In celebration of Women’s History Month, NASA held a “Women, Innovation, and Aerospace” event today at George Washington University. The public event featured panel discussions with women in senior government positions and breakout sessions where students and early career professionals could meet NASA scientists and researchers. NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver shared opening remarks before a panel of women explored the ways that women contribute to innovation and the policies that need to be in place to drive innovation. Deputy Chief Information Officer Deborah Diaz attended, sharing particular encouragement about opportunities for young women in information technology. Breakout sessions offered opportunities for flash mentoring, connection with student ambassadors, and stories from professional women about their educational and career paths.
JSC’s Stuart Engelhardt represented the Open Government Initiative with the interactive Liquid Galaxy display, offering attendees a whole new way to experience and interact with the world and a new vision of what is possible with data, technology, and a sense of adventure.
New videos from the Women@NASA website were also premiered during the day, highlighting the role women play at NASA. The site was created in response to the Executive Order, signed March 11, 2009, establishing the White House Council on Women and Girls. Chaired by the heads of every agency and major White House office across the federal government, the Council aims to provide a coordinated federal response to issues that have a distinct impact on women and girls. The Women@NASA blog is also featured on the site, highlighting additional personal stories and contributions from diverse women all across the agency.
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and the Office of Science and Technology Policy’s Assistant Director for National Security Patricia Falcone closed out the event with a great interactive dialogue with the audience.
At NASA, we hope that the Women@NASA site and events like today will support a collaborative and supportive community of women at NASA, and serve as the hub of all activity related to women’s issues at the agency. In addition, we hope that these stories will inspire girls everywhere to reach for the stars, and explore the myriad of opportunities available to them through pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.