Annie Easley – a story of perseverance and dynamism
The importance of acknowledging a woman’s capacity to create fundamental developments in the technology world is more important now than it has ever been. With an increasingly technology-driven society, our daughters and sons need to know what role women have played and continue to play in this process. That is why it is vital to include stories of women in our dialogues as we continue to progress and advance society together.
One woman whose efforts to advance and develop the computer science and technology field, Annie Easley, is a story of perseverance and dynamism. Easley, a computer and rocket scientist, and mathematician who worked for NASA under extraordinary circumstances, had to push through stereotypes and misconceptions as a woman of color during the civil rights and Jim Crow era of the 1950s-1960s.
Along with 4 other African Americans, two others being women as well, she became part of a group of highly qualified NASA Scientists. Her work as part of the Centaur project included 34 years of developing computer code that analyzed alternative power and helped launched the technological foundations of the current space shuttle program. Because of her talents in exploring mathematical analytics and codes, she was described often as a “human computer” in an era when computer technology was still limited to government organizations.
There is no doubt, that the strides Annie Easley and other women of NASA have made and continue to make will definitely change the discourse concerning not only a woman’s potential but the potential of all of humanity and society. Knowing history and contemporary trends for women in the workplace can help us as society to push barriers and continue towards a better future.