Bilin Zhou

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Systems Engineer, Australia

Bilin Zhou is a Systems Engineer on the first aircraft Australian engineers have designed in more than 50 years.

Her work on the Airpower Teaming System, a stealth unmanned aerial vehicle that performs missions autonomously, is the, "Highlight of her career so far."

“From integrating new capabilities into the skeleton of the first aircraft in the factory, and now witnessing the aircraft taking its first flight, I feel proud to have contributed to building such an exciting platform.”

Yvette Smith

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Production Engineer, Boeing Fabrication

Engineer Yvette Smith used the COVID-19 pandemic to take a hard look at her career and pivot into a role that more closely aligns with her interests and current educational pursuits.

“I realized that I did not see myself continuing in manufacturing engineering long-term, so I came to the conclusion that I needed to explore different career options,” Yvette explained.

She reached out and spoke with others to get a sense of what their careers entailed and the skills required. She even took some of the training courses Boeing offered to get more of an idea of what certain roles would involve. All of these efforts led Yvette to begin pursuing a role in systems engineering and a master’s degree in the same field. In fact, she recently accepted a role in Boeing Defense, Space & Security as a systems engineer supporting weapons programs.

Yvette appreciates the support she received from others to pursue her passions and plans to continue to pay it forward by inspiring other women.

“As a female engineer, there may be many occasions where you are the only person in the room that looks like you,” Yvette said. “Do not let that stop you from speaking up and advocating for yourself to pursue a career of your choice. Be confident in who you are and remain true to yourself regardless of your environment.”

Carine Liang

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Client Solution Owner, Digital Aviation & Analytics, Jeppesen

As a client solution owner for Jeppesen in Singapore, Carine Liang’s main role is to guide clients and ensure their requirements generate business value. Most recently, she completed the Crew Pairing and Rostering system for Shenzhen Airlines — our first customer for the system in China — no small task given the restraints of COVID-19.

Not only did the pandemic force Carine and her colleagues to begin working from home a year ago, but it also created a challenging business situation for airlines, with little to no passenger flights in the first half of 2020. As a result, Shenzhen Airlines chose to pause the project. Carine found herself having to rotate, focusing on internal improvement projects and initiatives.

“In this down period, we were able to leverage on colleagues around the world and offered many knowledge-sharing sessions to employees in different regions,” Carine said. “When the Shenzhen project resumed, we found working from home improved our collaboration, as all communications were done virtually, enabling every team member, regardless of their physical location, to attend.”

Beijing colleagues worked on-site in Shenzhen and the Singapore team provided support virtually, bringing the system into production in December.

Kim Baker

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Product Data Management Specialist —
Mission Assurance, Boeing Defence UK

In her three years at Boeing, Kim Baker has worked on leading defense platforms: the H-47 Chinook; the AH-64 Apache; and, most recently, the E-7 Wedgetail. A product data management specialist, Kim currently works on the Mission Assurance team that leads the life cycle of data and documents on the E-7 program, helping to ensure critical information is organized and traceable.

“The work I do today leaves a legacy. It’s important we get it right in these early stages,” Kim said. “Doing my job properly supports Boeing’s efficiency efforts, as well as protecting vital information, so it’s hugely important for us as a business.”

Julie Mason

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Propulsion Engineer, Space & Launch Engineering

Many dream of becoming an astronaut. Julie Mason is on her way to making it happen. The Boeing space propulsion engineer out of Huntsville, Alabama, hopes to launch herself to the moon — or beyond.

“The first time I experienced microgravity, I floated to the top with a huge smile on my face,” she said. “I actually looked and felt like an astronaut.”

Julie sees close correlation between her everyday work and her astronaut aspirations.

“Being at Boeing allows me to participate in cutting-edge propulsion research, where I get to lead and work in teams to solve challenging problems,” she said. “I’m currently working on a propulsion test program that could benefit NASA’s Human Lander System for a 2024 lunar mission.”

Julie’s astronautic aspirations began when her parents took her to a launch at Cape Canaveral, Florida, when she was 12. In high school, she attended Space Camp in Huntsville. Then while double-majoring in engineering and French in college, she was selected to participate in the NASA Flight Opportunities Program at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, working side by side with NASA engineers and scientists in the microgravity program. Her power-packed college career also included her introduction to Boeing via a Seattle internship.

“I just loved the culture and the people. I felt like I was constantly learning from everyone around me and that Boeing was a place where I could grow and become a better engineer,” she said.

In her final semester in 2012, she got a letter she’ll never forget.

“I remember carrying around my Boeing offer letter through the halls because I was so excited. It was a dream come true to come to Huntsville, where I spent time at Space Camp as a kid, and work as a propulsion engineer. It truly felt like I was coming full circle.”

Anne McIIveen

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Field Services Engineer, C-17 Program,
Boeing Defence UK

Anne McIlveen joined Boeing as a summer engineering intern at Royal Air Force (RAF) Brize Norton. Now she works to provide around-the-clock support for all of our customers who operate the C-17 Globemaster III military cargo transport aircraft.

