Women Intellectuals & Academics

Throughout history, there have been many women intellectuals & academics who have made significant contribution to the field. The list includes many familiar and great female intellectuals & academics such as Jane Goodall, Ann Dunham, Hildegard of Bingen, Simone de Beauvoir, Mary Wollstonecraft.The women intellectuals & academics featured in this list are from United States, United Kingdom, Canada & India and many more countries.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite Women Intellectuals & Academics

 1 Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand.
7
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: February 2, 1905
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: March 6, 1982

Ayn Rand was a Russian-American philosopher and writer. Apart from publishing two best-selling novels, Ayn Rand is credited with developing a philosophical system called Objectivism. Over the years, Ayn Rand has been a major influence among American conservatives and libertarians. Some of the famous personalities influenced by her include Amber Heard, Vince Vaughn, Jimmy Wales, Ayelet Shaked, and Mary Ruwart.

 2 Christine Blasey Ford

Christine Blasey Ford.
5
Famous As: Professor
Birthdate: November 28, 1966
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: United States

 3 Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall.
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Famous As: Primatologist
Birthdate: April 3, 1934
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London, England

Jane Goodall is an English anthropologist and primatologist. Goodall's research proved that chimpanzees could use tools like stalks of grass to fish out termites from termite holes; this also challenged the long-held belief that chimpanzees were vegetarians. Goodall also discovered that chimpanzees are capable of emotions like sorrow and joy. Goodall is also credited with founding the Jane Goodall Institute.

 4 Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale.
2
Famous As: Founder of Modern Nursing
Birthdate: May 12, 1820
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Florence
Died: August 13, 1910
The Lady with the Lamp Florence Nightingale is remembered for her relentless efforts in nursing soldiers during the Crimean War. She founded London’s St Thomas' Hospital to train nurses. She also pioneered the use of the polar area diagram and was the first female member of the Royal Statistical Society.

 5 Ann Dunham

Ann Dunham.
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Famous As: Barack Obama's Mother
Birthdate: November 29, 1942
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Wichita, Kansas
Died: November 7, 1995
Ann Dunham was the mother of former U.S. President Barack Obama. She was an economic anthropologist and worked for the betterment of rural Indonesian women. She had met Barack Obama Sr. while studying at the University of Hawaii. She had worked with USAID, the Ford Foundation, and Bank Rakyat Indonesia.

 6 Janet Yellen

Janet Yellen
5
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: August 13, 1946
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

Economist Janet Yellen has had an illustrious career as an academic and researcher, and has taught at Harvard University and other reputed institutes. After chairing the Federal Reserve for 4 years, she is now the United States Secretary of the Treasury. She is married to Nobel-winning economist George Akerlof.

 7 Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir.
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: January 9, 1908
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Paris
Died: April 14, 1986
French author and existentialist philosopher Simone de Beauvoir is best remembered for her feminist treatise The Second Sex and her novels The Mandarins and She Came to Stay. Her literary contributions also include essays, biographies, and her autobiographical works. She won the Prix Goncourt and the Jerusalem Prize.
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 8 Dian Fossey

Dian Fossey.
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Famous As: Zoologist, Conservationist
Birthdate: January 16, 1932
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
Died: December 26, 1985
Zoologist, primatologist, and conservationist Dian Fossey conducted research on mountain gorillas in Rwanda from 1966 until she was murdered in 1985. She was part of the Trimates assigned to study apes by paleoanthropologist Louis Leakey. She wrote Gorillas in the Mist, which was later turned into a film.

 9 Hannah Arendt

Hannah Arendt.
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: October 14, 1906
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hanover, Germany
Died: December 4, 1975

Hannah Arendt was a political theorist. Widely regarded as one of the 20th century's most prominent political thinkers, Hannah Arendt's articles and books have had a significant influence on philosophy and political theory. Her life and work inspired the 2012 biographical drama film, Hannah Arendt. Her work has also inspired several biographies written by popular authors.

 10 Mary Wollstonecraft

Mary Wollstonecraft.
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: April 27, 1759
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: September 10, 1797

Mary Wollstonecraft was an English writer, advocate of women's rights, and philosopher. Wollstonecraft, who attracted a lot of attention for her unconventional personal relationships, is widely considered a founding feminist philosopher. Although her unorthodoxy initially attracted criticisms, her advocacy of women's equality became increasingly important during the 20th century. Modern-day feminists cite her works and her life as important influences.

 11 Rosa Luxemburg

Rosa Luxemburg.
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Famous As: Marxist Theorist
Birthdate: March 5, 1871
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Zamos'c'
Died: January 15, 1919
Polish Marxist and socialist revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg was a member of parties such as the SPD, the USPD, and the KPD. Luxemburg was an anti-war activist and taught economics and Marxism at SPD's Berlin training center. She was assassinated by the Freikorps troops during the German Revolution

 12 Samantha Power

Samantha Power.
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: September 21, 1970
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England

Pulitzer Prize-winning author and academic Samantha Power has previously served as the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. She was a war correspondent before she became a professor of public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. She worked on Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and infamously called Hillary Clinton "a monster.”

