Before MacBooks, iPhones and drones, "computers" were people hired to make long and difficult calculations by hand. The movie "Hidden Figures," directed by Theodore Melfi, elevates the true story of three female African-American "computers" who made crucial contributions to the NASA space program in the 1960s. The film surprised industry experts by selling an estimated $22 million in tickets at North American theaters this weekend, even tying "Rogue One" for the No. 1 spot.
Based on Margot Lee Shetterly's nonfiction book by the same title, the film follows mathematical prodigy Katherine Johnson, computer programming expert Dorothy Vaughan, and engineer Mary Jackson. Each of these characters must cope with racism, sexism, and segregation in order to make important contributions to the national space program, stand up against injustice and advance their careers.
In Shetterly's own words, their story "challenges much of what we think we knew about American history" It also has much to teach about fighting for yourself and your career. Here are just a few of its lessons about how to overcome obstacles to succeed in the workplace:
Make yourself indispensible