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Pioneering Women

Pioneering Women are those who have done something to lay the ground for others to be able to follow their lead and excel where others have not gone before.  This story has not been widely distributed so I thought I should share with you this inspiring story if you had not read it before.

In World War II time frame, as in numerous wars through history, most women were planting victory gardens, working in a factory, putting together care packages and of course many served as nurses staffing hospitals.  Some other unique women had a different agenda.

Women Airforce Service Pilots, called WASPS, during World War II, ferried aircraft from factories to military bases and additionally tested planes.  The concept was to free up male pilots to fight overseas.  Early this March, the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award bestowed by Congress was awarded to over 300 women for their service.

When the program started over 25,000 women applied for a spot in the military flight training school.  There were 1,800 accepted. After an intense six months of training they were sent to fly.  An example of an exercise was to fly 6,000 feet in the air with a target attached to the plane streaming behind it.  One by one other pilots would swoop in and take aim and shoot at the target being towed.  The were numerous stories of the active flying plane being hit by live ammo in these training exercises.  After training, women in the program were given the rank of Second Lieutenant.

Do you have a story about an amazing woman you know from your family or friends who has done something groundbreaking?  Who has gone somewhere no woman has gone before so doors would open for women in later years to follow and exceed their wildest dreams?


  1. Mitch,

    The minute I saw “pioneering women” I thought of my grandmother, who really was in many ways, a pioneer. My grandfather was a “horse trader” in Texas, so he was away a lot and she had to take care of the cattle and horses. That meant that she would ride a horse out, round up the herd and drive them back to the ranch. The story goes that she would take my father, who was about two years old at the time and put him up in the saddle in front of her and there she went. Did she pave the way for others? She was a true example of the spirit of the west and of “no limits.” She did what she loved and probably what needed to be done! My Dad loves to tell this story AND he is 93 and mom just turned 90. (Married 71 years) I think they are marriage “pioneers!

    • Anita, The picture you paint in your story is fantastic. I feel as if I am seeing it. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Mitch,

    My mom comes to mind when I think of “pioneering women”. While I don’t think her actions will go down in history, she has always taught me independence and encouraged me to follow my dreams. She also inspired by example by pursuing higher education later in life and showing me it’s never to late to do what you want to do.

    Write on!~


    • Lisa, She will always be in your history and that is what really matters. Love the story.

  3. Hey Mitch

    my great Aunt comes to mind when I think I pioneering women – she was one of the only women at her university and qualified as an english and french teacher before heading off overseas to study in London and became a “pinup” girl (very risque for those days ) for the boys in the war

    Very pioneering in deed LOL

    Thanks Mitch



  4. Mitch – LOVE this story and had not heard this before now so thanks for sharing. My mom is hugely inspirational to me – 5 kids and an entrepeneur – don’t know how she did it! And she is such an amazing and loving and wonderful person. I love her to bits and wish she lived closer!

  5. Thanks, Mitch, for celebrating women and for giving me this opportunity to reflect on the wonderful women in my life. My great grandmother stood up for women’s rights — especially the right to vote. Apparently, she was the ONLY public voice in her small town. It took women like her across the country with the courage to hold the space for change! ♥ Katherine

  6. I love the stories of pioneering women, years ago I found a book that was about the women who helped settle the American west, and it just fascinated me. My paternal grandmother was an early entrepreneur, and I’ve always thought I got that spirit in me from her. During the worst of the depression when my grandfather was out of work, she invested in enough meat to make big sandwiches for the WPA workers, put them on her back and walked around Memphis until she found a project with construction workers. She sold the sandwiches for a nickle each, made her money back with profit, and did it again the next day for many weeks, feeding her family. I have always admired her courage and tenacity, and her sharp thinking skills. I miss her.
    Sue Painter

  7. Pioneering women~ what an exciting topic!

    I think of people like Madonna, Josephine Baker, Suzanne Somers, Demi Moore, etc…
    Celebrity women who have broken ground in their industry and created a path for others.

    Wow, just thinking about them makes me smile with deep appreciation!

  8. Great topic! And I consider all of us entrepreneurial women to be pioneers as well.

  9. The first person that came to mind after reading the title of your post was my Grandma. She was the first woman to work for the federal prison in my province. She was so well respected that the prisoners often gave her gifts. Thank you for celebrating woman! We have a lot to give.

    • Christine, Thank you taking the time to post your story of your Grandma. I love these stories of pioneering women.

  10. My aunt Joyce immediately comes to mind…

    She rode Brahma bulls in the rodeo in Texas in her youth (getting thrown and breaking her back at age 16), raised 5 kids (including 3 that were severely dyslexic) and started one of the top schools for dyslexic children in the mid-Atlantic.

    She has also started numerous summer camps all around the country and is still going strong in her early 80s…

    Thanks for the informative post!


  11. Your article makes me think of my mom. We immigrated from Japan/Korea when I was 9 years old. My parents started their own business, but my mom practically ran the whole thing. She took care of three kids and ran a thriving business. I definitely got my entrepreneurial spirit from her. I believe that success can be achieved by anyone who believes in it, even if you can’t speak english!