Mary Jackson (1921-2005) became the first black female engineer to work for NASA in 1958. She started out as a human computer in the segregated West Area Computing division, but rose through the ranks to eventually achieve the most senior engineering title available.
She began work at NASA in 1951, and became interested in a career in engineering after starting work at the Supersonic Pressure Tunnel. She managed to obtain the title after attending graduate-level night classes alongside her work, and in the process helped advance the rights of both women and people of colour in the workplace. She was played by Janelle Monáe in the 2016 film Hidden Figures.