26 years later the Warton based Principal Engineer is working as a system design signatory on Typhoon and is loving every minute of it.
Grace said: “I feel that I have been extremely fortunate to have worked with some exceptionally talented people throughout my 26 years in the company. These colleagues have given me a tremendous amount of support and encouragement and, in the majority of cases, have had a lot more confidence in my abilities than I have!
“While I don’t think that being a woman has ever had a direct impact on potential opportunities, being a bit of an introvert I find it extremely difficult at times to articulate what I have done. I often get embarrassed when I speak to people about my achievements but I’m learning to manage it.
This shows how the company supports its employees, nurtures them and helps them to fulfil their potential. Hopefully it will help to encourage more females to consider a career with BAE Systems. I feel extremely fortunate to have worked with some exceptionally talented people over my 26 years in the company so far. They’ve given me a tremendous amount of support and encouragement.
Grace Johnstone, Principal Engineer - Product Clearance and System Safety, Air
“I honestly couldn’t believe it when i found out I’ve been named as one of the Top 50 Women in Engineering. I’ll keep thinking they’ve made a mistake until I actually see it for myself in the Guardian!”
Despite being a self-proclaimed introvert, Grace is Chair of the Inspiring Woman Steering Board and President of the BAE Systems Air Speaker’s Club, set up to help females develop their speaking skills and self-confidence in the workplace.
“This is very important to me as I want to establish ways in which we can provide practical help and support to female members of the business to try to ensure they have a rewarding and fulfilling career.”