5 months ago by Hayley Opone
When it comes to inspirational women in my life, I don’t have to look much further than my own wonderful mother – a strong, confident woman with a successful career in IT, and who instilled from an early age that that no dream was ever out of my reach. Working within the Space and Satellite industry and discussing inspirational female leaders with the team, I was encouraged also to learn more about the women, particularly women of colour, who have made a huge impact in this field. Typically, when we scroll through famous scientists and engineers, it is pretty evident how heavily dominated the industry is with men and the lack of diversity in male-dominated (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields. However, it’s important to note and learn about the women, who have also made such a huge impact within the industry and who, were later able to tell their story.
One particular group of women I was interested to discover were Mary Jackson, Dorothy Vaughan and Katherine Johnson – a group of African-American women who in 1962, behind the scenes contributed to John Glenn becoming the first American to orbit Earth and make NASA’s Friendship 7 mission a success. It's interesting to note that historically, photos depicting this significant event, showed just a group of white men only. As Mathematicians and Engineers, these women made immeasurable contributions to the space programme. Their subsequent careers were certainly something to be commended and celebrated, as well as becoming advocates for women and minorities in the field.
I think it's important to celebrate those women who haven’t always been at the forefront of news articles, those whose achievements have been hidden. Let’s continue to encourage those whose talent and potential can often be supressed due to lack of opportunity, access, or exposure. Working for a female only business, I’m immensely proud that we are able to have that voice and encourage our clients to promote diversity and inclusion in their day-to-day businesses.