We need to celebrate more black women like Dr Gladys West without whom we probably wouldn't have GPS
According to Blavity, at the end of last year, another Hidden Figures type of hero, Dr Gladys West, got inducted to the Air Force Space and Missile Pioneers Hall of Fame.
The mathematician was honoured for work in developing the GPS technology we all so can't do with today.
Imagine directing your Uber driver as you scan your mapbook (well sometimes you still really do have to it feels like). Yes, we used to have to navigate our way through new hoods, towns and countries without GPS and we did manage but we all know how simpler life is with the tech.
You: "Where are you?"
Me: "I'll drop a pin"
You: "That was easy" *arrives on time and without getting lost*
I remember moving to Joburg with my first job as a reporter and having to find my way to all the courts in the CBD and various homes of people I had to interview or locations of escaped crocodiles I had to track down in Pretoria. I'd have to plan and memorise my route carefully before I left and then stop off on the side of a road (safety issue much) to reroute if a taxi's horn had caught me off guard and made me turn sooner than I should have.
It made me a better driver for sure.
But who do I have to thank for making my life easier in terms of getting around in one piece?
This tiny-looking woman...
I really wish these were the heroes we were taught about in schools.
The STEM (science, tech, engineering, maths) fields are still largely male-dominated so it's important to celebrate those making history within them.
Do you know how many other woman heroes have changed the world? Just three others below but the list is longer than you think...
1. Katharine Johnson who was an African American woman scientist at NASA - watch the movie Hidden Figures for more about her.
2. Rebecca Cole, a medical doctor who opened the Women’s Directory Center with Charlotte Abbey, providing medical and legal services to destitute women. She also "finished medical school in 1867, the second black woman to do so".
3. According to Wikipedia, Mae Jemison an American engineer, NASA astronaut and physician, "became the first African American woman to travel in space when she went into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour on September 12, 1992."W24's newletters so you don't miss out on any of our hot stories and giveaways.