Leading Ladies Of… Aerospace 2023








Event Schedule

Early Bird Networking Session

08.00 PST/ 11.00 EST/ 16.00 GMT

Join us for an opportunity to meet other Leading Ladies and Allies ahead of the formal program. Build your network and get supported!

Expo Hall is Open

08.00 PST/ 11.00 EST/ 16.00 GMT

Want to wander? Take some time to visit our exhibit booths and meet some of our sponsors and Careers Fair exhibitors.

VIP Speaker & Sponsor Networking Session

08.00 PST/ 11.00 EST/ 16.00 GMT

By invitation only.


Comfort Breaks / Wrap Up - get ready for take-off!

08.45 PST/ 11.45 EST/ 17.45 GMT

Wrap up those conversations, take care of your needs, respond to those emails, and grab a coffee… because it’s almost showtime!


Summit Opening

09.00 PST/ 12.00 EST/ 16.00 GMT

Get ready for a shot of inspiration to set you up for the day with our Founder & CEO, Fiona McKay.


Opening Key Note: Being Bold in Your Career

9.10 PST/ 12.10 EST/ 16.10 GMT

Sometimes we limit ourselves by not allowing those dreams of ours to grow big. And sometimes those limitations come from outside – from the words of others or unforeseen obstacles being placed in our way. Here at Leading Ladies, we believe anything is possible if you’re committed to going the distance. It might not be a straight line, but with audacious goals, a big bucket of courage and a dash of resilience there is no glass ceiling that can’t be broken. And we can’t think of a better person who demonstrates this than our formidable keynote speaker, Jessica Cox

Jessica Cox, CEO & World’s First & Only Armless Pilot 


Climbing The Career Ladder: Our Top Tips

9.25 PST/ 12.25 EST/ 16.25 GMT

Do you ever find yourself looking at other women and wondering, ‘how did she get there?’ Climbing the career ladder should not be a big secret, and those of us who have made it higher on the rungs have a duty to ensure that those women coming behind us have an easier time getting there. At Leading Ladies we are committed to ensuring that the ‘secret sauce’ is shared by stellar role models in our community. This panel of 4 amazing women are here to share the top tips – both their do’s AND their don’ts – that helped them get to their positions today.

Moderator: Adva Amir, Airline Captain, SkyWest Airlines

Heather Johnston, Director, Commercial Aero, Energy & Military NPI, Chromalloy

Janet Wardle, President & CEO, MHI Canada

Jaclyn Jackel, Manager, Quality and Mission Assurance, Aerojet Rocketdyne

Aerospace Market Outlook

10.00 PST/ 14.05 EST/ 19.05 GMT

Wondering what’s in store for the next few years in this crazy time in history for our industry? Will the resurgence continue? How could supply chain challenges affect that? And what does the ever-growing landscape of sustainable aviation mean for our long-term future? Join our favorite analyst and original Leading Lady Mariana Perez Mora, for her fourth installment of audience favorite – the aerospace market outlook. 

Mariana Perez Mora, VP, Equity & Research A&D, Bank of America

Boots & Suits: The Value Of Operations Experience In Your Leadership Journey

10.15 PST/ 13.15 EST/ 17.15 GMT

For some women grabbing their boots and being out on the shop floor or in the hangar is their happy place in the aerospace ecosystem. For others, it’s intimidating to think of themselves in that environment and more comfortable to spend time office-bound. But what do most women at the top of the career ladder have in common? Operations experience! There is no better leadership training than hands-on experience with the product and the teams that make or maintain the parts. So join three amazing women to learn more about their operations experience and why you should make this experience a key part of your career journey.

Neena Gill, VP & General Manager – Helicopter Business Unit, StandardAero 

Mandy Lucke, Manager, Certification Engineering, American Airlines

Kristin Robert, Vice President, 737, Spirit AeroSystems





10.50 PST/ 13.50 EST/ 17.50 GMT

 Grab a coffee & visit the expo hall!


SHeroes Driving Us to Zero: Women At The Forefront Of Sustainable Aviation

11.00 PST/ 14.00 EST/ 17.00 GMT

With the effects of climate change becoming alarmingly visible, the business case for sustainable aviation is stronger than ever – in fact it’s the only way to ensure our industry can continue to grow without disproportionately increasing our CO2 contributions. From Startups to industry icons, job opportunities in this field are growing rapidly, and many Leading Ladies are already in highly visible positions in this field. Come and meet some of these amazing women to hear their persectives on Hydrogen, SAF, and Electric and why more women should be putting themselves forward for a once in a lifetime opportunity to change the future of aviation.

Moderator: Jean Venus Marrow, VP People Operations, Archer

Rae Lutters, Program Mgr & Chief Engineer, ecoDemonstrator, Boeing

Jacqueline Castle, Chief Technology Officer, Aerospace Technology Institute

Danielle McLean, Founder & CEO, HYSky


Servicing The Community: Alternative Aerospace Careers

11.30 PST/ 14.30 EST/ 18.30 GMT

When you think about working in aerospace, what do you picture? Being an engineer? A marketer? An Ops leader? HR? There are many ways to contribute to the industry, and there’s a growing number of ‘out of the box’ ways to contribute to the industry. Come and hear from three amazing women that have ‘out of the box’ careers and learn about alternative career paths you could consider for your career journey.

Trisha Frank, VP, Government Programs, ATSG

Sonya Wickel, CISO & Sr. Director, Compliance, Triumph

Sharon Hagle, Space Ambassador, SpaceKids Global


Don't Hold Back: Overcoming Cultural & Institutional Barriers To Advancement

12.00 PST/ 15.00 EST/ 19.00 GMT

The evolution of organizations is often outpaced by cultural changes in our society, and when it comes to women and minorities much of the A&D industry has a long way to go until it is truly inclusive and welcoming of all.  Cultural and institutional barriers still exist in many organizations, and must be navigated to have a successful career. In this distiguished panel you’ll learn how they’ve overcome these barriers and how individuals and organization can make the changes needed to support others in their journey.

Tracie Carwile, Board Director & Mentor, Women in Corporate Aviation

Veronica Jackson, Chief, Energy Justice Policy Division & HR Manager, US Department of  Energy, USAF Reserve

Jeff Jerge, VP of Strategy, PartsBase

Ret. Rear Adm James Macleod, UK Ministry of Defense


12.35 PST/ 15.35 EST/ 19.35 GMT


From Failure To Thriving: Our Top Tips

12.40 PST/ 15.40 EST/ 19.40 GMT

Failure can be our greatest teacher, yet many of us shy away from taking on high-risk projects or roles as society has taught us to avoid failure. But the ability to dust yourself off and get back up again is a common trait for many of the worlds greatest leaders – after all, the way you show up on the face of failure says more about someone’s character than the way you show up when things are going swimmingly! Join several amazing women as they take share some of the mistakes they have made and challenges they have faced, what it took to keep them going, and how it made them a better leader.

Moderator: Laura Meck, Enterprise Customer Success Partner, SAP

Claudia Espinosa, VP Commercial, Avionica

Lisa Holland, President, Sheltair

Theresa Claiborne, Captain, 787, United Airlines & Founder of Sisters of The Skies

Glassbreaker Awards

13.10 PST/ 16.10 EST/ 20.10 GMT


13.30 PST/ 16.30 EST/ 20.30 GMT