A Diverse and Inclusive Culture to Help Us Grow
Redefining the meaning of Home
Ahmed Aly, a deputy program manager at Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems (RMS) in Orlando, hasn’t wasted any time during his six years with the company building awareness around the power of diversity and how our differences can help us grow professionally and personally.
Through Ahmed’s experiences, he’s come to view home as more a mental feeling of contentment with where you are in life than a physical location. As an Egyptian American who was raised in Kuwait and moved to the United States at 18 for college, he found his peace and place by getting involved with Lockheed Martin’s business resource groups (BRGs).
“I have struggled with my sense of identity,” said Ahmed, a deputy program manager. On his first day of college, he quickly realized he had to navigate a different cultural norm and that his classmates viewed him as being different. And when he went back home to visit family and friends, he said people started viewing him as an outsider. “I was the odd one out in both cultures,” he said. “Having lived in multiple places throughout my life only deepened this sense of not having a true home.”
It was also through these experiences that Ahmed met others from diverse backgrounds who felt the same. “Rather than trying to assimilate to one culture or another, I saw value in these differences and leveraged both backgrounds to not only empower myself, but also my community,” he said. This sparked his desire become actively involved in our BRGs and serve as the Diversity and Inclusion site lead to grow his community and home at Lockheed Martin Orlando.
Fun Facts About Ahmed:
- As a child, his career aspirations changed like the weather. First, he dreamt of becoming a chef, then an FBI agent. He realized his true calling during a middle school project to build a model Formula 1 race car. “I fell in love with the design process and figuring out how to optimize the design. Now as an engineer, I get to serve our nation in a different way, supporting products that help protect our nation and allies.”
- In 2022, he completed a bucket list item to hike Mount Everest. The trip taught him about humbleness, meeting local Sherpas along the way who lived simpler lifestyles and reveled in the beauty around them. It also re-emphasized the importance of work-life balance. “Take vacations and time off,” recommends Ahmed. “You excel at work when you work on your personal life first. It also showed me that anything is achievable if you break it up into manageable chunks.”