Thank you to the Crosby Scholars for having a screening of Hidden Figures at a/perture cinema! We were glad to house such ambitious young girls with bright futures and to lean in on the discussion between the young scholars and the speakers. Speakers shared their career journeys, from learning how to navigate their education into their career fields and then their career fields into furthering education to find where it all intersects and just how far they can go! The insight into the paths of the successful women who spoke really built a greater image of just how tailored each experience can be. Wishing the best of luck to each young girl that visited! Congratulations to the Crosby Scholars on their award from Duke Energy.
Kristen, a/ staff
Audience member: How did it make you feel when you didn’t know what you wanted to do in college?
[from left to right as photographed]
Speaker 3: It was frustrating because on the one hand a lot of people were telling me that you have to figure out what you’re doing…but I was really fortunate in that I had people who told me that it’s totally fine if you go into college without a declared major, it’s totally fine if you haven’t figured that out yet. Part of education is figuring out what you feel you have the gifts to do and build the things that you’re interested in so that you can pursue the things that excite you…I was really fortunate that I had people supporting me and encouraging me even though what I got my degree in definitely helps me with what I do today, it’s not the focus for what my current job is and I’ve gotten the support to tell me that, ‘that’s absolutely fine you can keep growing your career, changing your career.’ Throughout your life, you may be required to in the type of climate that we have careers sometimes become obsolete.
An audience member asked the speakers about a particular situation and relationship present in the film:
Speaker 1: “Some people don’t like differences. And in some spaces, I can say for myself as a scientist, as a Physiologist I was in a department that all of the faculty were men. And I was only the second female, black or African American female to be in that department. So you can imagine where there’s a space where you’re used to seeing a certain type and all of the sudden you have diversity, or something different. Just like having all green M&M’s and adding yellow, okay? When you’re forced to go with that change sometimes you get resistance [from the film] and I think that was part of his resistance, she was smart you could not take that away from her, she was different and you cannot take that away from her, but NASA was progressing and he had to go along with the changes and he was being a little resentful of that, of her. And she did nothing, but be nice right? So take that as a lesson, even when you get a little pushback you cant turn up, it’s not the time to turn up its the time to learn up because they will not be able to take that away from you. And they will eventually come around. Exactly he eventually warmed up to her and had to respect her knowledge and respect her as a female scientist. And I think a lot of you, once you see that enough, that will be the deciding factor that people will eventually come on board with you.”
Speaker 3: I would echo a lot of that and just say that I think a change, in general, is difficult for most people, and if the status quo or the current state benefits you – its even harder to accept change because it’s unknown you don’t know how it’s going to affect you. And, that doesn’t mean that its okay, but that could have potentially led to his reaction.
photography by kristenmbryant