March 17, 2023: Women’s History Month serves as a reminder to highlight the accomplishments of women, past and present. Since the very beginning, women have been involved in aerospace: NASA’s “human computers” in the early to mid 1900s consisted mostly of women. These talented, educated women did much of the complex mathematics their male counterparts didn’t want to do for themselves. It would be an understatement to say that the work of these computers, such as Dorothy Vaughn, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Johnson, was critical.
As careers in STEM became more accessible to women, they continued to prove their worth. In the 1960s, Margaret Hamilton was named the Director of the Software Engineering Division for NASA’s Apollo project. In 1983, the United States finally sent its first woman to space, Sally Ride, after having sent its first man 22 years prior. The gender gap still exists today, but the future is bright. The number of women in STEM continues to rise and efforts to achieve gender equality, though still ongoing, have undoubtedly provided women with more opportunities than any other time in history. In fact, Odyssey is a proud woman-owned small business.
While we take this moment to appreciate the successes of women, we must also recognize the amount of work that remains to be done. While gender disparity may be at an all-time low, the effects are still very real. Millions of women and girls around the world, in 2023, do not have safe access to education. During Women’s History Month, and every month, we must remember to support and encourage women so that they may continue their fight for equality.