Women in Technology Q&A: How to Be a Brave Thinker
“Flying is the best possible thing for women.” – Raymonde de Laroche
In 1910, actress-turned-aviationist, de Laroche, changed history by becoming the first female to receive a pilot’s license. And despite injuries and ill luck, she flew higher, faster and farther time and time again.
It’s bold women, such as de Laroche, who dare to think beyond today, pushing the boundaries of human knowledge to make the impossible possible.
Continue reading to get advice on bravery and leadership from women who are breaking new ground in the aerospace and defense world.
Human Factors Design Engineer
Lockheed Martin United Kingdom
Q: What advice would you offer to early career individuals looking to get into the technology sector?
The key thing is to have confidence. If you believe in yourself, then others will be far more inclined to give you a chance.
Q: Speaking up in the workplace is often difficult. How do you successfully voice your opinion?
I take a deep breath and remember that, in the end, I will get a better result if I’m brave enough to speak my mind. And if they disagree, well at least I made my point.
Work with Philippa >>
Director of Business Development
Lockheed Martin Canada
Q: What advice would you offer to people early in their careers looking to get into leadership roles?
Leadership is like anything in life, you have to practice at it. You have to 1) hone your skills 2) be inquisitive and 3) openly seek feedback.
Above all else, be the best you—don’t be afraid to shine.
Q: How has mentorship made a difference in your life?
Initially, I never sought out mentorship. When I started my career, I worked with mostly men, and I felt awkward asking them. Over the years, I have had several mentors, both men and women, who showed me what great leadership looks like. They taught me that compassion and passion are qualities in great leaders, and their guidance gave me the strength to look within myself and focus on my strong points.
Q: How do you define bravery?
Bravery is having the courage to innovate, the courage to challenge the status quo, and the courage to stand for what you think is right even when others don’t. Work with Lorraine >>
“Bravery is having the courage to innovate, the courage to
challenge the status quo, and the courage to stand for what you think is right
even when others don’t. “
International Business Operations Manager
Lockheed Martin Space Systems
Q: What are the top three characteristics of a great leader?
- Combining leadership with execution: There are few things more motivating than a leader who has a clear vision and a plan for executing that vision
- Empathy: Genuinely trying to see the world through another’s lens is critical to being a better person and leader. It also creates an environment where people feel comfortable to bring their whole selves to work.
- Positive attitude: Throughout my life, whenever anyone would ask my dad how he was, he always said, “Best day of my life.” My team embodies this spirit and helps me remember to laugh in the face of adversity.
Q: Why does bravery matter in the workplace?
Speaking up and doing the right thing is essential in our line of work at Lockheed Martin Space Systems. Partly because of the critical missions we support and because of the environment in which we operate. If none of us were brave, think of all the parts of the universe that would remain unexplored. Work with Jessica >>
Emerging Technology Lead and Principal Investigator for Augmented Reality
Lockheed Martin Space Systems
Q: What have been some keys to your success?
Three factors have been most influential to my success, including:
- Life-long learning: Technology is always changing, and having a love for learning allows you to progress with the technology.
- Dependability: I make every attempt to keep my commitments and complete every one on time and within the projected cost.
- Determination: Engineering the right solution involves looking at challenges from as many angles as possible.
Q: Can you describe a time you were brave?
When I was 25, I left a job I loved to start my own business. My former employer was unwilling to develop a technology a customer requested, and I knew I could provide the solution.
One month after we began technology development, September 11, 2001, occurred. Our funding immediately froze. I was horrified that I had spent too much time, effort and money establishing a company to experience an immediate halt.
Despite the pause, we refocused our solutions to the new challenges that arose with September 11. To this day, I am grateful for the experience and would do it the same if I had to do it again. Work with Shelley >>