Companies must start publicising how rewarding STEM employment can be to encourage more girls and women to pursue aerospace careers, said Stephanie Hill, executive vice president of rotary and mission systems (RMS) for Lockheed Martin Corporation.
Speaking at the Farnborough International Airshow in July, Hill said: “It’s very similar challenge that we have in the US with women and people of colour. With women in the US, it’s fewer than 10 per cent of female students who actually pursue STEM related majors. So it is a significant issue.
“I actually think it’s lower now than it was when I was exploring and beginning to major in computer science. And so it is so imperative that we as organisations … companies, like Lockheed Martin or wherever you are, shout from the rooftops how great and rewarding a career in STEM can be.
“One of the reasons we don’t have as many women and as many underrepresented people of colour in these fields is because people have a stereotype about being an engineer, where you’re alone in this cubbyhole, you don’t ever talk to people and you’re geeking out all the time. Well, geeking out can be fun.”
$16 billion enterprise
RMS is a $16 billion enterprise employing 35,000 people across the globe, with approximately 10 percent in Australia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, United Kingdom and other countries.
The RMS solution-portfolio delivers operationally and economically effective solutions across multiple warfighting domains. It features more than 1,000 programmes, including helicopters, integrated air and missile defence, littoral warfare, undersea warfare, radar, electronic warfare and cyber solutions.
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