Oregon Women Firsts

With an average 15% of women in leadership across all sectors, we know increasing women’s involvement will create lasting and necessary change.  We envision an Oregon where women have equal representation in leadership positions and lead confidently in their chosen fields. The Center aims to be an advocate, an authority, and a resource that provides women with the knowledge and networks needed to take on leadership roles throughout Oregon. Below are a few trailblazers that led the way.


  Carrie Hinton Ritchie   Owner | Good & Gold Marketing

Lola Baldwin

First Policewoman in Oregon (1908)

Born 1860, Died 1957


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No photo available

Mary "Dolly" Fisher

First Woman Tribal Chair of the Siletz Tribal Council


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 Sandra McDonaugh

First Woman Portland Business Alliance President (2004)


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Attorney General Rosenblum

First Woman Attorney General of Oregon (2012)


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House Speaker Tina Kotek

First Openly Gay Speaker of a State House in the U.S. (2012)


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Rep. Jessica Vega Peterson

First Latina in Oregon House (2012)


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Carolyn Shelton

First Woman Oregon Governor (1909)

(stand in for 3 days in 1909)


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Senator Kathryn Clarke

First Woman State Senator (1915)


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Judith Ramaley

First Oregon Woman University President (1990)


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Virpi Lea Wikman

First Woman to Have a Multnomah County Building Named For Her (1982)


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Maurine Neuberger

First Woman Elected to U.S. Senate from Oregon (1960)


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Avel Gordly

First African American Woman Elected to the Oregon State Senate (1996)


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Dorothy Anne Hobson

First Woman Editor of the Valsetz Star (1937)