PNAA's 2018 Women in Aerospace Conference was the Largest Ever!
Our 2018 Women In Aerospace Conference was a huge success, with more speakers and attendees than ever before. Over 200 aerospace women and a handful of men packed the event, held in Tukwila WA, to hear leaders from across the industry share their experiences, provide the latest intelligence on what the future holds and share their advice on how we can lift each other up and thrive well into the future. We received outstanding support from the community in the run up to the event, with sponsorships from the Consulate General of Canada, Seattle, the Center of Excellence for Aerospace and Manufacturing, and UTC Aerospace Systems.
PNAA’s CEO Melanie Jordan handed over the reins for the event to Fiona McKay, PNAA’s Business Development Director, who enlisted a wide variety of speakers from all levels of business to provide an engaging and relatable experience for all involved. She collaborated with members of the Women of Washington State in Aerospace (known as ‘WoWSA’) in the planning of the event, ensuring that the content reflected the interests of our community.
A high energy start to the day was provided by Shelley Roberts of Strategy Clicks with her interactive session, ‘Using your power for good,’ engaging the audience to re-define what it means to be a woman of power, moving away from the traditional dictionary definition of ‘power over others’ and instead focusing on grace and key traits inspirational women have that enable them to be a positive force for change. Michelle Crippin, Marketing Director for Boeing Global Services then shared some insights into Boeing Global Services, along with some fantastic career advice for working with and supporting others. We then turned to our first panel of the day ‘Career Pathways: Overcoming Obstacles,’ where our panelists provided open and candid advice on how to manage some challenging scenarios. We then jumped to our ‘Rising Technologies’ portion of the agenda, hearing from Insitu, Zepher and Blue Origin on the latest advances in Space, UAVs and Manufacturing.
PNAA's Keynote Lunch Speaker, Fariba Alamdari, Vice President for BCA Marketing, provided an engaging and thought- provoking overview on the value of diversity. A lasting piece of advice many attendees may have taken away from this is the need to take responsibility for our own diversity, embracing it as an asset, not a liability, and using this to drive courageous action for ourselves – applying for the positions we know we are worthy of, demonstrating our capabilities and then using our success to pay it forward for others.
To avoid the post-lunch energy drop, Monica Tate, representing our leading conference sponsor the Consulate General of Canada, led the audience through a dynamic and energetic ‘Speed Mentoring’ activity, encouraging attendees to make new connections across the room. The audience then settled back in their seats to hear from our ‘Sunset Panel,’ who shared stories from their career and advice on considerations for women across their entire career lifecycle. We then jumped to another ‘Rising Technologies’ session, hearing from Zunum Aero on the latest developments with the Electric Airplane, which led to a multitude of questions from the audience.
Recognizing the importance of the next generation of women in STEAM, we then took the opportunity to hear from Navy Veteran and current teacher in the Kent School District, Lindsey Duerre, on the changes we have seen in schools over the past ten years and how we can all become more actively involved in inspiring the next generation. With the inspiration and energy in the room at a high, we used this to fuel our final session of the day, ‘Confessions of a Confident Woman.’ This focused on how to communicate and project confidence both verbally and non-verbally, and take responsibility for owning the space around us. We had the entire room out of their seats and moving across the room to our closing song of the day, leading into our networking social and then the WoWSA happy hour, enabling our attendees to enjoy many more hours of networking.
The event was met with significant praise from our audience, with several requests for spinoff events. Puanani Santiago of Korry Electronics (Esterline) commented, "I have been blessed to work with some significant mentors and brilliant engineers in my career so nothing to complain about…..but WOW. I wish I experienced something like I did today 20 years ago! I think it would have really helped me along my career path to see that many of us have interesting challenges that can and will be overcome. I am a senior engineer at Korry Electronics in Everett and I was insistent about dragging several younger spunkier female engineers along today. I am so glad that I did! I am confident that they each took away from today’s experience something valuable and unique for their own careers."
Hence we expect our event to get even bigger and better in 2019 and will be seeking out a larger venue!
Thanks to everyone that attended! Check out our photos on Flickr