March is National Women’s History Month. Each year, The National Women’s History Project takes suggestions from supporters to develop a theme for the year’s events. After reviewing more than 100 submissions, this year, the organization selected the theme of:
Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination:
Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Throughout the month of March, we are highlighting the contributions of some of our women working in technology fields, and getting their viewpoints on what National Women’s History Month means to them. This week, we are highlighting Meg Redlin, Program Director of Mission Management and Precision Engagement Solutions in our GEOINT-ISR business. Meg develops mission critical systems and solutions for our defense customers.
- What inspired you to pursue a STEM career?
I attended the United States Air Force Academy and served as an intelligence officer in the United States Air Force. I was offered a position as an Operations Director at a Ground Station. In this role, I worked side-by-side with development contractors and came to enjoy the process of developing systems capable of addressing mission challenges.
- Are there any women who inspired you along your career path? If so, who are they, and how did they inspire you?
My mother inspires me most. She worked a full career in a traditional business administration role but wanted something more personally fulfilling. Once my sister and I were in college, she went back to graduate school and entered the psychology field. Today, she has a very demanding and important career working with some of the most challenging mental health situations imaginable. She is gifted at what she does, enjoys going to work each day and has no intention of retiring! Her drive to find her true calling despite the obstacles which may have presented themselves is truly inspiring.
- What does National Women’s History Month mean to you?
I am happy to see BAE Systems celebrating National Women’s History Month. During my first assignment in the Air Force, I was given an additional duty to be responsible for the Women’s History Month celebration at Keesler Air Force Base. Through that assignment, I learned a tremendous amount about historically significant women of whom I previously had little knowledge. Some, whom I find most inspiring, include: Wilma Rudolph, Elizabeth Blackwell, Dorothea Dix, Sarah and Angelina Grimke and Sally Ride.
- How do you hope to make “history” in your career?
I simply try to do my best; keep learning, and treat people fairly.
- How do you hope to inspire other Women considering STEM careers?
I hope my biggest contribution is to influence young women to seek a career in something they enjoy regardless of discipline or traditional role designation. For most of my career, I fought to conform within larger organizations and prove that I wasn’t diverse. Over the course of the last few years, I’ve seen the flaw in that mindset and have grown to recognize the value of embracing diversity. It is important to recognize all aspects of diversity, not just sex, but also race, education and life experiences.
The U.S. Government first recognized March as National Women’s History Month in 1987. For more on the history of the declaration, and to celebrate the many contributions women have made throughout history, visit http://womenshistorymonth.gov/.