Fostering diversity in engineering industries and representing Latinas in Engineering.
Many barriers stand in the way and prevent Latina's interest in a STEM career. In a male-dominated industry like engineering, Latinas represent only 2% of STEM fields.
Adiana Ocampo Senior is the prime example of bridging the gap in the STEM industry and breaking the STEM ceilings for Latinas and women in general. With her dedication, perseverance, and her commitment. She is a Latina leader motivating and inspiring future Latina engineers.
“Adriana serves on the National Board of Directors of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and the Board of High Tech High Heels of North Texas.”
Adriana Ocampo Senior is an energetic and customer-focused leader with 25 years of experience in the aerospace industry. She poses a diverse functional background in engineering, operations, strategic work placement, and business integration. She is currently the Sr. Manager of Global Technical Operations (GTO) Portfolio Management and Strategy, responsible for leading a highly effective team that shapes the strategy to ensure all future work is executable and aligned with the business objectives of the organization.
Adriana holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from the University of Missouri, Columbia, and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Maryville University, St. Louis.
Adriana recently worked as the GTO Government Campaign and Enterprise Standard Gated Process (ESGP) integration leader. Before that, she was the BGS Engineering and MRO leader for the Embraer Partnership Services integration team. She was also the Chief of Staff and Business Integrator for the Vice President of BGS Engineering, Modifications, and Maintenance.
In 2015, Adriana Ocampo Senior joined Corporate Audit and gained broad exposure to the enterprise while gaining proficiency in internal controls. She completed several audit engagements across Boeings business units. In 2015 Adriana also received the Airport Minority Advisory Council Pay It Forward Honoree Award. And in 2011, Adriana was the recipient of the Luminary Award, offered by Great Minds in STEM, for her valuable contributions and notable achievements in her field.
She serves on the National Board of Directors of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and the Board of High Tech High Heels of North Texas. She is also a member of the Dallas/Fort Worth Hispanic 100 Latina Leaders organization.
In 2018 she continued breaking the STEM ceilings. By becoming the first Hispanic and seventh female to be inducted into the University of Missouris Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering (IMSE) Hall of Fame, Honoring her outstanding contributions in the field and her community affairs leadership. She now serves as a board member for that organization.
In 2019, Adriana was the recipient of the Women of Color in Technology Community Service in Industry Award and nominated by Boeing for the Great Minds in STEM Professional Achievement Award.
In the middle of this Summer 2022, I had the pleasure to Interview Adriana Ocampo Senior regarding her career, accomplishments, and what advice she would give to today's Latina and the future Latina.
OLM: How did you become interested in your field?
Adriana: From an early age, I developed a fascination with how things work, and before graduating from high school, I decided I wanted to study engineering. Plus, my father is also an engineer. I also dreamed of studying here in the US, and thanks to the exchange student program offered by the university that I was attending in my hometown of Barranquilla in Colombia, and the support of my parents, I was able to make this dream a reality and transferred to the University of Missouri to finish my degree in engineering. But the reality is that as a child and a teenager, my dream or my goal was not necessarily to work in aerospace. It was more of an opportunity and what God what in store for me. And it’s the industry I have been working on for the past 25 years.
OLM: How did you begin your career?
Adriana: I received my BS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Missouri and was hired by the McDonnell Douglas Corporation 3 months after graduating from College. I started my career working as an Industrial Engineer supporting the manufacturing and assembly operations of two US Navy and Marine Corp. aircraft: the AV-8B Harrier and the T-45 Goshawk. At that time, I was the only female and the youngest member of my team. But my education in IE proved to be very valuable, as I brought solid technical and analytical problem-solving capabilities needed to disrupt and modernize the Boeing production system. I became a subject matter expert in lean manufacturing tools (we learned from the Japanese in the automobile industry).
A couple of years later, I was assigned to my first domestic temporary assignment supporting the F-22 program in Seattle, WA. Then a second opportunity came to move to Mesa, AZ to lead the lean transformation of the T-38 modification line. The results were so positive, that I landed my first international assignment, and was sent to lead the lean implementation activities at a Joint Venture we had with a company in the Czech Republic. Those were very exciting years! I became a manager at the age of 28.
OLM: What do you like most about your work?
Adriana: The most rewarding aspect of working for the largest aerospace company in the world is that I get to work on products and leading-edge technologies that keep the world, people, and our nations safe. Every time I see one of our products – whether in the ocean, up in the air on taking off to space, I still get inspired and excited. I get to work on very amazing products. Also, in my 25-yr. career, I have been able to work on almost every function and every division of the company. So, I have had many careers under the same roof. It’s been very rewarding.
OLM: What kinds of accomplishments tend to be valued and rewarded in your field?
