I can offer a quick rundown of ten important and influential women who have made impacts since the Civil War in various fields. There are many more.
Jane Addams used her wealth to start a settlement house, Hull House, in a poor section of Chicago. The house was dedicated to serving the poor, especially women and children. She wrote a book about it and influenced others to reach out in similar ways. She also publicized the plight of the poor, becoming a suffragist and part of the Progressive movement working for political change.
Dorothy Day some years later engaged in similar activity. A former communist who became a devoted Catholic, she began the influential Catholic Worker movement in the 1930s, uniting religion, charity, and progressive politics.
Victoria Woodhull became the first woman to address a Congressional committee and the first female candidate for US President
Frances Perkins became the first woman ever to hold a Cabinet post when Franklin Delano Roosevelt appointed her as secretary of labor in 1933. She served longer in that post than anybody: twelve years.
Gertrude Stein was an avant-garde writer and modern art collector who helped put modern artists like Picasso and Matisse on the map.
Martha Graham was likewise an innovator. She was an enormous influence on modern dance in this country.
Rosa Parks made history when she refused to go to the back of a segregated bus, sparking the Montgomery bus boycott, which also helped lend Martin Luther King a national profile.
Phyllis Schlafly almost singlehandedly spearheaded the successful movement to stop the Equal Rights Amendment.
Sandra Day O'Connor became the first female Supreme Court justice.
Hillary Clinton became the first woman major party candidate for President of the United States.