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Showing posts from November, 2017

Glass ceiling, sticky floor: countering unconscious bias in photonics

Who knew … until last year: Three African-American women working — in obscurity — for NASA as mathematicians played a vital role in the mission that sent astronaut John Glenn into orbit around Earth and brought him back again, in 1962. Publication of Margot Lee Shetterly 's book Hidden Figures and the subsequent release of the acclaimed 2016 film brought the story of the important roles played by Katherine Johnson , Dorothy Vaughan , and Mary Jackson to light for the first time for many. Among key findings in a 2017 photonics industry survey, respondents cited higher percentages of men in management and senior academic positions, with the largest gaps in later career. While their story may have been little known for decades, struggles for opportunity and inclusion are familiar to many women and to members of under-represented minorities or other groups working to make a career in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) field. Findings on