Michigan Space Forum- Entrepreneurial Women in Space Panel- Inclusivity and Change

By Shankho Bhattacharjee on 06-Jun-2019

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Naveego's CEO Katie Horvath moderated a panel of Entrepreneurial Women in Space at the Michigan Space Forum on May 31, delving into gender issues faced by women in the space industry. Accomplished space entrepreneur panelists included Barbara Plante - President of Boreal, Charlie McGillis -  Executive Director of Slingshot Aerospace, Cynthia Bouthot -President of SCM and Ellen Chang – Co-Founder of Lightspeed Innovations.  


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Left to right, Katie Horvath, Barbara Plante, Cynthia Bouthot, Ellen Chang and Charlie McGillis


Women are still a diversity hire in most STEM-related fields. The panel revealed that in addition to climbing corporate ladders to become leaders in the space industry, they endured gender discrimination and bias on their rise to the top.

As entrepreneurs in start-up private sector aerospace companies, Bouthot shared how it was much more difficult for female entrepreneurs to pitch to Venture Capitalists. Chang stated that investors can help improve diversity by intentionally investing in women led companies.

There is a need to bring in change and inclusivity in many hi-tech careers for women and other minorities. Positive role models are often extremely helpful when it comes to breaking down the invisible walls set up in society.  The panelists shared changes that the are making to their workplace environments, now that they are in positions of leadership.  These trail blazers work to encourage women to pursue STEM education opportunities and careers.  McGillis mentors young women through a golf STEM program, building student confidence in traditionally male dominated areas including the golf course and the space industry.  Plante offered advice to women entering STEM careers, relaying that she was blissfully ignorant of gender issues when starting her own career.   The collective hope is that the next female generation is elevated beyond harassment and hostile work environments experienced by women in male dominated fields in the past.

We at Naveego value a diverse and inclusive workplace that brings out the best products and services, and also heightens the potential of all of our employees. Horvath stated, “We don’t let politics or ego get in the way of great ideas.  In fact, having different view points, experiences and backgrounds on our team adds to our creativity, enhances our problem solving skills, and elevates our innovation.”


About Naveego

Naveego is a leading provider of cloud-first, distributed data accuracy solutions for seamless, end-to-end data quality and self-service Master Data Management (MDM). The NaveegoTM Complete Data Accuracy Platform leverages the Apache Hadoop open source framework to enable organizations to proactively manage, detect and eliminate data accuracy issues across all enterprise data sources in real-time  regardless of its structure or schema. It seamlessly connects to each source whether in the cloud or on-premise and scales effortlessly to ingest data streaming from data lakes, IoT devices and edge services to provide a single, holistic view of all information assets to create analytics ready information and ensure global data health. The solution is easy to install and adopt, and empowers businesses to start taking control of their data in just hours. For more information, call +1 231-346-4144, visit http://www.naveego.com or connect with Naveego on LinkedIn and Twitter.

About Shankho Bhattacharjee

Shankho is a Marketing major in the Eli Broad College of Business, Michigan State University. He's involved with the Entrepreneurial community in East Lansing, as one of the co-founders of a sustainable streetwear startup. He is currently navigating the world of B2B Marketing and Sales as​ a Digital Marketing and Sales Intern for Naveego, Inc. in Traverse City, MI.