Women engineers have played an invaluable role throughout history in developing world-changing technologies.
And Haley Ericson, a manufacturing engineer with Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control, wants to continue that legacy.
“Encouraging young women to pursue STEM fields protects the progress made,” she said. “Our work is the foundation for the next generation of women. Without future women in STEM, we will be unable to continue moving forward.”
As a manufacturing engineer, Haley’s primary responsibility is integrating people, equipment and materials to develop more efficient processes and products for customers.
“Engineers are challenged to look at the system surrounding them and find solutions to complex problems. As an engineer, I love this challenge because I am always learning, creating and seeking solutions that benefit the system around me and the people next to me.” - Haley Ericson, manufacturing engineer
It was after attending a STEM summer camp when Haley became set on studying engineering, but her affinity for finding innovative solutions began far before that.
As a child, Haley clung to a notebook where she sketched her ideas and inventions. On the cover she scribbled, “Haley’s Way to Make Life Better.” Her best idea? A self-folding Christmas tree cleverly called “Merry, Bright and Boxed” to make cleaning up after the holidays more efficient.
“This notebook was the initial spark for my passion for engineering,” she said.
Studies show that, while enrollment has grown, less than 10% of female students nationally demonstrate an interest in pursuing STEM-related majors.
“Growing up in a small, rural community, there were limited opportunities to interact with women in STEM,” Haley said. “When I attended college, I was able to connect with a multitude of strong, smart women from various backgrounds. These women inspired me to become the female engineer sharing my story today.”
To encourage young women to continue to push boundaries and discover their potential, Haley shares three lessons she has learned over the course of her career:
1. Fail Forward
2. Speak Up
3. Practice Fearlessness
There have been many moments across Haley’s career when she has doubted her abilities. Only when she was able to find the confidence to stand up for herself did she begin to see success.
For three consecutive years, Lockheed Martin has ranked on Woman Engineer Magazine’s Top 50 Employer’s List. In 2021, Lockheed Martin is proud to be recognized as first for cultivating an inclusive culture where women engineers receive support to develop solutions to seemingly impossible problems.
“At Lockheed, I am a part of a work environment where I am surrounded by a network of brave, driven women,” Haley said. “This network of women has helped equip me to become a better leader and person. Women in STEM are a crucial layer in the diversity required to advance our products, business and people.”