CAMBRIDGE, MA—Women are significantly underrepresented in senior leadership at American companies. Research by the Center of American Progress shows that only 14 percent of executive officers in the United States are women, and women hold only 20 percent of board seats on companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500.
The aerospace and defense industry tells a different story. Attrition is relatively low at 4.3 percent. Job satisfaction is high, particularly among young professionals, at 75 percent. And women fill one in four senior leadership roles—higher than at Facebook, Yahoo, Google, Intel, Twitter or Cisco.
In recognition of the defense industry’s growth and importance in the region, the Women in Defense Greater Boston Chapter (WID-GBC) has elected its inaugural board of directors, featuring representatives from prominent local defense technology companies.
Nadja Adilovic, National Security and Space Program Manager at Draper, is the newly elected marketing chair for the group. According to WID, Massachusetts is the top defense contracting state in New England and the sixth, in terms of contracts won, in the United States.
Adilovic said WID serves as a connector for the defense and aerospace industry in the region. “Massachusetts is an innovation ecosystem filled with organizations that are shaping and securing the future of our national security and space. WID connects organizations and employees that are not only leaders but also paving the way for diversity. As marketing chair, I look forward to providing opportunities to influence and shape the environment that will continue to encourage new innovators, entrepreneurs and service personnel to join the mission.”
The Women in Defense Greater Boston Chapter is a new chapter serving Greater Boston, Rhode Island and New Hampshire. Through the Boston chapter, women with experience in the defense industry can mentor others, recruit young women and share advice about how they progressed their careers.
At Draper, we believe exciting things happen when new capabilities are imagined and created. Whether formulating a concept and developing each component to achieve a field-ready prototype or combining existing technologies in new ways, Draper engineers apply multidisciplinary approaches that deliver new capabilities to customers. As a not-for-profit research and development company, Draper focuses on the design, development and deployment of advanced technological solutions for the world’s most challenging and important problems. We provide engineering solutions directly to government, industry and academia; work on teams as prime contractor or subcontractor; and participate as a collaborator in consortia. We provide unbiased assessments of technology or systems designed or recommended by other organizations—custom designed, as well as commercial-off-the-shelf.
Draper combines mission planning, PN&T, situational awareness, and novel GN&C designs to develop and deploy autonomous platforms for ground, air, sea and undersea needs. These systems range in complexity from human-in-the-loop to systems that operate without any human intervention. The design of these systems generally involves decomposing the mission needs into sets of scenarios that result in trade studies that lead to an optimized solution with key performance requirements. Draper continues to advance the field of autonomy through research in the areas of mission planning, sensing and perception, mobility, learning, real-time performance evaluation and human trust in autonomous systems.
Draper has developed mission-critical fault-tolerant systems for more than four decades. These systems are deployed in space, air, and undersea platforms that require extremely high reliability to accomplish challenging missions. These solutions incorporate robust hardware and software partitioning to achieve fault detection, identification and reconfiguration. Physical redundancy or multiple, identical designs protect against random hardware failures and employ rigor in evaluating differences in computed results to achieve exact consensus, even in the presence of faults. The latest designs leverage cost-effective, multicore commercial processors to implement software-based redundancy management systems in compact single-board layouts that perform the key timing, communication, synchronization and voting algorithm functions needed to maintain seamless operation after one, two or three arbitrary faults of individual components.
Over the past 10 years, Draper has extracted miniature systems and real-time embedded systems design knowledge to develop cyber capabilities to assess software vulnerabilities and capabilities to secure electronics systems. Additionally, Draper has demonstrated secure networks featuring over-the-air keying to realize cryptographically encoded, high-bandwidth communications for UAVs and other applications. These complementary capabilities and technologies provide robust security solutions to guard critical embedded systems against cyber, reverse engineering, and other attacks and ensure that critical information can be protected and delivered in a timely and accurate manner.