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Last week, two NASA astronauts conducted the first all-female spacewalk to repair equipment on the International Space Station. Christina Koch and Dr. Jessica Meir each donned a size medium spacesuit for the mission, which weren’t available for a previously scheduled all-female spacewalk in March 2019. It was Dr. Meir’s first time, making her the 15th woman to spacewalk. 

Sure, this isn’t our usual B2C innovation territory. But here’s why it matters:

💡The power suit. Over 200 men have performed spacewalks, against only 15 women. Is it because women are less qualified? Nope! It’s because of the spacesuits. They were not made with women in mind, and their design hasn’t changed much since the 1970s. In particular, it’s been about an absence of spacesuits in diverse sizes: this spacewalk only became possible when a suit was altered to become medium-sized. Last week NASA unveiled new spacesuits that accommodate a large range of body types, so this won’t be a problem when they put the first woman on the moon in 2024! So this achievement is a timely reminder to ask yourself: does legacy thinking, design and more mean your offering excludes certain groups of people outright? 

💡MOMENTS OF TRUTH. NASA are far from the only ones facing outdated, legacy thinking and processes head on. Take toy company Mattel, the creator of Barbie: it recently released Creatable World, a line of gender inclusive dolls that eschew outdated stereotypes. Or luxury fashion brand Prada, which introduced a Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council, following backlash over a racist keychain, to ‘help [them] grow not only as a company but also as individuals.’ The lesson here? Consumers don’t expect your history and legacy to be perfect; but they will increasingly demand an honest reckoning with past failings, and a sincere attempt to put things right.