Gwynne Shotwell is an inspiration for aspiring engineers everywhere, and especially for young girls. As the President and Chief Operating Officer of SpaceX, Shotwell oversees day-to-day operations of the company, which this year drew international attention by launching American astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station, and returning them home safely. This fall, Shotwell was named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020, reflecting her significant impact on commercial space travel.
Diversity, she says, is key to complex engineering projects:
“You absolutely want people to come at solving these hard problems that have different backgrounds, different skills, come from different universities, actually have completely different life experiences. You need that whole collective in order to design a robust complex system.”
You can learn more about Shotwell’s path to STEM career success — including the story of how a very sharp suit helped cement her future in engineering — at the Next Frontier Conference & Expo 2020.