Mary Jackson, the First Black Female Engineer to Work at NASA

Mary Jackson

There have been many intelligent men and women in history who were made known for doing great things. One of these amazing figures was Mary Jackson. During a time when calculators and computers were still in their initial development periods, Jackson was nothing short of a human counting machine. Because of her talent, Jackson eventually became the first Balck female engineer at NASA. 

Born in 1921, Mary Jackson spent her young life excelling in mathematics and eventually becoming a math teacher. However, her skills as a mathematician were not to be wasted there. According to Britannica, Jackson started on a more direct path to creating her legacy in 1953 when she joined the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA).

NASA shares that Jackson bravely took on many challenges that her white classmates and team members never shared with her. These challenges included acquiring special permission from the City of Hampton to study with the rest of her class and breaking a glass ceiling that was previously untouched.

The same article adds that Jackson eventually became the first Black female engineer in the history of NASA, and stayed in her field for over thirty years. However, Jackson chose to leave as she found that she would not be accepted in higher-ranking roles. For as long as she spent dominating her field, Jackson's career had peaked, and she was prevented from attaining management positions. Because of this, Jackson retired in 1985.