NUWC Division Newport engineer, financial analyst work to create an inclusive environment for women

NUWC Division Newport engineer, financial analyst work to create an inclusive environment for women

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Tale by Community Affairs Workplace, Naval Undersea Warfare Centre Division Newport

NEWPORT, R.I. – Powerful guidance from ladies leaders has performed an critical part for Megan Driggers and Jaime Fastino in their careers at the Naval Undersea Warfare Centre (NUWC) Division Newport.

When Driggers, a resident of West Warwick, Rhode Island, who is an engineer in the Products, Sensors and Products Investigation and Advancement Branch of the Sensors and Sonar Methods Department, started doing work at Division Newport in June 2022, she was influenced by the passion of Dr. Lynn Antonelli, who is the specialized program manager of the Lasers, Sensors and Methods System.

“When I initially got in this article, I worked carefully with Dr. Antonelli and she assisted me figure out who I was as an particular person and what my passions are,” reported Driggers, who is now Antonelli’s deputy technological software manager. “She has mentored me to continue on functioning down that path. Observing how passionate she is about her study and what she does, and encouraging her to elevate it up and make a change in the S&T group, has been astounding.”

It has been a very similar knowledge for Fastino, a resident of Newport, Rhode Island, who is a financial analyst in the Business Operations Business office of the Undersea Warfare Beat Systems Section.

After completing an internship at Division Newport whilst earning bachelor’s levels in accounting and finance from the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, Fastino’s partnership with her supervisor, Marie Levada, played a considerable role in her accepting a position at the command.

“She’s unbelievable. She’s been these types of a terrific mentor to me and a terrific manager,” Fastino reported. “I have not had that in the past at some of the other places I’ve labored. That was genuinely refreshing to have that and have a further woman in leadership who is my manager just be so being familiar with and thoughtful.”

Now, just about every with some working experience performing at Division Newport, Fastino and Driggers are making an attempt to make positive the command’s new hires experience the similar welcoming setting.

In addition to their daily responsibilities at Division Newport, Fastino and Driggers serve as chair and vice-chair of Division Newport’s New Professionals Network (NPN), respectively. The two also participated in Division Newport’s Women’s History Month video, which can be viewed in this article: day period.

“The New Qualified Network is all about assisting people today, both equally new and experienced, in producing specialist relationships, as very well as profession advancement by hosting experienced and social functions,” Fastino mentioned. “We strive to assistance men and women make connections and to support endorse expertise sharing of technical abilities and individual pursuits. We also assist new pros by introducing them to government methods.”

Currently, the distribution checklist for the NPN and Groups is about 1,100 members. The team has extra functions planned for the stop of March and April. Commonly, gatherings draw about 30 to 40 folks and an additional hundred or so if it is on Teams, Fastino explained.

Any individual who has been at Division Newport for 5 decades or significantly less is considered a new experienced, but the group is inclusive to equally new and expert professionals, Fastino additional.

“Sometimes doing work in the Organization Office I really feel like I’m just a little piece of the puzzle — I’m not a scientist, engineer or mathematician — but I know I subject and my task matters. Anyone at NUWC’s task issues, and this concept led me to choose on extra leadership,” Fastino stated. “I acquired included with the New Specialist Network in this article at NUWC and that has specified me these types of an opportunity to be a chief, to meet other persons, to coordinate functions for persons to have that social-do the job natural environment to truly feel like you belong to a nice doing work society. That has been yet another good opportunity and something I seriously appreciate carrying out in this article, moreover my job.”

Fastino decided to get included with NPN because she is familiar with how difficult it can be as new skilled — particularly a woman — just setting up out in their occupation.

“That was a single of my greatest problems. The environment is your oyster when you are youthful and it’s so really hard to figure out what you want to do and if it’s the right preference,” Fastino reported. “Specifically, functioning for the governing administration, is these types of a great decision. It gives you that great get the job done-existence harmony, which I know I take pleasure in a ton, but I’m nonetheless supplied a whole lot of chances at the exact time.

