Sally Ride was an American physicist, engineer, and the first American woman in space. During her time as an astronaut with NASA, she suffered lots of criticism and negative media attention due to her gender.
After leaving NASA, she worked as a physics professor and started Sally Ride Science, a company focused on creating entertaining science programmes for young girls in order to engage them with the sciences. She also wrote several books encouraging children to study science.
Sally Ride was a fantastic pioneer of gender equality within the male-dominated field of science. She stood up for herself and her beliefs every day, and broke traditions and barriers whilst encouraging other young girls to do the same.
She was posthumously recognised with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013, and is widely acknowledged for inspiring further generations of young scientists.
“Young girls need to see role models in whatever careers they may choose, just so they can picture themselves doing those jobs someday. You can’t be what you can’t see.”