The former project leader of one of the teams that discovered the Higgs boson has been promoted to director-general of CERN, the first woman to hold that position.
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Marguerite de la Rocque
Stranded by her cruel relative on an abandoned Canadian island (literally named the Isle of Demons), she survived for two years by hunting animals and eventually made it back to France.
A phenomenally successful archaeologist who became a fashion icon for wearing men's clothing.
Although her tribe was destroyed and she was forced into an unwanted marriage, this indomitable woman came to run the world's largest empire - with a woman as her companion.
When her father decided to marry her, this leather-clad princess embarked on one of the most bonkers Cinderella tales ever told.
Mythological Irish princess who was turned into a worm, butterfly, and a pool of water; who induced the strangest pregnancy since Jesus; and who may hold the key to understanding Ireland's history.
The only female emperor of China in history, her ruthless rise to power makes Game of Thrones look like a day at the beach.
This undefinable adventurer's life burnt bright but short: a wildcard of the Algerian revolution, she survived an assassination attempt by sabre, and died in a freak desert flood.
When a soldier raped her, this woman tossed him in a well and threw rocks at him until he died.
Revolutionized the field of mathematics, yet was persecuted for being Jewish and paid a pittance for her visionary teaching work.
Madam C.J. Walker
America's ostensible first female self-made millionaire was a black beauty magnate who did it all for her daughter.