"People don't change. It doesn't matter where you're located. When people have their biases and prejudices, yes, I am aware. My head is not in the sand. But my thing is, if I can't work with you, I will work around you. I was not about to be so discouraged that I'd walk away. That may be a solution for some people, but it's not mine. So yes, I'm sure, I, like many others, have been judged not on what I can do, but on what I look like. So yes, I'm aware that that has happened. But, as I said, I would not let that get me down."

-Annie Easley

© 2016 HamiltonSeen

Contact

Anne Easley was born in 1933 in Birmingham, Alabama. Easley’s mother worked hard to instill the belief that she could do anything she wanted and worked for. She moved after high school to New Orleans to attend Xavier University and got married a few years into her education. They decided to move to Cleveland after marriage, but Easley’s plans to continue school were put on hold when the School of Pharmacy closed at the local university.

In 1955, an article in the local paper about twins who were human computers at a company called NACA piqued her interest, and she soon had a position there as a computer at the Lewis Research Centre. NACA was abolished in 1958, making way for NASA, where Easley developed the software for the Centaur Rocket and many alternative power technology projects.

Easley decided to return to school in the 60’s, taking only a few courses at first at Cleveland University while working full-time. She committed to completing her education by taking an unpaid three-month leave from her work to complete her Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics in 1977.

Easley also tutored throughout the 1970’s and actively encouraged female and minority students at college career days to consider STEM careers through the her position at the Speaker’s Bureau, she later accepted a position as a equal employment opportunity counselor and investigated complaints of discrimination. She retired in 1989 but continued working with the Speaker’s Bureau and the Business & Professional Women’s association until her death in 2011.

"You just need to be—prepare yourself for whatever field you want to do. I don't expect of you to be engineers or scientists or mathematicians. We still need great teachers, because if we didn't have teachers, we'd have no engineers or scientists. We need the nurses, we need the doctors, we need the attorneys. We need the shops. There are so many different fields, but prepare yourself to be something. " - Annie Easley

"Remember, we're still dealing with people who have certain perceptions as to where women ought to be. Nothing was given to minorities or women. It took some fighting to get that equal opportunity and we're still fighting today."- Annie Easley

Read more Annie Easley quotes in this fantastic interview.

This is possibly the most adorable history, ever.