Earlier this year I was invited to attend a private screening of Hidden Figures by IBM. I was impressed by more than the movie storyline. It was the important hidden message of hope for all human beings that in the future gender and racial inequality would become obsolete.
IBM is known worldwide for their understanding of societal responsibility. They have four broad areas of engagement including Education and workforce development; Citizen diplomacy and employee engagement; Community health and wellness; Environment and disasters. IBM also has a long-standing global commitment to fostering diversity, tolerance, and inclusion, which is core to the company’s culture and values.
The movie Hidden Figures recounts the true story of three female mathematicians — Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson — as the unsung heroes at the U.S. space agency, NASA, during the 1960s. Their groundbreaking calculations for spaceship trajectories, which helped put astronaut John Glenn in orbit, involved programming a complex, first-of-a-kind IBM mainframe computer. For more information on IBM’s involvement in the movie, go here: ibm.com/hiddenfigures.
The achievements of these three women, which were largely unseen at the time, have inspired IBM to shine a spotlight on the need for more women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to act as role models for the next generation.
I also had the opportunity to speak to several IBMers about the good work they do for their communities. One of the most impressive parts of our conversation was the sheer number of volunteer hours that the professionals working at IBM give to back to their communities.
As an educator, I am consistently looking for opportunities for my students to become global citizens and for all of my students to progress to their chosen career barrier free. Tomorrow, March 8th is International Women’s Day. IBM has invited my students, staff and I to partake in IBM’s STEM 4 Girls program, on this very special day of women’s recognition. We will be benefiting from the knowledge, understanding and practical application of STEM by seasoned IBMers who will be volunteering their time and expertise. The hope is to inspire female students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. I cannot think of a better way to spend International Women’s Day than with like-minded professionals who are proponents of change by promoting
You can follow along and contribute to the with the conversation by using the hashtag #IBMSTEM4GIRLS and by following the @IBMCanada Twitter handle.