From Around the Web: Hidden Figures Inspires New State Department Program

Photo via 20th Century Fox, Hidden Figures  

Since the release of the 2016 film, Hidden Figures, awareness of women in STEM has been on the rise. Based on a true story, it details the lives of three African-American females who were part of NASA’s human “computers” team in the late-1900s. Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson were the brains behind the mission of sending astronaut John Glenn into space. Not only does this story showcase women in STEM-related careers but also sheds light on the diversity and inclusion still needed in these fields. According to a 2015 National Science Foundation study, a little more than 30% of the STEM workforce was female and only about 28% of those identify as nonwhite, which includes Asian, Black and Hispanic.

The United States government has taken note after almost 80 embassies around the world requested screenings of the movie. Deemed the #HiddenNoMore campaign, the State Department will launch a program inviting 50 women working in science, technology, engineering and math from around the world. The program is part of its International Visitor Leadership Program, a professional exchange program under the State Department. These participants will be brought to the United States for three weeks to travel and meet organizations that prominently promote women in STEM.

Partnering with 21st Century Fox, which produced the film Hidden Figures, the program will end in Los Angeles where the women will attend a two-day educational event. As stated in a Huffington Post article: “This movie has taken on a life of its own and sparked things we’ve never seen before,” Liba Rubenstein, head of social impact for 20th Century Fox, told The Hollywood Reporter.


Read more at HuffPost here.

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