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The names appearing below are just a fraction of the Canadian
women of accomplishment. Check out The Famous Canadian Women 's
section ON THE JOB which contains mini profiles of 2000
Canadian Women of Achievement.
Exeter, Ontario January 1, 1876. Died January 1, 1933.
She graduated from
McGill University in 1888
and began research with the renowned Dr. Ernest Rutherford as
1st woman nuclear physicist.
In 1901 she was the first woman to study at the Cavendish Laboratory at
Cambridge University in England. After she earned her Masters degree she
worked for a short period of time in the Laboratory of Dr. Marie Curie.
She returned to Canada to resume her work with Dr. Rutherford until 1907
when she married Frank Pitcher. Since protocol of the day was for women
not to work once they were married, Harriet was forced to give up her work
as a physicist. She turned her energies to raising her three children and
remained active in the Federation of University women.
Elizabeth Muriel Gregory (Elsie)
1905. Died November 4, 1980. She became
Canada’s 1st woman graduate to hold a degree in electrical
She also held a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering from the U.S.
During WW II her primary responsibility was the production of the Hawker
Hurricane fighter aircraft. Her staff of 4,500 people produced more than
2000 aircraft. In 1937 she was the first
woman to be admitted corporate membership in the Engineering Institute of
Canada. She is a member of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame.
She is considered the first woman to be a
designer of airplanes.
Born August 31, 1903,London,
Ontario. Died June 17, 1994, London, Ontario. She earned her BA at the
University of Western Ontario in 1923.One of the first women to enter
the male dominated field of zoology. she earned her PhD at the
University Of Toronto in 1929 and was the
1st woman in
Canada to earn a PhD in marine biology.
She pioneered the use of fertilized fish eggs to study the effects of
carcinogenic substances on development. The penetrating insights of her
published papers were often accompanied with detailed pen and ink
drawings done by her own hand. In 1949 she became a full professor. She
always stated that her 1st love was teaching and many of her
students visited their old professor years after their graduation. In
1961, she co-founded the Canadian Society of Zoologists and became its
President in 1962-1963.In 1967 she was presented with the Canada
Centennial medal. In the 1970’s
Battle took on the role of Associate Editor of the Canadian Journal
of Zoology. She did her research for the National Fisheries Research
Board, the Ohio State Fisheries Lab, the Atlantic Biological Station in
St. Andrews, N.B., and the Marine Biological Lab in Plymouth, England.
In 1975 she was selected by the National Museum of Natural Sciences in
Ottawa as one of 19 outstanding women scientists in Canada and was
represented in a travelling exhibit to mark International Women's Year.
In 1977 Prof. Battle was the first woman to be awarded the F. E.
J. Fry medal from the Canadian Society of Zoologists and within a few
weeks she received the first J. C. B. Grant award from the Canadian
Association of Anatomists. Many student
awards and a memorial lecture are named in her honour at the University
of Western Ontario. Sources:
Canadian Encyclopedia Online. (accessed June 2010; University of
Western Ontario, A part of our History: Helen Irene Battle.
www.uwo.ca (accessed July 2015)
Ontario August 26, 1881. Died April 15, 1964. A paleontologist who worked
at the Geological Survey of Canada, where she described fossils in papers
and books. She lectured and traveled to bring geology to the public,
especially children. In 1937
she was the
first woman to be elected a fellow of the Royal Society of
Born Montreal, Quebec April 20, 1887. Died April 6, 1971. During her early
days of university study Margaret took an interest in diseases that
related to Canada
stable agricultural product, wheat. She was one of the first women in
Canada to earn a degree in agriculture and she was the
1st Canadian woman to earn a PhD in
agricultural sciences. Her lifetime work in wheat rust was well
respected. In 1922 she was invited to Russia to discuss her work. She was
the second woman to become a “Fellow” in the Royal Society of Canada.
In 1942 she became the 1st woman recipient
of the Flavelle Medal for meritorious achievement in biological science.
The list of winners of this award that is recorded online contains no
other winners who are women! The University of Victoria named one of its
residences “Margaret Newton” Hall. After more than 25 years exposure from
her research she was forced to retire because of ill health.
(née Sawyer) Born Lowell, Massachusetts U.S.A. August 1, 1905. Died
January 28, 1993. An astronomer who joined the teaching staff of the
University of Toronto in 1936, she was nominated professor emeritus in
1976. A world expert who receive numerous honours including being a
Companion in the Order of Canada, she took her profession to radio and TV
in a clear and understandable manner for all listeners. She wrote a book,
“The Stars Belong to Everyone”. For her efforts to bring
information to the public she was the 1st
person to win the Klumpke-Roberts Award and she is also the only Canadian
woman to have a minor planet (#2917) named after her!
Ursula Martius Franklin
Born September 16, 1921
Munich, Germany. During the Nazi regime in Germany in World War
ll Ursula was separated from her parents and sent to a forced
labour camp and fortunately were reunited in Berlin after the
war. In 1948 she earned her Ph.D. in experimental physics from
the Technical University of Berlin. Offered a post doctoral
fellowship at the University of Toronto she moved to Canada
becoming a senior scientist at the Ontario Research Station from
1952-1967. An expert in metallurgy and materials science she was
the 1st woman to
become a professor at the Faculty of Engineering, University of
Toronto. She authored some 100 research papers and
reports and is an acclaimed contributor to books on the
structure and properties of metals and alloys. She contributor
to the 1977 report : Canada as a Conserver Society which
recommended steps to reduce wasteful consumption and
environmental problems it causes. She was active in the Voice
for Women (VOW) and called for the U.S. military withdrawal from
Vietnam. She fought for the right to refuse military service on
the grounds of conscience to be extended to the right to refuse
to pay taxes for war preparations. The case was refused by The
Supreme Court of Canada. In 1982 she was named as an officer of
the Order of Canada and this was upgrade to Companion of the
Order of Canada in 1992. In 1987 she was presented the Elsie
Gregory McGill Memorial Award for her contributions to
education, science and technology. In 1989 she was the author
of the Real World of Technology based on her 1989
Massey lectures for CBC Radio. In 1990 she was inducted into the
Order of Ontario. After her retirement she was part of a group
of women she fought for pay equality from the University of
Toronto. The university made a pay equity settlement to some 60
retired women faculty. In 1991 she received the Governor
General’s Award in Commemoration of the Person’s Case for
advancing the equality of girls and women in Canada. In 1995 the
Ursula Franklin Academy, a high school in Toronto was founded.
In 2006 the Ursula Franklin Reader included her articles
and speeches on pacifism, feminism, technology and teaching. In
2012 Ursula was inducted into the Canadian Science and
Engineering Hall of Fame. In April 2013, Franklin donated her
extensive collection of writings devoted to Chinese culture and
history to the Confucius Institute at
College in Toronto.
Sources: Ursula Franklin, Quakers in the world, Online
(Accessed September 2009) ; Dr. Ursula M. Franklin,
Association in Canada. Online (Accessed 2009)
Born India. She moved to Ottawa, Ontario in 1968. She is
the 1st Canadian woman PhD graduate in
electrical engineering and the only woman in her 1973 graduating class
at Queens University, Kingston, Ontario. In 1974 she joined the
Canada Department of Communications (forerunner of Industry Canada) .
Her 36 year public service career has been studded with recognition. She
has received the Public Service Award of Excellence in 2011 for her
contribution to telecommunications and to women in leadership. 1n 2003
she received the Queen Elizabeth ll Golden Jubilee Award as well as the
Excellence in Leadership Award from Industry Canada. 2004 saw her as
Canadian Woman of the Year in Communications for the Canadian Women In
Communications. In 2005 she was included in too listing of Canada’s most
Powerful Women as expressed by Canada’s Executive Women’s Network. That
same year she was Professional Woman of the Year for the Indo-Canada
Chamber of Commerce. In 2008 she won the Sara Kirke Award recognizing
her as Canada’s leading woman high Tech Entrepreneur from the Canadian
Advanced Technology Alliance. In 2004 she was
the first woman president of the Communications Research Centre which is
an internationally-renowned agency of Industry Canada. She
retained this position until her retirement in June 2011. Always a
mentor for women in the 1990’s she worked with groups concerned with
violence against women and with high school girls sports teams. She is
also a volunteer mentor with the Women’s Executive Network.
Women in Technology
accessed June 2011; Women in
Ottawa: Mentors and milestone
http://womeninorttawa.blogspot.com accessed June 2011.
Lynn Bondar. Born Sault
Ste Marie, Ontario
December 4, 1945.
Canada’s 1st woman astronaut
She took her favourite food, Girl Guide cookies, into space
with her in 1992. She brought from space a real sense of just how
delicate our small blue planet really is and is now using her photography
to help show and save our earth’s environment. She has several university
degrees. As Chancellor of Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario she
continues to be an inspiration to Canadian youth. October 2011
she was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame. Check out how many
schools she went to in the “Canadian Who’s Who” at your library.
Check out Dr. Bondar's web page: http://www.robertabondar.ca/
Born Montreal, Quebec October 21, 1963. Did you know that
this Canadian astronaut plays piano and has sung with the Montreal
symphonic Orchestra Chamber Choir? She is
active in various community
activities and has an ongoing commitment to volunteer work.
She attended school at the United World
International College of the Atlantic, located in South Wales, United
Kingdom. She studied for her bachelor of engineering at McGill University,
Montreal, Quebec and took her Masters at the University of Toronto, 1990.
This exceptional engineer was chosen as an astronaut in June 1992. From
May 27 to June 6, 1999 she was a member of the STS 96 space mission and
flew on the space shuttle Discovery.
She is the 1st Canadian to visit and work on board the international
Read her Biography from the Canadian Space Agency at :
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