Meet the designer of Boeing’s Pride webpages: Shayla Hufana. As the user interface designer and art director, Shayla worked on the look and feel of the Pride pages. She’s also designed other Boeing webpages, including the Confident Travel Initiative website providing science-based information for people making air travel decisions during COVID-19. In addition to webpages, her work can be seen in organization identity systems, animations on Boeing social media channels, video projects, signage systems, event materials, merchandise in the Boeing Store and more. In all her projects, Shayla seeks to “modernize, energize and humanize” communications. For instance, Shayla helped do something a little different to recognize the longest 787 Dreamliner delivery flight using sustainable fuel. Instead of sharing the typical delivery photo on social media, Shayla designed a 10-second GIF of the animated airplane making its delivery journey — a new approach that captured more attention than the delivery photos shared previously.
“My job is to bring innovative, creative solutions to problems and push ideas further,” Shayla said. “I want to take something that’s good and help make it great.”
Shayla brings that energy to all her projects, even during tumultuous times. She acknowledges it was scary working and being pregnant during COVID-19 and seeing continued biased and racist acts toward Black, Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. But it’s led her to take actions to support and empower others. She’s part of the executive board of the Boeing Black Employees Association (BBEA), and outside of work, she’s organized a new forum series for her professional association to have open discussions about how to empower and be empowered by others — something she was inspired to do after attending similar forums held by her creative team, the BBEA and the Boeing Asian and Pacific Association.
“It was so motivating to see people having those uncomfortable discussions, because it makes you feel like a community when you can talk like that,” Shayla said.
Shayla is making an effort to be more open about herself as a way to help inspire and motivate others, but she admits it hasn’t been easy. She recalls that growing up in an Asian family, she was taught to be strong yet silent about personal differences or hardships, and this affected how open she felt she could be with her family.
“With my parents, with my larger family, I felt like I always had to do really well at school or work so that when I was fully out and open, they would still be proud of me, respect me and see me for who I am,” Shayla said.
It took some time for her immediate family to become supportive after coming out to them, and although her extended family never openly told her they had a problem with Shayla being part of the LGBTQ+ community, some of Shayla’s and her wife’s close extended family members declined to be part of their same-sex wedding or chose not to attend. The lack of support hit Shayla hard, and although she was going through a difficult time, she felt she had to put her emotions aside and stay positive for her family, teammates and friends. But she’s becoming more open about her story.
“Sharing your own story, including your hardships, that’s brave, and I want to teach my son to not be afraid to share his whole self,” Shayla said. “I can’t speak for everyone, but being Asian and then part of the LGBTQ+ community, sometimes you feel you have to hide parts of what you’re going through because people don’t always understand. Sometimes you have to have difficult discussions, but sharing your own story helps others to know they’re not alone and not to worry about what other people think.
“When I decided to bring my whole self to work at Boeing, I knew that some people may not see past my differences to my hard work or talents, but it was the best feeling when I decided to let that all go,” Shayla continued. “I felt free, strong and ready to accomplish each project with pride.”