I am straying from the architects/designers to highlight another strong woman in history, Mary Cassatt. I don't know much about this talented painter except that she created her own style while socializing with the great Impressionist and male counterparts, Picasso, Matisse, Van Gogh and Pissaro. I like to envision Cassatt talking "shop" with the male artists at their local Parisian cafes. At least, that's the image I retained from reading Irving Stone's bio-novels about Vincent Van Gogh and Camille Pissaro. (Why didn't he write a book about her life?)
I think any woman who made strides in self expression and career advancement deserves serious recognition. She was extremely talented and perservered in the male art world. Now who couldn't find inspiration in that?