Today’s women account for 60% of car purchasing decisions, and manufacturers have understood this because some models of cars with curves and colors 100% feminine are created to please this target now totally decision-making.

This was not always the case, and for a long time, the woman was considered a mere passenger.

It was in the 1960s that the stereotype fell and women moved from being passengers to drivers. They thus appropriated an object of man, but they saw it above all as a place where they could be free, not as an object of power. The relationship of the woman to the car was not at all the same as that of the man.

But even if the majority of women were not or did not feel concerned by the automobile, some were able to be real precursors in the field. Here are some examples of some of them that have marked the history of the automotive sector since the end of the 19th century :


Bertha Benz is the German Car Pioneer

The entrepreneur subsidizes, in large part, the invention of the first patented automobile, a project led by her husband, Carl Benz. In 1888, she was the first person to drive a car over a long distance, proving the effectiveness of this new mode of Transportation.

Louise Sarazin Participates in the Beginnings of the Automobile in France

A friend of Bertha Benz, the French woman, took over the company Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft in France after the death of her husband, Édouard Sarazin. It successfully encouraged the diffusion of the new vehicle, in the Revolutionary era: the German invention began its conquest of the world from France.


Sophie Opel is the First Woman to Head a Car Manufacturing Company

The wife of the founder of the Company Adam Opel takes the reins of the Opel factory, after the death of the latter. She ran the firm for 18 years until her death in 1913.


Anne d’Uzès is the first person to hold a driver’s license

The French women’s rights activist is the first person to pass the driver’s license exam, which had just been introduced at the time. In the 1920s, she founded the first automobile club for women in France. It is also the first to break a speed limit. Instead of complying with the 12 km/h established by law, it increases its driving speed up to 13 km / h.


Camille du Gast is the first racing driver

She is the first French woman to master the wheel professionally, on international tracks. In 1900, she discovered a fascination for car racing, having attended the Paris-Lyon road race. The following year, she took part in the Paris-Berlin race at the wheel of her car and arrived in 15th place. Three years later, she won third place in the Paris-Madrid race.


Mary Anderson develops the world’s first windshield wiper

The American entrepreneur built the first easy-to-use windscreen wiper system, which was patented the same year.


The first taxi drivers work in England

Coming from a wide variety of professional fields, some women have changed their orientation to become taxi drivers. They thus change the image of professional motorists in everyday life of road traffic.


Dorothy Levitt became the first woman to set a world speed record

It reached a speed of 146.25 km/h on board a 6-cylinder Napier. The Englishman was given the nickname “the fastest girl on earth”.


Dorothy Levitt invents the concept of mirrors

The British driver, who calls herself “Motorina”, publishes a driving manual, which recommends, among other things, the use of a mirror. The idea is automatically ignored, considered superfluous. It was not until ten years later that manufacturers recognized the usefulness of this innovation.