International Women's Day: Google Doodle video celebrates female firsts in history

From the first female astronaut to the first hijab-wearing ballerina

Today's Google Doodle honours a series of female firsts in history to mark International Women's Day. Google

What you see on Google this morning is only a small portion of how the search engine is marking International Women's Day in 2021.

The Doodle, an illustrated video that can be seen on the search engine's landing page across the world, takes you on a journey through a series of firsts in women's history, "highlighting female pioneers who have challenged the status quo and paved the way in education, civil rights, science, art and so much more", it states in the description.

It does so by depicting the women's hands, "hands that have opened the doors for generations of women", from suffragists to academics and gold medallists.

"These firsts stand on the shoulders of countless others – women who laid the foundation, in the past, for today’s doors to be finally opened and glass ceilings broken," Google said.

The illustrations were made by Helene Leroux, a self-described "Google doodler" and film director from San Francisco, US. She says the theme of "women's firsts" particularly resonated with her, in an interview for the website.

"My great grandmother, who I remember drawing with when I was a child, was an incredible artist, but she was never really allowed to pursue art professionally," she explains.

"I eventually became the first woman in my family to pursue art studies and create a profession from drawing. I wish she could have had the same opportunity back then.

"l actually snuck in a shot from my profession as an animator in the video. When I started, it was a field dominated by men, and I’m proud to see so many women animators and directors now."

The tech company has also created another film of trailblazing women in history, paying homage to everyone from the first female astronaut to the woman behind the creation of a Covid-19 vaccine, and even the first hijab-wearing ballerina.

This can be found on a lengthy post that dives into more fascinating detail on women's firsts in history.

In the past year, users around the world searched for the "first woman" more than ever before, it explains.

It also adds what Google, as a company, is doing to achieve equality in the workplace. "We are striving for a future where there is equity across the globe, equal opportunities for success in every field, and where women are safe online and in the physical world," it says.

"Additionally, we remain committed to creating equity in the workforce, and with this in mind, Google has committed to a goal to improve leadership representation of underrepresented groups by 30 per cent by 2025."

So what's the message they hope you take away from today's Google Doodle?

"I hope the Doodle will inspire women to pursue what they want in life, keep fighting for their rights, and pass on the message to future generations," says Leroux.

"There are more and more fields and opportunities for everyone out there; women should feel empowered to pursue what they have a passion for."

Take a look through the gallery below to see Google Doodles that paid homage to the Mena region: