The Women in Marine Science Network (WiMS) has inspired the release of two special editions of the WIOMSA Magazine featuring the stories of women working in the marine and coastal field in the Western Indian Ocean region and beyond. Breaking the class ceiling: stories from women who are making a difference in coastal and marine resource management. Part I of this series contains 14 articles. The editor of the issue Claire Attwood best explains the connection between the women featured in magazine when she describes it as a golden thread running through the wonderful collection of stories. It’s a thread that connects social scientists, to natural scientists, managers to policy makers, senior researchers to upcoming ones, science to the community and the WIO region to the globe.