“My career highlight was last year, when I was lucky enough to spend three months in California working with our head office stress analysis department,” she said. “Whilst there, I got to attend the annual Women in Aviation Conference, which was a fantastic experience. Although it’s pretty hard to top that, anytime I’ve been able to help our customers fix an aircraft and fly an important mission has been pretty cool.”

Maria Garcia

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Electrical Technician, Space & Launch Operations

Starliner electrical technician Maria Garcia beams with pride when she talks about her three daughters, who have followed in her footsteps in the aerospace field. Every year that her children were in elementary and high school, Maria participated in the National Take Your Child to Work Day so they could see up close the important work she was doing.

“They saw how much I liked my job and they chose the same path,” Garcia said. “I’m a proud mom.”

Two work as electrical technicians, similar to their mom, at other companies in California. Another is an aircraft maintenance technician.

Maria got her start in aerospace by driving from company to company in an industrial area dropping off resumes to try to get a technician job. She had some soldering experience and was hired by Spectrolab, a Boeing subsidiary in Sylmar, where she received additional training on soldering wires and components on the backside of solar panels.

“I was a single mom and ambitious to work. I printed out a stack of resumes and picked a street,” she said. “I was in the right place at the right time.”

She has been working for Boeing since 1998, mainly on satellites in El Segundo, and she’s been helping on the CST-100 Starliner program in Florida since 2017.

“I got very emotional when we launched last year,” Maria said. “What we are building is a part of history. Sometimes when you are working and you are so busy, you forget that for a moment. But then you stand back and take pride in seeing what you’ve accomplished.”

Kathleen “KJ” Jolivette

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Vice President, Attack Helicopter Programs

Growing up on the Rosebud Sioux reservation in South Dakota, Kathleen “KJ” Jolivette never imagined she would one day lead an organization that delivers premier attack helicopter capabilities for the U.S. Army and global customers.

“We were very focused on family and staying together, so many people took jobs on the reservation,” she said.

KJ, now vice president of Attack Helicopter programs and senior site executive for the Mesa site, grew up watching and learning from her mother’s example and hard work ethic. Her mother, who worked as a nurse’s assistant while raising KJ and her siblings as a single mother, inspired KJ to aim high.

After graduating high school, KJ joined the U.S. Army, serving in the supply career field before earning a bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting and, later, an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis. She joined Boeing as an intern in 2002, where her career has since soared. She has held positions ranging from business manager for the Middle East and Africa in Boeing Defense, Security & Space to her current executive position.

Throughout her Boeing career, KJ has worked to expose more Native American students to professional opportunities, particularly in STEM fields. She has partnered with the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), an external organization dedicated to expanding Native American students’ access to careers in STEM. Boeing has partnered with AISES to help students for the past 20 years, and AISES recently named KJ its Professional of the Year.

“As a Boeing leader, I feel it is our collective responsibility to help the next generation learn about and pursue STEM education opportunities,” she said. “We need to support and encourage them — and ensure they know that they can achieve their goals.”

Nicolette Gan

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Research Engineer, Boeing Research & Technology-Australia

As a research engineer, Nicolette Gan is part of a team designing and developing future technologies for future aircraft. She is currently part of both the Resin Infusion and Advanced Production Systems teams at Boeing Research & Technology in Melbourne, Australia.

Like many others, as a result of COVID-19, she had to start working from home, and did so whenever she did not need to perform laboratory work.

“I learnt that I am very privileged to have the luxury of being able to work from home, that my team is quick and agile to adapt to unforeseen circumstances, and that I always seem to have laundry to do,” she said.

Nicolette lives for the “Eureka!” moment in her work, the feeling she says she gets whenever the team and she solve the challenges presented.

And she sees a similar vein within gender equity.

“Generating creative solutions to solve complex problems is the objective of having diversity within teams — to have diverse thoughts based on our varied backgrounds and experiences,” she explained. “Gender is only one part of that. I celebrate gender equity by having this understanding.”

To the next generation of women her message is simple: “Be kind. Have empathy. Take ownership.”

Jennifer Radtke

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Chief Mechanic, Product Development Engineering

Jennifer Radtke has been preparing to serve as a chief mechanic at Boeing all her life. Her father encouraged her to help with sheet metal work in their garage when she was a child. She learned the joy of an elegant design, a quality product and a hard job well done.

Jennifer started her aviation career washing airplanes for airlines. Today, she is the first woman to serve as a chief mechanic at Boeing Commercial Airplanes in Washington. Supporting Product Development, she participates in reviews of designs and mockups to help engineers find solutions that help those who build and maintain airplanes. Her primary focus is on one of the production system tenets — respect for people.

“I’ve done some of the hardest jobs required to support an airplane in service and I have made it a mission to understand what our own mechanics go through in building airplanes,” she said. “Respect for people means we’re making our airplanes a joy to work on. It means we’re thinking about mechanics’ safety, their work environment and their workload. We’re not just creating elegant designs; we’re being practical.”

