State rep invites women to ‘Hidden Figures’ event

State Rep. Christine Greig (D-Farmington Hills) invites women of all ages, and particularly those between the ages of 13 and 18, to join her and local cyber defense expert Zilphia Martin for a “Hidden Figures” Viewing and Coding Party held Aug. 12, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., at the Farmington Community Library Main Branch, 32737 W. 12 Mile Road in Farmington Hills.

Participants must pre-register as seating is limited for this free event. Lunch will be provided. Write to christinegreig@house.mi.gov by Aug. 4 with the names and ages of those attending. Use “Hidden Figures RSVP” as the subject line of the email.

Hidden Figures
From left: Dorothy Vaughan, Leslie Hunter, and Vivian Adair, all Human Computers working at NACA, later NASA. (Wikimedia Commons)

The event includes a showing of the 2016 movie that tells the true story of three female African American mathematicians – Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson – who developed the orbit and re-entry calculations needed to launch and return Astronaut John Glenn during the early days of the Space Race.

“We need more women in science, technology, engineering, and math fields,” said Greig, who also serves as House Democratic Floor Leader. “As a former technology professional, I know the skills women bring to these prestigious careers: problem solving, teamwork, creativity and a deep focus on achieving goals. We don’t always do a good job of encouraging women to explore these careers; this event is designed to excite and educate young women.”

Martin is a recent University of Detroit Mercy graduate with a master’s degree that focuses on intelligence analysis – counterterrorism. She is a cyber defense threat analyst for Secure-24. She is a member of the Michigan Council of Women in Technology (MCWT), and is a former MCWT scholarship recipient. She enjoys working with and empowering young girls who show an interest in information technology.

“Today, STEM-related career paths are among the fastest growing fields in our state,” said Martin. “Having a strong foundation in code and problem-solving skills are assets to any young professional and a great first step towards a rewarding career.”