“Hidden Figures”

Recently I went to see the movie, “Hidden Figures.” What can I say, other than “Powerful! Moving! Empowering”. As I sat in awe of the movie, I thought, “Why on earth is this story just now being told?” These women were BRILLIANT mathematicians! Of course that’s how I was thinking. Why would I think anything other than that?

Yet, even though I had asked myself that question, I already knew the answer. Not only was their gender holding them back, but coupled with their race, there wasn’t a snowballs chance in hell this story was going to be revealed. It was hard enough being a white woman at that time , but it allotted far more privileges that a woman of color. What does that mean? Being a woman of color back then meant you were told you couldn’t; you wouldn’t; and you better not. Classless, faceless, demeaned and undermined at every effort. As a woman of color today, I can’t imagine being told to go to a restroom for “colored people” or drink from a faucet that said, “For Colors.” But they certainly did. Can you fathom how they felt? What they thought about themselves? “Hidden Figures” showed us that women of color who pushed themselves harder than anyone else, could indeed make something great of themselves. Three brilliant women who prevailed among the toughest of odds in a white male dominated world.

I admire all women who sacrificed for the liberties and rights I have today; especially African-American women, because I am one and proudly own it. I owe it to myself, my daughters and every woman I encounter to help further the fight against racial and gender equality. I truly believe if there were more stories of women like Katherine Johnson and other women who made movements in our society, we would have more young women aspiring to be scientist, astronauts, General’s or even the POTUS.

Instead, I fear we are raising a generation of women who have lost their way. They’ve bought into society’s bull and modern technological smoke and mirrors that they can only go so far based on their race and gender. They believe if they don’t have a certain income or zip code, they’re worthless. They’ve settled for the five minutes of fame from social media or become the next fool for reality TV. How many “likes” or followers they get will deem their self-worth.

I personally know how hard it is to take a stand and/or push for more. I walked away from my first corporate job at the age of twenty-three, and never worked for anyone from that day on. Was I worried? Of course I was. It wasn’t easy, and it still isn’t. As a woman of color, I work ten times as hard for that which I desire. I’ve succeeded and failed numerous times. I’ve made good and bad decisions. I’ve trusted and been let down so many times, I can’t even count it. Would I do it all over again? YES! and YES! It takes courage, resources and asking for help. It’s not easy. But then nothing worth something ever is or we would ALL be doing it.

But I believe that YOU too can be that woman. YOU can be the change you wish to see in the world. That is why I created “Women That Soar” and the awards show. It is proof enough to hear these women through their struggle find success. These women of all races and colors have prevailed among the toughest of odds. Listen to their stories and you will be inspired and encouraged. Especially if you’re feeling lost. We’ve all been there. Just don’t stay there.

After watching the movie, I decided I may not reap the financial gain I’m seeking, but if I can inspire, empower and ignite one woman at a time to take charge of her life, my job is done and I’ve reaped something far greater than money. I want women of all races and color to know that “we we’re all created in God’s image”. Therefore, we are all powerful! I believe in the core of my soul that through Christ, and having faith, there isn’t anything we can’t accomplish.

The journey won’t be easy. We will all encounter dark days and want to give up. At that moment, ask for help. Tell other’s what you’re facing. Get off social media with the day to day, “Look at me.” Instead, GET BUSY! And stop being afraid of failure. I assure you, it will happen and so will the success you so desire if you’re willing to see it through.

I don’t want to look back over my life and wonder if I could have done something. I want to look and say, “I did that and damn girl, I did it well.” What about you? Tell me what you desire.

I will no longer sit back and allow anyone to hold my future in their hands. I won’t settle for what other’s think I should have. I will ask for that which God tells me is mine; big or small. I encourage you to watch “Hidden Figures” and truly understand the brilliance of these women. And to that end, I am grateful that today, in 2017, their story is being told and many more will be unveiled. Because it’s our time ladies. Let’s make each other proud.

Until next time, CONTINUE TO SOAR!!!

Gina Grant
CEO Women That Soar