Celebrating International Women’s Day at Sierra Space

Women watching the stars in night sky

March 8 marks International Women’s Day, a worldwide observance that recognizes the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.

In recognition of International Women’s Day – as well as Women’s History Month – we wanted to highlight a few of our female Sierra Space team members who are propelling us toward our mission of creating a platform in space to benefit life on Earth.

Liz Antognoli Headshot, CRS2 Mission Integration Manager at Sierra Space (Sr. Program Manager)

Liz Antognoli, CRS2 Mission Integration Manager (Senior Program Manager)

What does Women’s History Month mean to you?
To me, Women’s History Month is a reminder that there is a plethora of phenomenal women that have come before me and have paved the way for me. It also reminds me that our country has a past that denied basic rights and opportunities to people solely based on their gender. This month re-ignites my fire to be an advocate for others where I have a voice.

Who inspires you?
One of my first heroes was Sally Ride, the first American woman in space. I was 8 years old when she launched and it made an impression on me. I’m also inspired by my paternal grandmother – she was born in 1912, got a college degree and worked as a landscape architect in Chicago. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, thinking back to some of our conversations, she had to be someone who stood up for herself and her abilities during a time when that was against the grain. She lived to 104!

Now, I am particularly inspired by people who will speak the truth when it needs to be spoken and do the work day in and day out to bring integrity to the world – whether it is the engineer who will raise a concern no one else will or Greta Thunberg challenging world leaders.

What recommendations do you have for others to celebrate Women’s History Month?
It’s a great time to find out more about the women who paved the paths that we walk – from those who helped gain the right to vote to those women you follow more closely behind on your career path. Have a conversation with others about how you’d like to help continue writing women’s history.

Marissa Pinnola Headshot

Marissa Pinnola, Engineering Manager for Propulsion and Environmental Systems

What does Women’s History Month mean to you?
Women’s history month is important for me to recognize and pay homage to women who have paved the way for me to succeed in my life and career thus far. I hope we can continue to evolve so there is no glass ceiling for women to break.

Why are diversity, equity and inclusion important?
It’s important to recognize how different problems arise for different groups of people. Having diverse representation during decision making reduces the risk of unknown problems down the line and ensures that our society works for all of its members.

What advice would you give to your younger self?
When you know the answer speak up and be confident in your skills, no matter who you are talking to.

Andira Ramos Systems Engineer III

Andira Ramos, Systems Engineer III

What does Women’s History Month mean to you?
Women’s History Month is a time of reflection and inspiration. It reminds me how fortunate I am to be doing what I am doing and gives me drive to help others reach their goals too.

What was your journey like to Sierra Space?
Before coming to Sierra Space, I was working on my PhD in Physics at the University of Michigan. My dissertation work involved laser cooling atoms and performing precision spectroscopy with them. Think lots of hands-on work with lasers, optics, electronics and a large vacuum chamber.

What recommendations do you have for others to celebrate Women’s History Month?
I think a great way to celebrate is to help feel women empowered and respected in the workplace. This can take many forms, but it can start with simple actions like not talking over your female coworkers during meetings.

Later this month, we are proud to launch our Women’s Affinity Group at Sierra Space, chaired by Marissa Pinnola. The Women’s Group is designed to connect women and other gender minorities and enhance their experience at Sierra Space by providing a forum for professional and personal growth.

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