“I was always fascinated by why people would behave the way they did. I also knew I wanted to help people.” – Emily Howard individual character. For example, in her 25-year career, she has fought against and overcome a fair bit of preconceived thinking in the workplace in order to challenge the prevailing stereotypes. As a single mother of two daughters, Howard is proud to have achieved her level by mastering a sense of work-life balance that can elude both men and women in Boeing’s competitive and high-stress technical environment. She has done so, Howard theorizes, because she applies simple human factors knowledge in everything she does. “People talk about their home life versus their work life. But to be successful, what you really have to do is integrate your professional and personal activities into your one life,” Howard explains. “I have only one block of time to cover all of my responsibilities. If we’re honest with ourselves, we can admit that priorities shift. Sometimes family comes first. But a lot of times, I have to focus on work and ask others to help meet my kids’ needs.” That comes back to Howard’s deep sense of purpose in her career choice. What Howard achieves professionally she also sees as personal success—especially if she can model her success to help others achieve their own goals. “A woman as successful as Emily in technical leadership is extremely powerful for other women to see,” said Mary Decicco, a manager with Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen, who has worked with Howard in Digital Aviation. “It is vital for women to have an example of what it takes to be successful in technical fields, because it is still not all that common.” n email@example.com 38 BOEING FRONTIERS / DECEMBER 2013–JANUARY 2014 PHOTO: Emily Howard says she became interested in the need for people and technology to work together collectively, inspired in part by her passion for competitive sailing—reflected in this 2005 photo.
Frontiers December 2013—January 2014 Issue
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