History & Heritage

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Zonta was founded in 1919 by Marian de Forest, a respected journalist, successful playwright and major force in the progressive women's movement.

During a time when women were rarely in leadership positions, Ms. de Forest conceived the idea of an organization that would bring together women in executive positions. Understanding how important it was to break through the “glass ceiling” long before the phrase was ever used, she envisioned a strong network that would help women reach their rightful place in the professions.  

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Zonta's Historical Timeline

After being founded by Marian de Forest in 1919 in New York, the first international club was founded in Toronto in 1927.  Zonta entered Europe in 1930 in Hamburg.  Today Zonta has over 29,000 members and 1,200 clubs in 63 countries. 

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Amelia Earhart, a Zontian, Had a Vision for Women

Zonta International established the Amelia Earhart Fellowship in 1938 in honour of legendary pilot and Zontian, Amelia Earhart.   


Ms. Earhart had a vision of economic independence for all women.  Check out the link below to watch the video and learn more. 

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