The “Hidden Figures” inspired campaign celebrates our diversity
Everyone deserves a chance at the American dream – anyone can do it if he or she works hard enough, right? That was not always so.
For example, at the height of the space race, Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson were the brains behind one of NASA’s largest operations. The work of these brilliant African-American women was not mentioned in the history books, but now they get the recognition they deserve on the silver screen. In the recently released blockbuster “Hidden Figures,” Johnson, Vaughan, and Jackson have split off two of society’s most powerful “isms” – racism and sexism – and paved the way for minority and women in the workplace. The film was nominated for three Oscars, including the best picture.
As a company, we want to acknowledge the same intrepid spirit of the people shown in the film. Since the times have changed drastically since the beginning of the 60s, our work is not yet completed. We believe that diversity contributes to innovative ideas and pioneering solutions. This leads to better results – not only for our customers, but for the world around us.
Diversity is something to celebrate, and that’s why we’re proud of our full calendar of events over the next few months.
We recently launched a series of Hidden Figures screenings in theaters that are peppered throughout the country. We encourage our employees not only to participate, but also to discuss diversity and inclusion on Yammer and its social media channels. February also heralds the Black Heritage Month, which we will be honoring with a series of exciting events. In addition to a conversation with Lloyd Howell Jr., the company’s first African-American chief financial officer, professional development workshops are on the program. We will also be celebrating the appointment of this year’s “Black Engineer of the Year” during a special recognition reception this month.
March is as exciting as the beginning of Women’s History Month. We continue our theme “Hidden Figures” and start a month-long series of profiles with our own brilliant women – from computer programmers and project managers to engineers and web designers. These profiles will examine why these employees have opted for STEM professions and how their current work runs parallel to that of women in the film. And we are not afraid to ask the difficult questions. Our discussions will include ways to ensure equality between women and minorities in the workplace and women’s challenges in boardrooms across America.
As actress Janelle Monae says in one of Hidden Figures scenes: “Every chance we have to move forward gets them to the finish.”