Jennifer also sees mentoring as a key part of her job. Creating more advocates for mechanics and helping to develop the next generation of leaders are ways she honors the investment that her mentors have made in her.

“I have had role models who invested in me,” she said. “They pushed me; they insisted I learn but did not let me fail.”

Miwa Kobayashi

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Government Relations Specialist, Boeing Japan

Miwa Kobayashi’s job is to strengthen and grow Boeing’s relationship with the Japanese government in support of the company’s key business goals. In addition, she leads projects that she describes as “very close to her heart” — Boeing’s environmental and community investment initiatives in Japan. Much of this work is conducted face to face, an extremely important cultural element in Japan.

“Given our U.S. colleagues are not able to visit Japan due to pandemic-related restrictions, I’ve had to represent the company at important meetings with the government alone,” Miwa said. “We’ve taken most of our day-to-day contact online, or via phone calls, which involves extra effort to make sure we’re communicating clearly and with transparency.”

Boeing Japan also took its university externship program online, as opposed to having classes and workshops in person; postponed its annual joint volunteer event with ANA; and put its popular large-scale children’s STEM activities on hold while working on alternatives.

“Working under the conditions we’ve endured for the past year has emphasized the need to look for the positive in everything,” Miwa said. “It’s easy for people to get overwhelmed when faced with so many unknowns. For me, it’s been important to remain optimistic, focus on what I can do or influence in order to find a way forward, and remain flexible enough to adjust and readjust as circumstances change.”

Paris Forest

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Senior Director, End User Services, Information Technology & Data Analytics

Paris Forest is responsible for all of the technology that enables productivity for Boeing, from desktop and mobile systems to collaboration services. It’s a big job, supporting all programs and functions as part of the company’s Information Technology & Data Analytics function, and it’s not easy — especially this year.

“The biggest challenge I faced this year was figuring out how to be a full-time executive and a full-time mother,” Paris said. “I am by definition a ‘single mother,’ and I also elected to pull my son out of the traditional school model and go with a full home-school program. It started out as more of a nightmare than a dream.”

Paris and her son leaned on family, asked for help and turned that “nightmare” into a great accomplishment. She’s done the same in her career.

Paris recalls the day that a program she led delivered on its commitments one day ahead of plan after being behind for three years. She took over the program when it was in bad shape, having no prior program management experience and very little transition.

“What made me proud of that moment is that I didn’t shy away from the significant challenge and I trusted myself. I believed that I could, and I did,” Paris said. “I felt euphoric. I felt validated. I felt like I had lived up to the promises of a generation that all culminated in that moment. As a woman with no experience in a field, I stepped into my potential and delivered against relentless challenge.”

Elia Morales

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Director, Social Sustainability, Global Enterprise Sustainability

Elia Morales is responsible for advancing Boeing’s social sustainability strategy, which is focused on engaging with and understanding the needs of employees, customers and local communities. Social sustainability covers everything from product safety and reliability to equity, diversity and inclusion to supply chain practices.

For the past year she has been working from home, due to the pandemic, with her husband and two teenage children. What this time has taught her is to be more intentional and that it’s OK to take time for herself.

“One of my biggest challenges this year was finding balance in this new work-from-home environment,” Elia said. “I joined a new team and I felt like I needed to prove myself and demonstrate my commitment to my work by working very long hours.”

Elia describes a situation where conference calls proliferated her calendar and she wasn’t setting aside time for breaks throughout the day.

“My hip flexors were screaming at me for sitting too long! I decided to buy a sit/stand desk and started blocking time on my calendar for lunch, physical activity and some much-needed thinking time,” she said. “I have since settled into a much better work-from-home routine and have achieved a better balance that allows me to stay active and healthy.”

Part of staying active for Elia is mentoring. She currently has mentoring relationships with nine female employees whom she stays connected with by scheduling “coffee chats” to support each other.

“We meet regularly and discuss our career aspirations, personal and professional goals, and help each other work through a variety of issues,” Elia said. “But most of all, we inspire each other to be the best, most authentic versions of ourselves.”

Haesun Kim

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Senior Software Engineer, Boeing Korea Engineering & Technology Center

When Haesun Kim first walked through the glass doors of the Boeing Korea Engineering & Technology Center, a new technology incubator in Seoul, she was surprised by the job interview.

“They asked me fundamental things that examined my potential,” she said. “In previous companies, I was asked more practical things and had to do a paper exam.”

She was also surprised not to be asked for her marital status, a box-check she had seen on other job applications at Korean companies.

“Every time I saw this, I wondered why it was necessary and whether I would be penalized for it,” she said. “It was new to me to be evaluated only on what I did and what I had accomplished.”

Previously, Haesun had worked as a software developer and a safety manager for autonomous driving cars at one of Korea’s largest employers. She was eager to adapt her safety design skills to aerospace as a senior software engineer and join a workplace culture that valued her experiences and was better suited to her lifestyle.

“I have more time to spend for myself,” she said. “And I saw more of where my career could take me. I thought, this is somewhere I can achieve my dream.”