 13 Hypatia

Hypatia.
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Famous As: Mathematician, Philosopher, Astronomer, Writer
Birthdate: 0360 AD
Birthplace: Alexandria, Egypt
Died: 0415 AD
Hypatia was a Hellenistic Neoplatonist philosopher, mathematician, and astronomer who lived during the 4th and 5th centuries. She also taught and served as a counselor. She is remembered for her commentary on Diophantus's Arithmetica. She was later murdered and became a symbol of feminism and of opposition to Catholic ideals.

 14 Lucy Worsley

Lucy Worsley
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Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: December 18, 1973
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Reading, Berkshire, England, UK

 15 Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston.
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Famous As: Folklorist, Anthropologist
Birthdate: January 7, 1891
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Notasulga
Died: January 28, 1960

Zora Neale Hurston was an author, anthropologist, and filmmaker. As an African American woman, she often depicted racial issues in the films she made. Her works also reflected her struggles as a black woman. In her early career, she conducted anthropological and ethnographic research and focused more on writing and film-making in her later years.

 16 Judith Butler

Judith Butler.
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: February 24, 1956
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

 17 Camille Paglia

Camille Paglia.
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Famous As: Cultural critic
Birthdate: April 2, 1947
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Endicott

 18 Charlotte Casiraghi

Charlotte Casiraghi.
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Famous As: Editor-at-large, Equestrian Sports Ambassador
Birthdate: August 3, 1986
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Princess Grace Hospital Centre, La Colle, Monte Carlo, Monaco
Charlotte Casiraghi, daughter of Caroline, Princess of Hanover, and Italian industrialist Stefano Casiraghi, has worked as a journalist with magazines such as Above and has also launched her own publication, Ever Manifesto. She is also a skilled equestrian and has founded the philosophy-oriented group Les Rencontres Philosophiques de Monaco.

 19 Margaret Mead

Margaret Mead.
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Famous As: Cultural Anthropologist
Birthdate: December 16, 1901
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
Died: November 15, 1978

 20 Helena Blavatsky

Helena Blavatsky.
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: August 12, 1831
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Yekaterinoslav, Russian Empire (now Ukraine)
Died: May 8, 1891

Russian philosopher Helena Blavatsky, or Madame Blavatsky, was one of the co-founders of the Theosophical Society. She popularized the slogan “There is no religion higher than truth.” She was inspired by the Arya Samaj and later converted to Buddhism. She also wrote books such as The Secret Doctrine.

 21 Alice Roberts

Alice Roberts.
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Famous As: Anthropologist
Birthdate: May 19, 1973
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bristol
Biological anthropologist Alice Roberts has taught at the University of Birmingham and led the charity Humanists UK. She gained fame as the presenter of shows such as Dr. Alice Roberts: Don't Die Young and The Incredible Human Journey. She has also authored books such as The Complete Human Body.

 22 Queen Máxima of the Netherlands

Queen Máxima of the Netherlands
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Famous As: Queen
Birthdate: May 17, 1971
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Buenos Aires, Argentina

 23 Kim Campbell

Kim Campbell
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Famous As: 19th Prime Minister of Canada
Birthdate: March 10, 1947
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Port Alberni

Canadian politician and Progressive Conservative leader Kim Campbell made headlines when she became the first woman to serve as the prime minister of Canada and remains the only woman to have achieved the feat. After quitting her doctoral studies, she studied law and joined the British Columbia Bar.

 24 N. K. Jemisin

N. K. Jemisin
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: September 19, 1972
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Iowa City, Iowa, U.S.

N. K. Jemisin became the first writer to win the Hugo Best Novel award thrice consecutively and is best known for her Inheritance trilogy and her Broken Earth series. The African-American author is also a trained psychologist and has worked as a counsellor in several universities.

 25 Sarah Vowell

Sarah Vowell
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Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: December 27, 1969
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Muskogee, Oklahoma, USA

 26 Katharine Gun

Katharine Gun
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Famous As: Linguist
Birthdate: 1974 AD
Birthplace: Taiwan, Taiwan

 27 Pamela Stephenson

Pamela Stephenson
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Famous As: Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Author, Television presenter, Stage actor, Film actor
Birthdate: December 4, 1949
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Takapuna

 28 Doris Kearns Goodwin

Doris Kearns Goodwin
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Famous As: Journalist, Historian
Birthdate: January 4, 1943
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Brooklyn

 29 Robin DiAngelo

Robin DiAngelo
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Famous As: Academic
Birthdate: September 8, 1956
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: San Jose, California,

