I just recently came across a physicist and a woman who in the 18th century became the first woman professor of physics at the University of Bologna, Italy. An amazing achievement at that time though she did have some advantages over other women. She was the daughter of a wealthy father who encouraged her and ensured she received the proper education. When the locals became a bit testy about a woman teaching in public, the situation resolved itself by her marrying a fellow academic with whom she had 12 children! A married woman had more leeway in the public arena at that time with a supportive spouse.
The blog; Saints Sisters and Sluts, gives a more detailed biographic on her as opposed to theWiki site or Tumblr website: Sciencechicks.com (interesting that the Tumblr site has the same ‘wording’ as the Wiki site). Susan Ozmore has done her homework and it’s a more detailed biographic with references.