Tag: black female engineer

Jackson Elementary School in Utah, Named for Andrew Jackson, Votes to Rename Itself After Mary Jackson, NASA’s 1st Black Female Engineer

Mary Jackson, NASA’s first black female engineer
Mary Jackson, NASA’s first black female engineer(Photo: NASA Langley Research Center)

by Marina Koren via theatlantic.com

An elementary school in Utah has traded one Jackson for another in a change that many say was a long time coming.

Jackson Elementary School in Salt Lake City will no longer be named for Andrew Jackson, the seventh U.S. president, whose slave ownership and treatment of Native Americans are often cited in the debate over memorializing historical figures associated with racism.

Instead, the school will honor Mary Jackson, the first black female engineer at nasa whose story, and the stories of others like her at the space agency, was chronicled in Hidden Figures, a 2016 film based on a book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly.

A unanimous vote by the the Salt Lake City school board this week was met with a standing ovation from the crowd in the room, reports The Salt Lake Tribune’s Erin Alberty. School employees and parents have discussed changing the elementary’s school name “for years,” Alberty reported, and last year started polling and meeting with parents, alumni, and others. More than 70 percent supported the change. Of the school’s 440 students, 85 percent are students of color, according to the Salt Lake City School District.

Mary Jackson, a native of Hampton, Virginia, worked as a math teacher, a receptionist, and an Army secretary before she arrived at NASA’s Langley Research Center in 1951 as a member of the West Area Computing unit, a segregated division where African American women spent hours doing calculations with pencil and paper, including for the trajectories of the country’s earliest space missions.

Two years in, a NASA engineer picked Jackson to help him work on a wind tunnel that tested flight hardware by blasting it with winds nearly twice the speed of sound. The engineer suggested Jackson train to become an engineer. To do that, Jackson had to take night courses in math and physics from the University of Virginia, which were held at the segregated Hampton High School. Jackson successfully petitioned the city to let her take the classes. She got her promotion to engineer in 1958. After 34 years at the space agency, Jackson retired in 1985. She died in 2005, at the age of 83.

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Engineer Stephanie Lampkin Launches App to Curb Discrimination in Hiring

(Forbes)
Blendor creator Stephanie Lampkin (photo via thegrio.com)

article via thegrio.com; forbes.com

Stephanie Lampkin, a black female engineer, has seen her share of workplace discrimination. Despite the fact that she was a full-stack web developer by the age of 15 and then went on to get her education at Stanford and then MIT, she often had a hard time getting her foot in the door to get into the tech industry, which has long been dominated by white men.

But Lampkin has developed an app that would help to curb discrimination in hiring by eliminating even unconscious bias from the hiring process.

The app, called Blendoor, uploads resumes without a name or a picture so that candidates are judged solely on their merits and their technical abilities.

“My company resonates more with white men when I position it as, ‘hey, I want to help you find the best talent. Your unconscious mind isn’t racist, sexist — it’s totally natural, and we’re trying to help you circumvent it,’” she told Forbes.

Already, Lampkin has 19 large tech firms signed up to use the app, which will also collect job data to see how those who are seeking jobs are matching up with positions they would be qualified for.

To read more, go to: http://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2016/03/03/black-woman-engineer-launches-blind-job-match-app-to-take-bias-out-of-tech-hiring/#e3c5a05601c4

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