Even Rocket Scientists Can’t Figure Out How to Support Women at Work


March 26, 2019

It’s quiet news, but it’s big news. Today NASA canceled the first ever all-female spacewalk. Not because of concerns for safety. Or technology. Or astronaut preparedness.

But because the two astronauts scheduled for the mission, Anne C. McClain and Christina H. Koch, both need a size medium “torso component.” And the International Space Station only has one.

So history will not be made any time soon. Or not until they get more size medium spacesuits.

The bigger story is that despite the fact that women are almost half of the American workforce—and many women are the primary earners in their households—the world of work has not kept pace.

Our institutions, tools, and spaces have a built-in bias towards male bodies. The work we do, the uniforms we wear, and the spaces our bodies need are different. That doesn’t mean not equal... it means different.

What other discoveries or inventions or history-making events aren’t happening because of implicit male bias?

Supporting women in the workforce means asking new questions. It means asking women what they need to do their job and then making sure they have that. It means thinking differently about office space design and what is the “norm” for employees. It means being inclusive when it comes to providing uniforms, tools, and spaces that work for women in the workplace.

Here at Mamava, we do this every day.

Mamava designs solutions to empower breastfeeding and pumping mamas on the go, like our freestanding lactation pods and lactation space locator app.