NUWC Division Newport engineer, financial analyst work to create an inclusive environment for women > Naval Sea Systems Command > Saved News Module

NUWC Division Newport engineer, financial analyst work to create an inclusive environment for women > Naval Sea Systems Command > Saved News Module
NUWC Division Newport engineer, financial analyst work to create an inclusive environment for women > Naval Sea Systems Command > Saved News Module

Solid direction from females leaders has performed an important purpose for Megan Driggers and Jaime Fastino in their occupations at the Naval Undersea Warfare Middle (NUWC) Division Newport.

When Driggers, a resident of West Warwick, Rhode Island, who is an engineer in the Gadgets, Sensors and Products Investigation and Growth Branch of the Sensors and Sonar Units Division, began doing work at Division Newport in June 2022, she was inspired by the passion of Dr. Lynn Antonelli, who is the technical application manager of the Lasers, Sensors and Programs Program.

“When I first obtained right here, I labored intently with Dr. Antonelli and she aided me determine out who I was as an unique and what my passions are,” mentioned Driggers, who is now Antonelli’s deputy specialized plan manager. “She has mentored me to go on performing down that path. Seeing how passionate she is about her investigate and what she does, and supporting her to elevate it up and make a difference in the S&T local community, has been awesome.”

It has been a equivalent experience for Fastino, a resident of Newport, Rhode Island, who is a economic analyst in the Company Operations Office of the Undersea Warfare Fight Devices Department.

Just after finishing an internship at Division Newport although earning bachelor’s degrees in accounting and finance from the College of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, Fastino’s partnership with her supervisor, Marie Levada, played a substantial purpose in her accepting a task at the command.

“She’s unbelievable. She’s been this kind of a terrific mentor to me and a wonderful boss,” Fastino explained. “I have not experienced that in the earlier at some of the other destinations I’ve worked. That was seriously refreshing to have that and have an additional woman in leadership who is my boss just be so knowledge and considerate.”

Now, each individual with some experience performing at Division Newport, Fastino and Driggers are attempting to make sure the command’s new hires experience the exact same welcoming ecosystem.

In addition to their every day responsibilities at Division Newport, Fastino and Driggers serve as chair and vice-chair of Division Newport’s New Specialists Community (NPN), respectively. The two also participated in Division Newport’s Women’s History Month online video, which can be viewed below:

“The New Specialist Community is all about aiding persons, each new and professional, in producing specialist associations, as very well as occupation development by web hosting skilled and social situations,” Fastino mentioned. “We strive to help individuals make connections and to assist promote expertise sharing of specialized techniques and particular interests. We also assist new specialists by introducing them to govt means.”

Currently, the distribution record for the NPN and Teams is about 1,100 members. The group has much more gatherings planned for the stop of March and April. Typically, situations draw about 30 to 40 people and an more hundred or so if it is on Teams, Fastino reported.

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

“Sometimes performing in the Small business Place of work I sense like I’m just a minor piece of the puzzle — I’m not a scientist, engineer or mathematician — but I know I make a difference and my task matters. All people at NUWC’s occupation issues, and this strategy led me to take on additional management,” Fastino claimed. “I acquired included with the New Experienced Network below at NUWC and that has provided me such an chance to be a chief, to meet up with other men and women, to coordinate events for persons to have that social-get the job done setting to truly feel like you belong to a pleasant functioning society. That has been an additional wonderful chance and anything I seriously appreciate carrying out listed here, apart from my work.”

Fastino made a decision to get concerned with NPN for the reason that she knows how challenging it can be as new skilled — notably a woman — just starting up out in their profession.

“That was 1 of my most significant difficulties. The earth is your oyster when you’re youthful and it is so difficult to determine out what you want to do and if it is the right decision,” Fastino mentioned. “Specifically, doing work for the governing administration, is this kind of a great selection. It provides you that wonderful operate-everyday living stability, which I know I take pleasure in a whole lot, but I’m nonetheless provided a lot of alternatives at the identical time.

