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Celebrating Women's History Month with BendixKing Leaders

Celebrating Women's History Month with BendixKing Leaders

Women's History Month is a time to recognize women's social, economic, cultural, and political achievements. It's also a time that stands as a call to action for women's equality because there's still progress to be made.

This year's theme, #BreakTheBias, illustrates just how much progress we still need to make. And in honor of this year's theme, BendixKing leaders discuss how they #BreakTheBias.

Stefanie Ivie, Sr. Director, BendixKing Operations

Freeda Johnson, Director Product offering, Bendix King


1.     What is bias? How does bias most often show up at work in Aerospace, and for women?

Stefanie Ivie: I have experienced bias in many forms throughout my career, but the area that is most predominant is conformity bias. It has taken many years for me to find the confidence to speak up, challenge the status quo and not be afraid to stand out from the crowd. There is still an unconscious gender bias in Aerospace, specifically in leadership positions. At Honeywell, there have been significant improvements in succession planning. I look forward to seeing more leadership roles filled by women.

Freeda Johnson: A bias is a strong, preconceived notion of someone or something, based on information we have, perceive to have, or lack. It shows up in Aerospace as gender bias – that women are generally not leaders or front runners in Aerospace. I have been more often than not been asked – where is the "main pilot" when I was Pilot in Command of an aircraft.


2.     What advice would you give women beginning their career in Aerospace?

Stefanie Ivie: There are so many exciting opportunities for career growth in Honeywell Aerospace. Don’t be intimidated by what may seem to be a male-dominated environment. Stay focused, work hard, ask questions and be part of the solution. And never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. Always remember, “If Jack can do it, Jill can do it.”    

Freeda Johnson: Aerospace is a vast field with roles in STEM and other functions. If Aviation and Aerospace fascinate you and you want to do something else besides a pilot or an engineer – there are roles for you in aerospace.

3.     What does it take to shatter the glass ceiling and be successful in paving the way for future women trailblazers?

Stefanie Ivie:

1.     Strengthen your network and find a mentor

2.     Define clear career goals – stay determined, despite opposition

3.     Be an avid learner – I cannot emphasize this enough

4.     Be confident, courageous, and avoid conformity

Freeda Johnson: Women who are supporting and uplifting other women and unbiased men who are also supporting us – we must recognize that we need them as allies to speak for us when we are not in the room to speak for ourselves.

4.     Who is a famous woman aviation leader that you admire and why?

Stefanie Ivie: Janet Bragg was an aviation pioneer and I admire her tenacity to become a pilot despite facing adversity every step of the way for not only her gender, but also her race. She was one of the first female black aviators and the first to hold a commercial pilot’s license in the United States. She was courageous, determined, and confident despite the opposition from the men in her class. One of my favorite quotes is from her father, “If Jack can do it, Jill can do it.”

Freeda Johnson: Kalpana Chawla (March 17, 1962 – February 1, 2003) was an Indian-born American astronaut and engineer who was the first woman of Indian origin to go to space. I admired the fact that someone who looked like me was able to touch the ultimate frontier.

5.     Share with us the ways you are currently breaking the bias

Stefanie Ivie: All four steps mentioned above.

Freeda Johnson: Showing up and doing my job and presenting myself as a leader and asking for upward opportunities. Speaking up for myself and others when there is clear bias in action.

Aerospace Technologies Marketing

We inspire innovation. We are passionate and fearless inside and outside of work. We join forces and celebrate our global team. Now you can learn a little bit more about the amazing people that make up our culture at Honeywell Aerospace Technologies.