I’ve been writing a bit about the big boys of business recently and some of the lessons I’m taking from them; today it’s the girls’ turn. One woman in particular I have found truly inspirational, on many different levels, is Nichelle Nichols. I shared a post about her earlier this month, from the A Mighty Girl Facebook page (a page which I am very fond of for its inspiring and encouraging posts about some amazing females; aimed at the teens/kids), but more about AMG another time.
You could be forgiven if you don’t immediately realize who Ms Nichols is, and especially if you are one of the younger generation of my readership, but you will know the smash hit, long running TV series, Star Trek. In the original series, Nichelle Nichols played the character Lieutenant Uhura, since which, she became an ambassador for NASA. At 82 years of age, she is quoted as saying, “Science is not a boy’s game, it’s not a girl’s game. It’s everyone’s game. It’s about where we are and where we are going”. I have to say that I relate to this statement on several levels, not least of which, that of its relevance to the IT sector. As a female in a traditionally male dominated industry, you can imagine why this is!
Of NASA, Ms Nichols says, “there were no women, and there were no minorities in the space program … We absolutely cannot have that”, so she accepted NASA’s invitation and became involved in the recruitment of its first female astronauts and astronauts of colour. Consequently Sally Ride became the first American woman in space.
When Nichelle Nichols was playing Lieutenant Uhura, African American female actors were commonly cast as housekeepers and servants on television. What an amazing career she has had and what a wonderful role model this lady is! Our youngsters today are exposed to a myriad of celebrities through film, TV and social media; we can all think of some famous names whose example we would rather not see our children follow, but there is no denying that kids do ‘look to the stars’ for role models. This Star Trek star really does take her responsibility as a societal role model to another dimension. All respect to Nichelle Nichols!
What ‘stars’ were/are your role models?