Adriana: Boeing has built a diverse, global culture rooted in our foundational values, including safety, quality, and integrity. We continue to build on this strong foundation by strengthening and investing in our company’s culture. As we navigate the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic we need to remember who we are and what’s important. A shared commitment to our values will see us through these challenges, for our company, and our industry.
We know there is still more work to be done to strengthen our culture and live our values day-to-day. We are committed to doing so. And we need every Boeing teammate to help, particularly in this challenging business environment. We each bring something uniquely valuable to Boeing, and we all have the opportunity and responsibility to create an environment in which everyone is respected, valued, and inspired to contribute to our long-term success.
To do so, we need to empower one another to speak up and voice concerns. We need to get ideas on the table, seek out and surface issues before they become major problems, and challenge behaviors that just aren’t right. We need to listen to and learn from one another, lifting all voices so we can better innovate and operate.
OLM: How does your position fit within the organization/career field/industry?
Adriana: I am responsible for creating high-value solutions for Government customers, including go-to-market strategic planning for priority proposals to demonstrate competitive ability and commitments to our Defense customers.
I lead a small, highly effective, portfolio management team, in the global services side of the business that tracks $12B of government campaigns in 2022 My organization has a People First employee-focused culture, enabling personal and professional development, engagement, well-being, and community involvement as a foundation for sustainable business success.
OLM: Why do you feel you are the most suited for this role?
Adriana: My background in Industrial Engineering is, with no doubt, one of the primary contributors to a rewarding career in my professional life. The discipline of strategic thinking, the approach to solving problems, and continuous improvement that is different than any other education path.
My coaching style involves and facilitates the engagement of people, as well as drawing out, understanding, and empathizing with their specific and individual motivations. I have been told I have a way of talking and communicating that is both authoritative and sympathetic, both demanding and supportive, and both disciplined and patient. It is a way of talking that is neither Mrs. Friend nor Mrs. boss, but rather nearly exactly in the middle.
OLM: What kind of mindset is required for your duties and responsibilities?
Adriana: At Boeing, we are honored to serve all the people who rely on our products and services every day. That’s why we hold ourselves to the highest standards in our work, how we do it and how we treat one another. Starts with functional excellence and Integrity in everything we do. Be accountable from beginning to end. That is the expected behavior of everyone. Fully committed to our values, every day.
How we act, leads to safety, quality, and integrity. Collaborate with humility, inclusion, and transparency. Respect one another and advance a diverse team. We have to be fully committed to our values, every day. As we innovate and operate to make the world better with our products and services.
OLM: What are the areas of opportunity that you foresee in your role?
Adriana: There are a number of major disruptors that have the potential to dramatically shift the competitive landscape in the MRO (Modifications, Maintenance, Retrofits, Repairs, and Operations) industry. From the increasing presence of the OEMs, game-changing advancements in technology, labor shortage in the maintenance technician field, labor/material cost management, changes to fleet plans and strategies, and the business impact of rising oil prices and interest rates, to name a few.
There are several areas of opportunity to adopt and mitigate these challenges. Some of these include leveraging data analytics, aircraft health monitoring, and predictive maintenance to reduce material usage; increasing the use of technology/automation; establishing technician training programs or partnering with an existing training program; and leveraging engineering capabilities.
OLM: How do you stay inspired and motivated in your role?
Adriana: Throughout my life, I have been fortunate to have strong female mentors and sponsors who challenge me every day to be great. It is not an overreach to say that those women gave me the courage to embrace my faith and confidence; and to refuse to allow challenges, doubters, or setbacks to have power in my life. I dreamed and worked my way through college in the US, into the aerospace industry, and through the ranks of leadership at The Boeing Company.
I would not be here today if it weren’t for those countless women who blazed this trail for me; ladies like my Mother, my high school principal, and my work mentors. I am standing on the shoulders of giants. That’s why I’m committed to paying the way forward and attracting and inspiring more young girls to get into STEM fields of study. Now it is my turn to lift up the next generation of female leaders.
I joined the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) for 17 yrs. ago. This organization supports Hispanic students and professionals in STEM for 50 years. Our mission is to change lives by empowering the Hispanic community to realize its fullest potential and to impact the world through STEM awareness, access, support, and development.
Also, a couple of years ago I was accepted into the DFW Hispanic 100 Foundation, a network of engaged and dedicated Hispanic women who are passionate about continuing to support each other’s success in the private and public sectors and committed to making a difference for future generations of Latinas.
In 2018 I was the first Hispanic and 7th female to be inducted into the University of Missouri College of Engineering IMSE Hall of Fame. Today, I am part of the Board of Directors. The only better thing is to lead a life of quality and excellence and make this whole world a little bit better of a place because you were in it. You can if you will. Si Se Puede!