The date was selected to celebrate the Women’s Suffrage Movement’s greatest victory—women’s achievement of full voting rights following the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920. The Women’s Equality Day observance not only commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, but also represents women’s continuing efforts toward full equality.
At every level of society, women have been at the forefront of progress and innovation, and today we recognize and celebrate the diverse and historic accomplishments of women across the globe who fought through barriers for equality.
Women’s Equality Day coincides with the 100th birthday of Katherine Johnson, the NASA mathematician whose calculations of orbital mechanics were critical to the success of the first and subsequent U.S. crewed spaceflights. Katherine is a pioneer who paved the way for women at NASA and beyond. We send birthday wishes to Katherine and thank her for her fearless service. Resilient women like Katherine have inspired and encouraged countless others to challenge the status quo to advance.
I also want to recognize the talented women of NASA at all levels of the organization, whose diligent leadership and commitment help us accomplish NASA’s mission. Our female scientists and engineers continue to inspire the next generation to pursue STEM education and careers. As we recognize their accomplishments, we also reinforce our commitment to equal opportunity, diversity, and inclusion for the NASA workforce.
I encourage you to participate in activities at NASA and in your communities to commemorate Women’s Equality Day.
Steve Shih, Esq.
Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity