Margot Lee Shetterly


Author of “Hidden Figures”: the No. 1 New York Times Bestseller and No. 1 Hit Film


  • Website
  • Instagram
  • Twitter

Margot Lee Shetterly

Women In Leadership

Writer, researcher, and entrepreneur, Margot Lee Shetterly is the author of ”Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race,” which was a top book of 2016 for both TIME and Publisher’s Weeklya USA Today bestseller, and a No.1 (instant) New York Times bestseller. 

A powerful exploration of early intersectionality in the workplace, “Hidden Figures” reveals what the day-to-day life was like for Black women pursuing their dreams in the Civil Rights Era. Margot explores the barriers they had to break, the supporters along the way, and how they really felt through it all.

The film adaptation of her book—which became the No. 1 movie in America—stars Taraji P. Henson (Empire), Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kirsten Dunst, and Kevin Costner. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay, and Octavia Spencer was nominated for Best Supporting Actress.

Shetterly was featured in the 2024 Pirelli Calendar, exploring the theme: “Timeless.” Spearheaded by Prince Gyasi, it is the first Pirelli Calendar to be shot by a Black photographer, and it spotlights Black trailblazers in every field. She’s featured alongside icons like Angela Bassett, Naomi Campbell, and Amanda Gorman (who poses with Margot).

Shetterly is also the founder of the Human Computer Project, a digital archive telling the stories of all of NASA’s “Human Computers,” women from all backgrounds whose work tipped the balance in favor of the United States in WWII, the Cold War, and the Space Race. Margot’s father was among the early generation of black NASA engineers and scientists, and she had direct access to NASA executives and the women featured in the book. She grew up around the historically black Hampton University, where some of the women in ”Hidden Figures” studied. Her research has been supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. She is currently a scholar-in-residence at the University of Virginia, with joint appointments at the McIntire School of Commerce and the School of Engineering.