There are pioneers out there who, in becoming “the first” to do something, open up a world of possibility for us all!

Sally Ride was one of these pioneers.

Blank on Blank with Sally Ride: Sally Ride in the Space Shuttle

Source: NASA

Sally Ride was the first American woman in space, and her legacy as a cultural icon for gender equality in science and technology has had a lasting effect.

Because of her tenacity, gender does not disqualify a person from exploring the furthest reaches of humanity’s exploration into space.

As the first woman in space, Ride had to face a lot of questions that, to put it bluntly, were dumb. The grace with which she handled the ridiculous and often invasive questions of the press, reminds us all that barriers to equality often stand at the intersection of stereotypes and ignorance.

We have brought you episodes of the incredible project Blank on Blank before with pioneers like Jane Goodall and David Bowie. This episode of Blank on Blank with Sally Ride is an interview from 1983 between Sally Ride and fellow icon for equality Gloria Steinem about Ride’s experience as a pioneer of space exploration; it really puts into perspective how far we have come…

Sally Ride is not just an important icon for women. Her achievements as a scientist and an astronaut are important for us all because they opened up the scientific world to anybody who wanted to be a part of it.

When gender is no longer a barrier to entry into any field, we allow for a flow of new ideas and perspectives.

Our backgrounds shape our world views. And as the backgrounds of people entering highly influential positions in science, technology, business, politics, you name it, become more diverse, the better society gets for us ALL.

Differences in perspective are what drives innovation and progress, and I am heartened by a world driven and not divided by diversity.

Sally Ride on Pressure…

If you want to hear more of Blank on Blank with Sally Ride, here is the Blank on Blank podcast, with more of Ride’s interview with Gloria Steinem, it is a truly inspiring piece of insight into the life of a pioneer…

Stay beautiful & keep laughing!

-Liesl

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Notes:

  1. “Sally Ride on Dumb Questions | Blank on Blank | PBS Digital Studios.”YouTube. Blank on Blank, 2 Feb. 2016. Web. 09 Mar. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9eZ5HktBiI>.
  2. “Sally Ride on Pressure – The Experimenters.” SoundCloud. Blank on Blank, Feb. 2016. Web. 09 Mar. 2016. <https://soundcloud.com/blank-on-blank/sally-ride-on-pressure-the-experimenters>.

Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

COO Ever Widening Circles

Liesl is a camera-toting traveler, a global story seeker, and an aspiring—but more often floundering—yoga lover. She can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV