To commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day this January 19th, 2021, the University of Michigan Aerospace Engineering Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Committee, Black Students in Aerospace (BSA), and Women in Aeronautics and Astronautics (WAA) hosted a panel of eight accomplished Black U-M Aerospace alumnae to share their unique career journeys along with the roadblocks they conquered along the way in “Overcoming Turbulence: Trials and Triumphs of Black Women in Aerospace.” The panelists included Aisha Bowe (BSAE ’08), Sydney Hamilton (BSAE ’13), Dr. Jessica Jones (PhD AE ’17, MSAE ’13), Jasmine LeFlore (BSAE ’15), Jasmine Sadler (BSAE ’09), Lizalyn Smith (BSME ’02), Tia Sutton (BSAE ’00) and Belinda Williams Worley (BSAE ’96).
In addition to educating on how to strengthen the pipeline for Black girls to enter the field of Aerospace Engineering, the panelists discussed obstacles including having co-workers question their accomplishments and being “the only one.” This candid and empowering talk on these women’s unique and challenging careers brought awareness to the importance of inclusion in the workplace and provided a platform to educate and inspire all who joined. U-M Aerospace is proud to have hosted such wonderfully accomplished women and to have provided them a space to inform on the insufficiencies of inclusion in the workplace and to share with our students the strategies they implemented to overcome the resulting roadblocks. Watch the video recording of “Overcoming Turbulence: Trials and Triumphs of Black Women in Aerospace” to share in the exploration of bettering our awareness of racial equity.
Learn more about Michigan Engineering at aero.engin.umich.edu