Welcome to Women of Lockheed Martin
Sharing the Extraordinary Stories of Extraordinary Women
Natalie: Systems Engineer
My name is Natalie, and I am a systems engineer at Edwards Air Force Base, California. I have the unique experience of seeing how my work directly influences our customers. Whether I go into the hangar and learn about fixing jets or implement efficient tests to expand the capabilities of the F-35 for tomorrow, I know that I have options. I find it incredibly rewarding to see how my day-to-day work is affecting the lives of those who serve us. It gets me excited knowing what our products do for our country and the security of our nation. I know I want to continue that legacy.
For me, middle school was the first time that I realized I was excited about STEM. One of the classes that I took focused on robotics and I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be cool if I could do this for my career?” I knew I would love to work in the defense industry, and being at Lockheed Martin has afforded me a worthwhile experience. I love that I get to see the results of my work first-hand and support the country while not being in the military. The more I learn about the future of technology and innovation, the harder I work to ensure I am on the front lines of the opportunities the future holds.
Nikki: F-35 Production Program Manager
My name is Nikki, and I am a Program Manager for the F-35 Fighter Jet Production Business Unit. I really enjoy my work because I am constantly learning, and I am able to directly support our domestic and international customers’ missions. Every day, I help ensure the aircraft in production have all the Diminishing Manufacturing Sources parts needed to ensure timely deliver and sustainment of the jets. Over the course of my career at Lockheed Martin, whether I have been interfacing directly with a customer or supporting weapons integration systems for the F-35, I have always known that I am making a difference.
Getting to where I am now has been a journey. I discovered my passion for STEM in middle school, and I focused on building my skills and knowledge of those topics. But I must say, one of my biggest inspirations and sheroes is Dr. Mae Jemison. I admired her being an engineer and the first African American female to travel in Space. From that point on, I wanted to know more and more about what engineers do, what it takes to become an engineer. I sought out classes that would expose me to engineering concepts and would lay the foundation for pursuing this area as a career. When I think about my younger self, I constantly am reminded of my role to inspire and encourage the next generation of engineers. I ask myself, “What can I do to make sure that I am representing women and minorities well so people can know that women can excel in the field of engineering.”
International Women’s Day
Vanessa: Human Landing System, Ascent Element Mission Operations Lead
My name is Vanessa, and I am the Ascent Element Mission Operations Lead on the Human Landing System national team. And our folks come up with the designs that will lead the next generation of human space explorers back to the Moon and Mars.
Growing up in the Caribbean Islands, as a little girl who chased after chickens, the one thing that always kept me going was just looking up at the stars. Whenever I got sad or whenever something challenging happened, I would just sit down at night and look up. And the idea of pushing humanity towards exploring away from Earth and toward something new has always been exciting.
So, I want to go to space. And I got really close to it, being a NASA Astronaut Candidate finalist. The passion to go to space just drives me every day because I think it is something that shouldn't just be for a few select people. I think we should all be able to access space. And I want to be able to contribute to make that space economy bloom, so that one day my children will see going to the Moon as an everyday activity. My 4-year-old asks me every night when we're going to the Moon, and all I can tell him is, "Baba, I'm working on it. Don't you worry. I'm working on it.”
Shar: Industrial Engineering Associate Manager
My name is Shar, and I am an industrial engineering associate manager here at Lockheed Martin. In my experience, the women closest to me have proved to be a constant source of inspiration, ultimately guiding me to where I am today.
My grandmother, who has worked the same job at the same company for nearly 60 years, embodies longevity in her work, outlasting the many changes in ownership and leadership that come with time. And my mother, who never forced me to study engineering, but encouraged me to pursue more during my freshman year of college, led me to a career in industrial engineering.
As a woman, this challenged me to find my voice – and my seat – at the table. Through seeking out development opportunities and quietly learning through the experiences of others, I have become confident in what I bring to work each day. I recognize that my success is now tied to the development of my employees – a responsibility that I do not take lightly. I’m challenging myself to create opportunities for those I support, because at the end of the day, I’m preparing the next generation for a career in STEM.