Honeywell Aerospace boasts impressive mentoring program

Honeywell Aerospace boasts impressive mentoring program

 September 10, 2020

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At Honeywell, supporting and developing female talent is key, so the company provides an impressive mentoring program within its Aerospace division.

The mentoring program focuses on developing top performers while cultivating certain behaviors like commitment and the valuing of diversity.

Where Women Work caught up with some of the women participating in Honeywell’s Aerospace mentoring program to hear about their work at Honeywell, their thoughts on the company’s work culture, advice for women looking to join Honeywell – and importantly, their reasons and experience in participating in the mentoring program.

Where Women Work interviewed both mentors and mentees at Honeywell to uncover their thoughts and advice.

Carrie Sinclair, Honeywell Senior Director, Customer Digital Experience

Honeywell aerospace mentoring

Honeywell employee Carrie Sinclair leads a team of impressive digital marketers, web specialists and creative colleagues who maintain Honeywell’s Aerospace website and create much of the business’ marketing efforts from emails to videos.

“My team acts as a service organization to the customer marketing team at Honeywell Aerospace, and we get to work on all aspects of Aero across the globe – from general aviation to air transport to space. I am also privileged to host our podcast, Aerospace Unplugged, a behind-the-scenes look into all things Aerospace.

While currently a mentor in Honeywell’s Aerospace mentoring program, Carrie has also benefitted from being a mentee in several other mentoring programs throughout her career. Carrie greatly values the mentor role, because she feels that sharing her own learnings not only helps others to grow but allows her to further develop as well.

“It is a privilege, both to be asked to be mentored and to mentor,” Carrie said. “It enables me to give back to the organization, because Honeywell has provided so much for me over the past almost 20 years.”

When asked for her advice to other mentors in terms of maintaining a good, useful, and productive mentor/mentee relationship, Carrie’s advice is pragmatic. “Be clear on what you are looking for in the relationship upfront and set a standard for how frequently you meet. In my opinion, the collaboration operates best when the mentee schedules the meeting. Always come with a subject in mind – maybe an issue or work problem you could use coaching on or an opportunity you are considering. Sometimes a recap of a project you just completed is helpful,” says Carrie

Carrie has mentored several people to date and says it is important to start with what each person is looking for out of the relationship. “In a mentoring relationship, it is useful to explore objectives for the relationship. Is it guidance on your next role? Is it coaching? I once had a mentoring relationship where my colleague helped me to develop global expertise and an international perspective, while I provided him with a read on what was happening in the room during meetings since he was always remote. It was a symbiotic relationship that was not based on an objective of getting to the next levels in our career, but it worked well for both of us,” Carrie said. “I also think that women should not always just wait for a mentoring program to come along. If women can find someone who is a good fit for them, they should go and actively seek them out and ask them to be a mentor.”

The philosophy that guides Carrie is to “know enough to be dangerous.” She believes it is important for women to feel confident in digging hard enough to be able to ask key questions and push their team and their leaders to really understand problems in detail so they can identify the best solutions.

Carrie believes that mentoring programs are key because Honeywell is a collaborative community, but also a matrixed organization, so networking is vital. “I started with Honeywell almost two decades ago, and I still call folks from my early days to see if they know where I can get an answer. The work is so diverse, you really need to be able to dip into your networks to get all of the information you need to make decisions sometimes and that could be someone in the supply chain, someone in engineering or someone in customer support. The people I have worked with over the years are amazing and they are always willing to provide some guidance.”

Catherine Gao, Honeywell Flight Test Engineer II

Honeywell aerospace women

Catherine Gao is a mentee in Honeywell’s Aerospace mentoring program.

The main goal of flight testing is to deliver accurate, repeatable, cost-effective data. As a Flight Test Engineer, Catherine designs systems and works with project engineers, system engineers, maintenance, and pilots to coordinate product installs, checkouts, and testing. The data she and her colleagues collect improves safety, cost management, customer satisfaction, and ultimately product value.

“The Aerospace Mentoring Program has exposed me to new people in different roles that help me navigate my career,” says Catherine. “My mentors have answered questions like, “What are all my possible opportunities with my degree? Should I pursue higher degrees in management or engineering? What are further ways I can be involved with Honeywell and promote its values?”

Catherine herself aspires to one day be a mentor and share her knowledge, experience, and support with others.

Regarding her mentoring program participation, Catherine seeks to develop her networking and adaptation skills. “One never knows what will come next, but I want to be ready and able to evolve with circumstances. Whenever exciting new opportunities arise, I know that the skills I learn from my experienced mentors will help me embrace the challenges of change and grow to be a better engineer,” explains Catherine.

Catherine believes women should not be shy in stepping forward to ask someone to be their mentor. “Usually, everyone is quite happy to help a young engineer, even if it is someone whom you have never spoken with before,” said Catherine. “When asking someone for help or mentorship, the worst thing that can happen is that they say ‘No’ – but then you can always ask someone else.”

Caroline Hildebrand, Honeywell Systems Engineer II

Honeywell aerospace women mentoring

Caroline performs verification testing and requirement tracing for different software components on Honeywell’s Primus EPIC and APEX platforms.

Caroline is a mentee in Honeywell’s Aerospace mentoring program. She has been collaborating with her mentor, Renee, and values the opportunity to have someone other than her immediate manager to ask questions and seek out for advice. “I find it beneficial to be able to ask questions that, in my opinion, you might not want to directly ask your boss, and it’s nice to get an outside perspective on things from someone else in your group,” explains Caroline.

Caroline and her mentor, Renee, have been meeting at least once a month, with Renee actively ensuring distractions do not get in the way of their meetings.“Renee acts as a career and life advice sounding board. My goal is to get her perspective on situations. Also, it is nice just talking to her and having someone to check in with,” says Caroline.

Consider a career with Honeywell

Looking to gain personal and professional growth on an unprecedented scale?

Honeywell’s performance culture seeks employees with a strong passion for what they do.

Honeywell has a wide range of job opportunities; take a look at the career opportunities available within Honeywell.

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