Women in Aviation 2020: Stephanie Gnudi

by Stephanie Gnudi on 03/19/2020

Hello, my name is Stephanie Gnudi, I am a Configuration and Data Manager based in St Petersburg, FL. I’ve been with L3Harris for 16 years and I have to say that my career found me. I love working with our customers because each day is different. One day it could be Airbus and the next the US Army – and they all have different needs and requirements making each interaction a completely unique challenge and rewarding experience. A large part of my job is knowing the other side of the process and how things are handled from the customer’s perspective. Configuration Management is a lot of common sense but how to apply that to the real world can be a challenge.

I’m proud to work at L3Harris because the products we manufacture voice and data recorders, standby indicators, accessories and avionics help make the sky a safer place. Our products support pilots during their flight operation and additionally help investigators figure out what went wrong. We also look at how we can use the data generated from our airline solutions to improve pilot training.

I enjoy my job, especially figuring out how to satisfy a customer. Skills that may be needed by others in my job would include patience and the ability to say no. My team is the last one in the chain before items are released for production. We need to take our time and make sure the changes are incorporated correctly or it could lead to issues in the factory. We ensure that the process is followed and sometimes that means sending an engineer back to review a process.

As a woman, there have been minor issues here and there but usually it works out to my advantage. Since I was in college I could always remember feeling like I am part of the minority, but the key to overcoming any issues that came with it is learning to not be afraid to ask questions and more importantly don’t be afraid to speak up when you know the answer. Over the course of my career I have learned that it is key to read the industry standards, news articles and attend industry shows. My advice to everyone would be to be yourself - I’m not an electrical engineer so I ask questions and people will explain. Do not take things personally. I’ve worked with some of the members of the engineering team for as long as I’ve been at L3Harris, we disagree but then we go to lunch together. Also, don’t be shy if you achieve something, I’m proud of my certifications. I worked hard for them.

For women looking to join the industry, do not be afraid to be the only female in the room. We don’t all think the same and I believe looking at things differently is a strength anyway. Do your job, do it well and it won’t make a difference if you’re a man or a woman.