Gwynne Shotwell

Gwynne Shotwell

Gwynne Shotwell, President and COO of SpaceX

“One of my professors ran into me when I was back at my graduate program and said ‘you should move to L.A. and work at this company [Aerospace].’ So, that is how I ended up in Los Angeles. I was at Aerospace for 10 years. I learned a huge amount about the technology for satellites as well as launch. … I recognized in my time there that the government did business one way and there was a different way to get things done in the commercial industry. So, I started looking out for commercial opportunities and I ended up at a little company called Microcosm. It was a neat little company. They gave me quite a big role and I was able to hone my skills as both a business developer, which is basically a sales person, and a senior corporate leader.”

“There are women in key leadership positions, but we are missing women in important middle management roles. That is the test bed; that is where you create new leaders. In order to populate that, you need to have more women as new employees. There is no question that women are starting to enter engineering programs at a much higher rate. I think some of the best engineering schools have women entering at the 28 to 30 percent range — some even up to 40 percent. If you are increasing the pool of new graduates that are women, that will filter up. I think it is important to speed up the process a little bit.”  

 “You have no control over whether you are going to be the smartest person at your company or even the smartest person in the room at any particular time, particularly at a company like SpaceX; there are a lot of smart people here. But, you do have control on how prepared you are, how hard you work and what kind of results you get.”

Satellite Today, photo via Teslarati 

Lisa Price

Lisa Price

 Sarah Krevans

 Sarah Krevans