She’s elated. “Hearing the girls react to the film, clap and cheer and whoop and cry … was a privilege. And just seeing these new horizons open up for them.” As the film ended and the rolling credits appeared alongside pictures of the real scientists – Katherine Goble Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson –, a little girl asked, in surprise: “They’re real?” “That reaction is exactly why representation matters,” says Eric-Udorie. “There’s this moment in the girls’ minds when things click, and they change.”
“Dont ask for permission; seek forgiveness if you get things wrong. Don’t be afraid to take up space. The scientists gave all this advice that I myself still need to hear,” she adds.
Now, Eric-Udorie is thinking about offering some of the girls work experience, and “looking at ways that we can get them into STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), because a lot of them are interested in those areas. It’s all about making sure it doesn’t end here, and we don’t allow them to fall through the cracks of the system, because many of them often do and don’t have access to the opportunities in those industries, even if they’re interested in them.”