We've come a long way
A year ago, Linda Gooden took over Lockheed Martin's Information Systems and Global Services business, which pulls in more than $9 billion in annual revenue. Those are 2006 numbers.
This week Northrop Grumman named Linda Mills president of its $4 billion IT business.
Northrop and Lockheed now have women running very large and growing business units, units that are at the very heart of their businesses. But what struck me was that neither defense company uttered a comment about these leaders being women.
I think maybe the only reason I noticed it is because of the attention Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have received for being the first woman and first African-American, respectively, to make serious runs for the presidency.
For two women in the defense industry to rise to such high leadership positions and receive so little attention for it, says a lot about how far we've come as a society and an industry.
In fact, I hesitated to blog about this because I know I might catch some flak from people who will point to the successful women entrepreneurs and other female executives with large companies in the government contracting market. But any flak I catch only emphasizes the point I'm trying to make.
I also can't help but think about the leaders that will emerge from the 20-something-year-old military women in Iraq and Afghanistan. While officially not in combat roles, women are definitely serving and living in high-risk conditions.
As they transition to private sector jobs, I think we'll see a steady supply of women leaders emerge.
Posted by Nick Wakeman on Jan 31, 2008 at 7:22 PM