Hidden Figures Review: Inspiration for the #girlboss in STEM (and others)

Shayna Atkins
Dec 28, 2016 · 4 min read

Yesterday evening I went hand in hand with one of my great girlfriends to go see Hidden Figures in theaters. And I was here for every. moment. of. the. film. As a budding entrepreneur and Woman in Tech with a degree in Physics, the topic of careers in STEM can be a lonely one. I have good friends who have degrees ranging from Chemistry to Computer Science just because we loved the subject. A lot of us first generation, we had no idea what our full range of options were post-graduation. Now we experience being the only woman present in our respective departments, clients, sometimes company and need a little inspiration as we fight our own battles for upward mobility and opportunity.

I will try not to reveal to many details as to why every single person should make a trip to the movie theater on January 6th, but I will let you know the keys that inspired me as a #girlboss.

Hidden Figures Keys written from the perspective of an entrepreneur and Woman in S.T.E.M. planning for an awesome year 2 of business.

  1. Reading and research is so important. This is a world where skills are changing fast. Customer needs even faster. Reading and staying relevant is essential. No matter what. Go to the library and cash out on your tax dollars if you have to. It might save an entire department (watch the movie, you’ll get it).

2. Bias is sometimes personal. We can be instagram inspired with #girlboss hashtags all day. Lipstick and hair popping. But, bias is real and it sometimes lives in our bae, good friends, famly (yes, I said it), confidantes, and business partners. Relationships take extra care while dreamwork is in the midst. There is a balance in being humble and sensitive, but also being firm in who you are and where your passions lie.

3. DO NOT DIM YOUR LIGHT. If you are a boss, own being a boss. If you are a work in progress, own that. I am both. In the movie Janelle Monae relentlessly fights for what she wants. And guess what? Her man was there even when she glowed up. Support is out there if the person is meant for you.

4. Dance your way through it and remain Humble.

5. Life still happens. The women portrayed in these movies were not only ambitious scientists and engineers, but mothers, daughters, wives, and everything in between. No matter what, my business is going to need attention. My weekly flight is going to take off. House will need to be cleaned. Accounting tracked on FreshBooks ProdDev. But in the midst, loved ones pass on. New babies are born and need cuddles. What am I really here for if I don’t take moments to snuggle and make sure my Spades game is sharp.

6. It may take walking half a mile to get reprieve. Falling in love and having to let it go. Enduring challenges. Take a moment and keep grinding. Don’t be afraid to go back to the drawing board.

7. Don’t be afraid to be cute while at the drawing board. The style choices in #hiddenfigures was a constant #slay.

8. Open the god damn door. Your dreams are inside.

Queens Brunch for Women | January 28th at 1 pm | Chef Sara’s Cafe

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Shayna Atkins

Written by

Agile and Design Thinking Product Consultant supporting women & startups from idea thru expansion. Featuring women’s community, http://queensbrunch.com/. #UX