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Once you’ve met these wonderful women, scroll down to our personality quiz at the bottom of the page to find out which one you are!

1513-1521, France: Katherine Briçonnet is often recognised as the earliest female architect. Her husband, Thomas Bohier had purchased the site of some fortress ruins before going away to fight in the Italian Wars. With her husband absent, Katherine supervised the construction work of the Château de Chenonceau, a Renaissance chateau with a particularly striking staircase that proceeded straight upwards, rather than in a spiral as was usual at the time.
1704, UK: Lady Elizabeth Wilbraham is a veiled figure in British architecture. Although the likely architect of some of the grandest homes of the early 18th century, gendered barriers to the profession meant she had to appoint male architects to carry out her designs on site. It is impossible to confirm the full extent of her works, but studies suggest she is the likely anonymous architect of the famous Wotton House in Buckinghamshire.
1874, USA: Louise Blanchard Bethune was the first American woman known to have worked as a professional architect. She grew up near Seneca Falls, the birthplace of the American Women’s Suffrage movement. In 1888 she became the first woman elected to the American Institute of Architects and a year later became the AIA’s first woman fellow.
1888, Finland: The first country to permit women to undertake architectural studies and receive academic qualifications. Signe Hornborg, who graduated as an architect “by special permission” from the Helsinki Polytechnic Institute in 1890, became the first official female architect in the world.
1895, USA: Marion Mahony Griffin was the first employee of the prolific American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. She was among the first women in the world to become licensed architects, having studied at MIT. She is recognised as having had significant influence on the development of Wright’s Prairie-style architecture.
Romania: Virginia Andreescu Haret was the first woman to graduate with a degree in architecture in Romania. With around 40 buildings in her portfolio, she became the first woman to hold the position of Romanian Architectural Inspector General.
UK: Elisabeth Scott was the first woman to design a major public building in Britain. She was the architect behind the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. Between 2015 and 2020, she was one of only two prominent female figures to be featured in the design for the new UK passport (the other being mathematician, Ada Lovelace).
USA: Established by Bulgarian architect, Milka Bliznakov, the International Archive of Women in Architecture was founded in 1985 to expand the availability of research materials concerning women in architecture by acquiring, preserving, storing and researching the professional papers of female architects.
India: Sheila Sri Prakash was the first woman in India to establish her own architecture firm. She specialises in environmentally sustainable architecture and in 1992 designed an entire home from recycled materials, one of over 1200 architectural projects she has designed over her career.
UK: Dame Zaha Hadid was the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize. In 2010 Time Magazine named her among the 100 most influential people in the world. In 2016, a month before her passing, she also became the first woman to be individually awarded the Royal Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Blog post photos source and credits:

Lady Elizabeth Wilbraham: Gogmsite | Marion Mahony Griffin: Frank Lloyd Wright | Louise Blanchard Bethune: Buffalo History Museum | Elisabeth Scott: | Signe-Hornborg: Wikipedia | Maria Virginia Andreescu Haret: Editiadedimineata | Milka Bliznakov: Ms1991-025, Courtesy of Anna Sokolina based on the collection of the International Archive of Women of Architects | Sheila Sri Prakash: Shilpa Architects