Unsung Female Heroes

sateliteMany have caught onto the fact that I support women in their dream endeavors. This is partly due to my upbringing, as I was born into what I call a matriarch. Grandma LePage was a strong woman that handled the village’s finances. She was a lady that earned respect from hundreds of people. I’ve heard stories about how her mother was even stronger and also highly respected.

My mother was a very strong and opinionated leader that helped hundreds of kids learn the difference between book and street smarts. Countless people learned that the applications of life lessons were seldom accomplished in the way books taught.

Of course, several strong aunts surrounded me. One was well known in the food industry. Another was known in the music and arts community. Still others fit into their own areas of expertise. None were solely domestic housewives. They all held powerful positions in business and the arts, and took care of family duties.

Unfortunately our society never recognized the brilliant accomplishments that happened daily. As a single parent, although my kids are now on their own, I can tell you about the energy it took these women to manage their households and perform great work in their communities.

This juxtaposition of home duties against the workload of a job was countrywide, yet was seldom recognized. During the 1960s space race, the Rocket Girls were called sweetie, instead of by the title of their earned engineering degrees. These women handled all the calculations that allowed NASA to put the first satellite in space.

The daughter of a friend of mine was working hard to get into a prestigious engineering school. After qualifying, they recommended she not attend since she wouldn’t be able to keep up with the boys and would eventually be rejected. Did that top ten school not know that capable women worked NASA’s engineering calculations before high speed computers took over?

Back in 1849 Maria Mitchell was the first hire for non-domestic skills by the U.S. government. She was the “computer of Venus.” She made daily mathematical calculations of the stars and Venus. The results of her work were titled the United States Nautical Almanac. It was so accurate that ships worldwide used it for navigation until modern day GPS took over.

From charting navigation, to rocketing a man into space, to the numerous calculations women work in preparation for heading to Mars, women have been instrumental in the creation of many modern day conveniences. In the medical community alone women created 4,000 plus inventions.

Since women are doing great things for our communities, I believe we should make sure they get their due recognition. For decades they’ve been our unsung heroes of community growth and they deserve the acknowledgment. So from me, thank you ladies for all you’ve done!

© 2016 by CJ Powers

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