All posts tagged: Mae Jemison

Margit’s Note: Well-Heeled

Earlier this year, at the South by Southwest festival, I witnessed a friendly debate between two rock star science and tech leaders…  over high heels. “What shoes would Steve Jobs wear? … We need to give women permission not to give a shit,” said Lindsey Shepard, VP of Sales and Marketing for of GoldieBlox. Mae Jemison, the first African American astronaut countered, “Hey I love my heels… Why do we put things in the context of men? When do we get to determine the standard of behavior?” Okay, so the panel had nothing to so with shoes; it was about “Diversity in STEM” and 90% of the discussion focused on how to coax more women to become engineers or scientists. Still, this moment struck me. Even the most brilliant minds care about footwear — because it makes us feel and look good (yes, rare that the two align) as we code, as we give a talk, as we walk a mile. And at this point in our lives, we’ve had a handful of decades worth of footwear …

Women Who Inspire: Dr. Mae Jemison

(Photo Courtesy of NASA.gov) NAME: Mae Jemison AGE: 57 OCCUPATION: Physician, former NASA Astronaut, and the Principal for the 100 Year Starship Foundation WHO SHE IS: Well, for starters, Mae Jemison was the first African-American woman to travel into space. So she’s a literally and figuratively a barrier breaker. Born in Decatur, Alabama, the seriously studious Jemison moved to Chicago as a young child, was an honor student in high school and was accepted to Stanford University at the tender age of 16. She gradated with a B.S. in chemical engineering and a B.A. in African and Afro-American Studies. Although first her application to NASA was turned down, she was accepted in 1987 after submitting her second. Before her history-making shuttle launch in 1992, Jemison worked at the Kennedy Space station in Florida, doing tasks such as verifying software and help launch vehicle.­ Jemison resigned from NASA in 1993, and went on to pursue numerous ventures. She was a professor of Environmental Studies at Dartmouth College from 1995 to 200o, and is currently a Professor-at-Large at Cornell University. WHY SHE INSPIRES ME: She …