Let’s state the obvious: Hidden Figures was one of 2016’s greatest successes. Not only was the film critically acclaimed and financially successful, but it did the important job of telling the long-ignored story of how three Black women changed the course of history. Now, the legacies of those women — Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson — will continue to live on. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the U.S. State Department has created an educational exchange for women in STEM inspired by the film.
The program, which is appropriately called #HiddenNoMore, is the first of its kind. It will invite 50 women who work in science, technology, engineering, and math across the world to the United States. The women will spend three weeks traveling around the country and meeting with organizations that promote women in STEM. The #HiddenNoMore program will end in Los Angeles, where Fox, which has donated $400,000 to the program, will host a two-day event for the women.
The relationship between the film and the State Department is the first of its kind, but it makes perfect sense. After Hidden Figures premiered, State was flooded with requests for film screenings in embassies worldwide. It ended up being screened in 80 different locations overseas. "This movie has taken on a life of its own and sparked things we’ve never seen before," Liba Rubenstein, head of social impact for 21st Century Fox, told The Hollywood Reporter.
Diversity in STEM still has a long way to go. According to the World Economic Forum, women only account for 35% of people receiving degrees in STEM. There’s little racial diversity as well. According to the National Science Foundation, less than 10% of the STEM workforce was Black and Hispanic in 2010.
Programs like #HiddenNoMore bring those disparities to the forefront in hopes to end them. "Our goal is to get people from diverse communities talking about these issues that are vital to long-term U.S. security and prosperity," Stacy White, office director of the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program, told The Hollywood Reporter. We can’t wait to see these brilliant women from around the world come together.