“We have a definitely fantastic, inclusive surroundings below but there have been periods in my lifestyle wherever mainly because I’m a lady, I’m not a peer. I cannot be as sensible as you or prime of the class due to the fact I’m a girl — particularly in my area, finance and accounting, specially, are incredibly male-dominated. I identified that at times, due to the fact I’m a woman, people today imagined I could not be wise or I could not considered as an equivalent or a peer, but at the conclusion of the working day I’m doing the job just as difficult as anyone else.”

Like Fastino, Driggers is grateful for the welcoming ecosystem at Division Newport, but in the past has expert currently being the only girl in a male-dominated discipline.

She remembers when she was the only feminine mathlete in her higher college and only female in her master’s program. A time early in her profession, a six-month deployment with a specific forces unit in the Center East, also stood out.

“I was the only female at that time that was in the application, so I was the only girl that volunteered to go around there. A large amount of persons asked me beforehand, are you guaranteed you are prepared to do this? In the past, there haven’t been numerous girls and they weren’t certain how it was going to go,”

Driggers mentioned. “There have been a whole lot of troubles that I had, specifically when it came to respect. Back stateside, no a person has at any time questioned my intelligence ahead of. I’ve designed up all this earlier operate practical experience and a résumé that is regarded, but when you go abroad and they’re not used to looking at ladies everyday they start off to concern whether or not you have the same amount as a guy. Via my operate, I confirmed them there is no variation.

“It finished up remaining a wonderful encounter. Sure, a good deal of men had been baffled to see a female on a particular forces base, but it was a terrific practical experience. I could do just as significantly as any guy could, so I felt like I did a terrific task and it was a good expertise to be hand-and-hand with the warfighter to assistance them and make a distinction.”

Family members also has been critical for each girls. Driggers grew up in a Division of Defense (DoD) domestic, as her mother and father satisfied operating as electrical engineers at Lockheed Martin Corp. Equally afterwards transitioned to roles with the federal government.

“My father grew to become a superintendent at the Naval Investigate Laboratory, and my mom went on to sign up for the Navy as an lively obligation member and grow to be a medical medical doctor,” Driggers explained. “She labored for the Navy for 14 a long time, so I grew up in a STEM (science, engineering, engineering and arithmetic) family that was really DoD-oriented. I was always extremely passionate about it.

“When I went to higher education I utilized for the Intelligent scholarship, and the DoD paid for my university and then I commenced doing work at the Naval Surface area Warfare Middle in Panama City for a few several years ahead of heading back again to get my master’s and transferring to NUWC Division Newport.”

For Fastino, her mom and grandmother the two serve as inspirations.

“My mother is a small enterprise operator. She has labored in that discipline and owned that company because I was two years outdated. She still owns the corporation to this day, and I feel which is also why I went to organization school is for the reason that of her and her teachings,” Fastino claimed. “I employed to operate at her business when I was youthful, executing bookkeeping and understanding the ropes from her.

“She’s integral to getting a job design for me and my grandmother is as well. She worked in the factories back in the working day in Fall River, Massachusetts, and experienced seven kids that she aided elevate. She finished her substantial faculty degree at 62, which was genuinely inspiring. She was usually genuinely tough and explained to me to function difficult, and that’s what I do.”

NUWC Newport is the oldest warfare middle 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 major detachments in West Palm Beach front, Florida, and Andros Island in the Bahamas, as nicely as exam facilities at Seneca Lake and Fisher’s Island, New York, Leesburg, Florida, and Dodge Pond, Connecticut.

Sign up for our staff! NUWC Division Newport, one of the 20 biggest companies in Rhode Island, employs a various, highly educated, educated, and competent workforce. We are constantly hunting for engineers, researchers, and other STEM gurus, as very well as gifted organization, finance, logistics and other assist gurus who wish to be at the forefront of undersea investigation and progress. You should link with NUWC Division Newport Recruiting at this web page- and abide by us on LinkedIn @NUWC-Newport and on Facebook @NUWCNewport.