar? Thanks to this famous American Actress for inventing the wireless communication system. The core idea of all communication techniques like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS and others we use in our vehicle came from her invention. Hedy was born in 1914 in Vienna, Austria-Hungary.
Katharine Burr Blodgett
Blodgett was born in 1898 in New York State. She was a research assistant to famous American chemist Irving Langmuir. She was the first woman to receive a Ph.D. from Cambridge University in 1926. It was Katharine who invented non-reflective glass in 1938, and smoke screens.
She was the one who made the vehicles run more safely. Kwolek developed Kevlar in 1965 at DuPont. Kevlar is heat resistant, strong, and used as a replacement in racing tires in the 1970s. Not only that, Kevlar is even good enough to be used for bulletproof vests and more. As per the strength-to-weight ratio, it is stronger than steel.
DuPont awarded her outstanding technical achievement and became the first woman to earn the company’s Lavoisier medal for research in 1995. She was born on 31 July 1923 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
The Morning Star of America’s open-wheel car racing history. Danica was born on March 25, 1982, in Beloit, Wisconsin, U.S. She was the only woman who won the Indycar series race.
She started to prove at the age of 10 age, gender or anything is not a barrier to achieving one’s dream. She was born to race. In the 1990’s she won the World Karting Association Grand National Championship 3 times.
Patrick is the first woman in American auto racing and the first to win an IndyCar Series race. Also, the first to cap a pole position in the NASCAR Cup Series and the most starts, laps led, and top tens in the NASCAR Cup Series. She succeeded to secure the highest finish in the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500. She was the only one among the 14 drivers to have led both races.
Margaret A Wilcox
Born in 1838 in Chicago, Illinois, Margaret was one of the first mechanical engineers. In November 28, 1893, she invented and got registered the car heater which gave us a fog-free, enjoyable and more intact ride.
Bertha born on May 3, 1849, in Pforzheim, Germany. Her surname alone set forth her importance in the industry.
She is a key player and a pioneer in the automotive industry. Bertha completed the first successful cross-country trip in a car that too with an internal combustion engine in August 1888. She was the wife of Carl Benz and also his business partner. She helped him to promote his car through this journey and became the first person in history to drive an automobile over a long distance. As for her inventions, the brake lining was her contribution to the industry.
She was born on 19 February 1866, in Greene County, Alabama, United States. Mary got inspired by the scene of a troubled man cleaning his car window to get a clearer vision in bad weather. It triggered the engineer inside her and drive her to invent the windshield wiper.
She made herself famous through the Paris Dakar Rally which she won in 2001. With that single win, she was able to put two feathers in her cap. One for The only woman to win the race and only German to win the Car category.
Kleinschmidt was born on 29 August 1962 in Cologne, Germany. She was a passionate Helicopter pilot who was addicted to motorsports. Whichever vehicle it is she will subdue them.
The first European woman to travel around the world in an automobile. In her journey, she was accompanied by Swedish cinematographer CarlAxel Söderström. Previous people who succeeded in a full circumnavigated journey are Americans.
Clärenore Stinnes was born on January 21, 1901. She participated in her first race when she was 24. The 17 race wins made her one of the successful car race drivers in Europe.
Compiled by Kavya E K
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