Picture of women from the movie "Hidden Figures". Textio Index Ranking: The New Space Race. Find your Textio Score free at textio.com
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Finding “Hidden Figures” in the new Space Race

This weekend a few Textios went to see Hidden Figures, and we weren’t alone—it topped the Box Office charts and is currently the #1 movie in America. Based on real events, the story follows a trio of talented mathematicians who were recruited by NASA to calculate trajectories for the launch of Friendship 7, the spacecraft that famously sent John Glenn into orbit around Earth. That story alone might be remarkable enough, but these mathematicians were African American women. And this was the 1960s.

The title of the film alludes to the fact that the contributions of women, (especially African American women) to the space program were historically hidden from public view. But according to Textio’s data, today’s space race is more openly inclusive, at least in recruiting. Whether you are a new school company like SpaceX and Blue Origin or an old school vendor like Boeing and Lockheed Martin, the average tone of each company’s job posts is consistently gender neutral. As we have written about before, that’s a critical aspect of recruiting the widest possible cross-section of qualified applicants.

Gender tone: Aerospace chart. NASA JPL, Airbus Group, Blue Origin, Lockheed Martin, SpaceX, Boeing and Virgin Galactic all skew neutral or slightly masculine.

In the ensuing years, the U.S. space program has expanded and contracted, but most recently it’s gone commercial in a big way. Private ventures like Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Elon Musk’s SpaceX have reignited our collective imagination around the possibilities of space travel: Mars, anyone?

The competition among these companies is intense to say the least, which means they are all fighting to recruit the smartest people they can get, just like NASA was during the Space Race era depicted in Hidden Figures. So who is winning the new space race for talent?

We can easily find out by looking up their Textio Scores. Although none of these organizations can boast an above-average score, SpaceX is the clear leader in effective job postings with a score of 41, and NASA is just steps behind with a score of 34.

Textio Scores: Aerospace. SpaceX: 41, NASA JPL: 34, Airbus Group: 32, Lockheed Martin: 31, Blue Origin: 31, Boeing: 27, Virgin Galactic: 25

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