20th Century Fox’s Hidden Figures tells the story of the Space Race from a new perspective, uncovering the contributions of Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan.
Inspired by the achievements of these three women, IBM aims to shine a spotlight on hidden figures from science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to serve as role models for the next generation. Because when creative minds work with the best technology, we can outthink anything.
Watson works with NASA
IBM and NASA’s collaboration dates back to the Space Race, and they’re still working together today.
Beyond the movies: mobile app brings hidden figures to life
Contributions from creative men and women of all backgrounds are crucial to realizing our collective goals—and one way to encourage a more diverse future is to showcase the sometimes hidden, but never forgotten, diverse role models from our past.
The augmented reality (AR) app from IBM and the New York Times’ T Brand Studio celebrates early unsung heroes of innovation in STEM fields.
Read about some of these hidden heroes of STEM below, or download the T Brand Studio AR app to activate text, photos and video content about them. Use the app to scan the marker at the right to reveal a hidden figure in augmented reality. You can also use the app to find hidden figures at 150 geofenced locations throughout the United States.
Katherine Johnson’s statue shows her connecting the earth and the moon through her breakthrough orbital and launch trajectory analyses.
Bessie Blount Griffin’s statue shows her using both hands to draw two of her many medical inventions: a feeding device and a disposable emesis basin. Her self-taught ability to write with both hands, both feet and her mouth was a skill she taught to many amputee veterans.
Irmgard Flügge-Lotz’s statue shows her emerging from a chart depicting the Lotz method. This method was used to calculate the values of lift increments and lift-curve slopes for wings with partial span flaps.
The stars reflect on the real lives of the hidden figures they portray
Hear from Margot Lee Shetterly, author of the book Hidden Figures, and the actors who play the film’s main characters, in a series of inteviews about the the achievements of these three “human computers” and other STEM pioneers who have followed the trail they blazed.
Taraji P. Henson
On how crunching numbers was seen as a “girl’s job” when Katherine Johnson took it on, opening the door for women to play a crucial role in the early space program.
At CES 2017, journalist Soledad O’Brien took the stage to dive deeper on the issues at hand, along with 20th Century Fox talent from the “Hidden Figures” film, STEM industry influencers and IBM Chief Diversity Officer Lindsay-Rae McIntyre.
Women have been working in tech jobs at IBM since the 1930s. They became vice presidents in the 1940s. IBM advocated for equal work for equal pay nearly 30 years before the Equal Pay Act of 1963. Fast-forward to 2017 and our CEO is a woman with a tech-focused plan to lead IBM forward.
At IBM, we work hard to actively create an inclusive culture that ensures the brightest minds from all backgrounds can contribute fully throughout our business.