“We have a definitely terrific, inclusive atmosphere below but there have been situations in my lifetime in which since I’m a girl, I’m not a peer. I can’t be as smart as you or top rated of the class simply because I’m a woman — especially in my area, finance and accounting, exclusively, are very male-dominated. I found that at moments, mainly because I’m a female, individuals considered I couldn’t be good or I could not viewed as an equivalent or a peer, but at the stop of the working day I’m doing work just as difficult as everyone else.”

Like Fastino, Driggers is thankful for the welcoming atmosphere at Division Newport, but in the previous has seasoned currently being the only girl in a male-dominated field.

She remembers when she was the only woman mathlete in her higher faculty and only female in her master’s application. A time early in her vocation, a six-month deployment with a special forces device in the Center East, also stood out.

“I was the only female at that time that was in the plan, so I was the only female that volunteered to go more than there. A good deal of men and women questioned me beforehand, are you guaranteed you are completely ready to do this? In the past, there haven’t been several girls and they weren’t absolutely sure how it was going to go,”

Driggers stated. “There were a good deal of problems that I had, particularly when it arrived to regard. Back stateside, no a single has at any time questioned my intelligence just before. I’ve designed up all this earlier get the job done knowledge and a résumé which is recognized, but when you go abroad and they are not made use of to looking at gals each day they start out to question no matter whether you have the similar stage as a male. As a result of my operate, I confirmed them there is no big difference.

“It finished up currently being a great experience. Sure, a large amount of males had been perplexed to see a lady on a unique forces foundation, but it was a fantastic working experience. I could do just as substantially as any guy could, so I felt like I did a fantastic position and it was a excellent knowledge to be hand-and-hand with the warfighter to assist them and make a distinction.”

Household also has been significant for both of those girls. Driggers grew up in a Department of Protection (DoD) residence, as her parents met functioning as electrical engineers at Lockheed Martin Corp. The two later transitioned to roles with the government.

“My dad grew to become a superintendent at the Naval Study Laboratory, and my mother went on to be part of the Navy as an energetic responsibility member and grow to be a health-related health practitioner,” Driggers reported. “She worked for the Navy for 14 many years, so I grew up in a STEM (science, technologies, engineering and arithmetic) home that was incredibly DoD-oriented. I was normally incredibly passionate about it.

“When I went to college I applied for the Clever scholarship, and the DoD paid for my faculty and then I began performing at the Naval Area Warfare Center in Panama City for a number of several years prior to likely back to get my master’s and transferring to NUWC Division Newport.”

For Fastino, her mom and grandmother both equally provide as inspirations.

“My mom is a tiny organization owner. She has labored in that field and owned that small business considering that I was two decades old. She nevertheless owns the enterprise to this day, and I consider which is also why I went to organization college is due to the fact of her and her teachings,” Fastino said. “I utilised to function at her business when I was youthful, performing bookkeeping and discovering the ropes from her.

“She’s integral to remaining a position model for me and my grandmother is as nicely. She worked in the factories back again in the day in Drop River, Massachusetts, and had 7 kids that she aided increase. She finished her high school degree at 62, which was definitely inspiring. She was usually truly hard and informed me to operate difficult, and which is what I do.”

NUWC Newport is the oldest warfare heart in the nation, tracing its heritage to the Naval Torpedo Station established on Goat Island in Newport Harbor in 1869. Commanded by Capt. Chad Hennings, NUWC Newport maintains main detachments in West Palm Beach, Florida, and Andros Island in the Bahamas, as properly as exam services at Seneca Lake and Fisher’s Island, New York, Leesburg, Florida, and Dodge Pond, Connecticut.

Be part of our team! NUWC Division Newport, a single of the 20 premier employers in Rhode Island, employs a assorted, extremely skilled, educated, and qualified workforce. We are consistently seeking for engineers, scientists, and other STEM professionals, as nicely as talented company, finance, logistics and other support authorities who wish to be at the forefront of undersea analysis and enhancement. Be sure to join with NUWC Division Newport Recruiting at this website- and abide by us on LinkedIn @NUWC-Newport and on Fb @NUWCNewport.