Hedy Lamarr. (Screenshot from Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story.)

Throughout modern history, women have had to navigate a world predominantly run by men. Whether at the podium or the pulpit, the rig or the rectory, the boardroom or the bedroom, men have almost exclusively monopolized the role of the world’s decision makers.

While males hold a slight lead in terms of population (102 men for every 100 women), they hold a tremendous lead in terms of corporate leadership. In fact, of the Fortune 1000 CEOs, only 54 of them are female. And in Fortune’s top 50, females currently fill three CEO positions.

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Katherine Johnson (center), Caroline Waterlow (left) and Ezra Edelman (right) at the 89th Annual Academy Awards on February 26, 2017 (Tyler Golden/Getty Images)

For a girl who loved to count everything, you might expect Katherine G. Johnson to be grateful that she was alive to count her 99th year. It’s not every day that a civilian gets honored by NASA, as Johnson was last month as the space agency opened the Katherine G. Johnson Computational Research Facility in Hampton, Virginia.

But you would be wrong. When asked pointedly about the distinction bestowed upon her for playing such a pivotal role in the American space program, the nonagenarian didn’t know what to make of the hoopla.

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