Women of Achievement

Honoring contributions of historic Iowa women

Women of achievement have inspired, pioneered and championed extraordinary accomplishments through their lives and their work.

The Women of Achievement Award recognizes the contributions of historical (deceased) Iowa women who made outstanding and lasting contributions to the citizens of Iowa or have advanced the well-being of others throughout the world.

This award will be a visible reminder to all crossing the Iowa Women of Achievement Bridge of their contributions to their work, communities, and the status of women.

Nomination Criteria
Nominees will be historical (deceased) women who are one of the following:

  • Were born in Iowa
  • Achieved prominence within Iowa
  • Had been a resident of Iowa for an extended period after achieving prominence elsewhere

Nominees will be selected on merit, not endorsement, in the following areas:

  • Lasting contributions made by the nominee
  • Nominee served as a role model or change agent
  • Impacted the social, cultural, economic or political well-being of the community, state or nation
  • Inspired future generations

Selection Process 
All nominations will be reviewed by a committee of community judges and up to three (3) awards will be presented annually to be commemorated at the Iowa Women of Achievement Bridge with honorary plaques.

Nomination Form 
Nominations for the 2020 Women of Achievement Award are now closed. 

If you have any questions, contact Amy Eaton at (515) 724-3101 or amy.eaton@WLCglobal.org.

2020 Women of Achievement Honorees

Sue M. Wilson Brown Courtesy of State Historical Society of Iowa.jpg

Sue M. Wilson Brown
Author Sue M. Wilson Brown was a leader in the suffrage movement advocating for African-American women on the local, state and national level. Brown served as president of the Iowa Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs from 1915-1917. In 1919, Brown founded The Des Moines League of Colored Women Voters and was also its first president. She became the first female president of the Des Moines NAACP chapter in 1925. 

Zada Cooper.pngZada Mary Cooper
Born, raised and educated in Iowa, Zada Mary Cooper was a pharmacist, educator and champion for women in science. She graduated from the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy in 1897, then became the only female educator at the school and the first female tenured faculty member in a college of pharmacy in the U.S.. In 1921, Cooper supported the creation of a national sorority for women in pharmacy, Kappa Epsilon, and the next year formed a second national society, The Rho Chi Society. 

rsz_joy_cole_corning_2004.jpgJoy Cole Corning
Iowa public servant and politician, Joy Cole Corning served as the 44th Lieutenant Governor of Iowa from 1991-1999. She also served in the Iowa Senate, University of Northern Iowa Foundation Board, Cedar Falls school board, and multiple non-profit boards throughout her career. While serving as Lt. Governor, Corning led the Family Foster Care Program, increasing the number of foster homes and adoptions of children with special needs. She also formed the Iowa Committee on Diversity.   


For questions about the award and nominations, contact Amy Eaton at (515) 724-3101 or amy.eaton@WLCglobal.org