International Women’s Day 2022: Breaking Biases in the Aviation Industry

At Pratt & Whitney, inclusion is the engine of innovation. The company’s culture celebrates varied ideas, points of view and all genders. With nearly a century of history as a leader in the aerospace industry, Pratt & Whitney, a Raytheon Technologies company, has strong values that promote gender equity, empowerment and authenticity. In fact, we’re working to reach gender parity (50%) in leadership roles by 2030.Employees around the world are dedicated to paving the way for future generations of women in STEM, especially in the engineering and manufacturing fields.

Here, women who work at Pratt & Whitney share their thoughts on the International Women’s Day campaign theme, #BreakTheBias – and on challenging the status quo to make a meaningful difference.

What #BreakTheBias means to Pratt & Whitney employees

“To me, break the bias means acknowledging and outwardly appreciating Black women’s contributions to society.”

Lakesha Etienne
Staff Electrical Analyst

“It is important to show that we (women) are just as valuable to the company as everyone else, no matter what. There should be no qualifiers that are used to separate us from other employees. Making us feel just as valued as our colleagues is important for our motivation and self-worth. This means focusing on eliminating the gender pay gap and offering opportunities for gender bias training to all levels of employees.”

Alison Faye Johnson
Senior Manager, Compliance

“International Women’s Day is very important to me because it goes to show that women are capable of doing anything. Being a young woman in manufacturing, it is very typical to be asked, ‘Why would you want to be in a male-dominated trade?’ The answer to that is that I enjoy the challenges faced daily, and I feel it shouldn’t matter whether you’re a male or female; you are capable of doing anything you put your mind to. Breaking the bias would be living in a diverse world where being different is valued!"

Amanda Abbruzzese
Repair Machinist

“Do not assume anything. Ask.”

Ileana Juarez
NDT Inspector B

“I was taught that boys play hockey and girls figure skate, but hockey looked like more fun! So, I contacted a local hockey team manager to join up, but he told me I was too old to learn how to play. After I hung up the phone, I was embarrassed and discouraged. My nine-year-old son encouraged me to go to the rink with him so that he could teach me how to skate on hockey skates (forwards and backwards) and help me handle the puck.

“I have subsequently joined a league and (I swear!) clown music follows me on the ice. I am proud to have ultimately disregarded the age-based put-down. Also, I am most proud of my son and how he showed me that it doesn’t matter how old you are to try something new."

Catherine R. Cunningham
Associate Director, Public Relations & Communications

“‘How do you balance your work life and personal life?’ That’s a great question – but it should not be directed to women alone. Respect, understanding, and support empower us to make choices and recognize our self-worth on so many levels.”

Krista Lu
General Manager, China Sales & Business Development

“To me, break the bias is about gender equality. Women are also a critical part of the aviation industry.”

Crystal Xue
Finance Manager

About Pratt & Whitney

Pratt & Whitney is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft and helicopter engines, and auxiliary power units. To learn more, visit To receive press releases and other news directly, please sign up here.