Tracey Welson-Rossmon, founder of TechGirlz, was invited to a special screening of Hidden Figures. Hidden Figures is a film that shares the story of Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan, three African-American mathematicians who worked for NASA and contributed to the Space Race against Russia. The film is not only compelling, but also honest in that it includes the initial struggle the three women faced because of their gender and race. Having said that, it simultaneously shows that the greater goal of the Space Race trumped the concerns surrounding these three women’s abilities. In many cases, the STEM careers that are featured on screen are usually depicted by men. But research shows that after the release of Brave and The Hunger Games, two movies that depict heroines as archers, the number of females participating in national archery competitions doubled. By incorporating more females in STEM careers on screen, Welson-Rossmon believes we can change societal norms to make females pursuing careers in STEM the rule and not the exception.

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Photo source: By Vicoria Achkasova & Pavel Panchenko (, via Wikimedia Commons