 30 Juana Inés de la Cruz

Juana Inés de la Cruz
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Famous As: Poet, Nun, Writer, Mathematician, Philosopher, Feminist, Composer
Birthdate: November 12, 1651
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tepetlixpa
Died: April 17, 1695

 31 Bettany Hughes

Bettany Hughes
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Famous As: historian
Birthdate: 1968 AD
Birthplace: London

 32 Hildegard of Bingen

Hildegard of Bingen.
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: September 16, 1098
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bermersheim vor der Höhe, Germany
Died: September 17, 1179

Hildegard of Bingen was a German writer, composer, Christian mystic, visionary, philosopher, polymath, and Benedictine abbess of the High Middle Ages. Apart from being the most-recorded composers of sacred monophony in modern history, Hildegard of Bingen is also widely regarded as the founder of scientific natural history.

 33 Anita Bose Pfaff

Anita Bose Pfaff.
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Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: November 29, 1942
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Anita Bose Pfaff is an economist and the only daughter of Indian freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and his Austrian wife/companion Emilie Schenkl. Anita was just 4 months old when Netaji left them to fight against the British with Japan’s help. Anita was singlehandedly raised by Emilie.

 34 Saint Teresa of Avila

Saint Teresa of Avila.
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Famous As: Saint
Birthdate: March 28, 1515
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Gotarrendura
Died: October 4, 1582

Teresa of Ávila, also known as Saint Teresa of Jesus, was a Spanish noblewoman who later turned into a Carmelite nun. She was posthumously named a Doctor of the Church. She co-established the Discalced Carmelite Order. Her written works include The Interior Castle and her own autobiography.

 35 Laura Schlessinger

Laura Schlessinger
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Famous As: Radio personality, Writer, Social worker, Psychologist, Children's writer, Journalist
Birthdate: January 16, 1947
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Brooklyn

 36 Cherie Blair

Cherie Blair
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Famous As: Barrister
Birthdate: September 23, 1954
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bury, England

 37 Christina Hoff Sommers

Christina Hoff Sommers.
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Famous As: Author, Philosopher
Birthdate: September 28, 1950
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Petaluma, California, U.S.

 38 Mary Beard

Mary Beard
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Famous As: Professor
Birthdate: January 1, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Much Wenlock, United Kingdom

 39 Esther Duflo

Esther Duflo.
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Famous As: American-French Economist
Birthdate: October 25, 1972
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France

Esther Duflo is a French–American economist. She is credited with co-founding the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, a global research center that works towards reducing poverty worldwide. In 2019, she shared the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with Michael Kremer and Abhijit Banerjee for their efforts to reduce poverty.

 40 Suzannah Lipscomb

Suzannah Lipscomb
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Famous As: historian
Birthdate: December 7, 1978
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Barnes, London, United Kingdom

 41 Virginia Dare

Virginia Dare
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Famous As: Colonist
Birthdate: August 18, 1587
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Roanoke Island, North Carolina, United States

 42 Simone Weil

Simone Weil.
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Famous As: Philosopher, mystic and social activist
Birthdate: February 3, 1909
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris
Died: August 24, 1943
Paris-born philosopher and activist Simone Weil could speak in Sanskrit and Greek as a student. Called The Martian by her classmates, due to her peculiar nature, she died of cardiac failure at 34, refusing to eat more than the people of German-occupied France, in spite of being diagnosed with tuberculosis. 

 43 Tu Youyou

Tu Youyou
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Famous As: chemist, pharmacologist, inventor, university teacher
Birthdate: December 30, 1930
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ningbo

Chinese phytochemist and malariologist Tu Youyou is best remembered for her Nobel Prize-winning discovery of the anti-malarial drug qinghaosu, or artemisinin. She is the first Chinese female Nobel laureate. A tuberculosis infection in her younger days had inspired her to step into medicine. She later studied traditional Chinese medicine, too.

 44 Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
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Famous As: Diplomat, Economist
Birthdate: June 13, 1954
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ogwashi-Uku

 45 Iris Murdoch

Iris Murdoch
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: July 15, 1919
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: February 8, 1999

 46 Martha Nussbaum

Martha Nussbaum
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Famous As: Philosopher, Writer, University teacher
Birthdate: May 6, 1947
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City

 47 France Nuyen

France Nuyen
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 31, 1939
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Marseille, France

 48 Carol S. Dweck

Carol S. Dweck.
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Famous As: Physiologists
Birthdate: October 17, 1946
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States

Renowned psychologist Carol S. Dweck has taught at both Columbia and Harvard and is now a professor at Stanford. She is best known for her research on fixed mindset and growth mindset and has also penned popular books such as Self-theories: Their Role in Motivation, Personality and Development.

 49 Judy Smith

Judy Smith
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Famous As: Crisis manager
Birthdate: October 27, 1958
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States

 50 Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: July 3, 1860
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hartford, Connecticut
Died: August 17, 1935