Reading a bit about female heroes coming to the fore in science fiction because of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Mad Max: Fury Road. I reckon female heroes have been around for years, but it does depend on your definition of what a hero is. Here are some that I think fit the label:
Ellen Ripley - The Alien movies
Sarah Connor - The Terminator Movies
Sarah Connor - The Sarah Connor Chronicles
Dana Scully - The X-files
Purdey - The Avengers
Major Samantha Carter - Stargate
Gwen Cooper - Torchwood
Myka Bering - Warehouse 13
Elanor Arroway - Contact
Aryan Sun - Farscape
Katniss Everdeen - The Hunger Games
Oliva Dunham - Fringe
Echo - The Dollhouse
Sarah Jane Smith - The Sarah Jane Adventures.
Starbuck - Battlestar Galactica
Ellie - Tomorrow When The War Began
Sarah Walker - Chuck
Dr. Ryan Stone - Gravity
Charlie Matheson - Revolution
Sarah Manning - Orphan Black
Elizabeth Shaw - Prometheus.
There's no doubt that female heroes are hugely underrepresented in science fiction, as they are in other genres, but to say that due to two recent movies there is a sudden trend of an increase in the number of female heroes in science fiction movies and television is clearly wrong.