Survey, website launched
Reaching out to non-union
With aerospace professionals around the country seeking a stronger voice and security at work, SPEEA recently
launched a new website as part of the “Friend of
The website, www.friendofspeea.org, highlights
and provides information about the benefits of
Along with the new website, SPEEA is surveying
aerospace professionals at companies around the
country about their experience with overtime.
With many companies – including Boeing –
changing overtime policies for non-union work-
ers, there is growing concern about the impact of
the changes on employees’ work-life balance. The
short, three-question survey asks aerospace work-
ers about the impact on their own life and family
when they work more than 40 hours per week.
The mailing is drawing responses from aero-
space workers across the country. Preliminary
results show a growing concern about overtime.
Comments also indicate more and more workers
are realizing that without a negotiated collective
bargaining agreement, every day at work is filled
with uncertainty. Results are expected to provide
important information about the impact of over
time on professional aerospace workers.
Now in its third year, the Friend of SPEEA program provides a way for laid-off, transferred workers and non-union aerospace professionals to stay
connected to our union and other professionals.
Those who sign up receive a monthly communication with news and information from SPEEA.
Linda Thomas, a SPEEA Area Rep, is shown above reacting to one
of the engineering college rejection letters to women in 1919.
Area Rep in Boeing video
Member encourages women to become engineers
The rejection letters from engineering col- leges sent to the women who applied in the early 20th century were disturbing
but not surprising to Linda Thomas, SPEEA
Area Rep and Boeing engineer.
“The letters essentially said women were not
welcome in engineering schools or even to
form any scientific society at that time,” said
Thomas, who participated in a Boeing video
with other women engineers reading excerpts
of the letters.
Boeing produced the video in conjunction
with International Women in Engineering
Day. The letters were sent by two women in
1919 to colleges across the country. Although
rejections for gender would be unheard of
today, only 13% of U.S. engineering jobs are
held by women.
Thomas is an Associate Technical Fellow (ATF)
and chemical risk assessment leader for environment, health and safety
at Boeing Defense, Space
She also teaches an introduction to engineering
course at a local college. One of her female students said her physics instructor at another college
was “giving her a hard time” about becoming an
“I’m dismayed to hear women in the 21st century
being dissuaded from STEM and specifically
engineering,” she said. That is why she makes
a point of mentoring women through work
and through the Society of Women Engineers
(SWE). She is a former board member and
When she went to Howard University, she
wanted to become a veterinarian. She switched
to engineering after finding out a zoology major
would not receive course credits for calculus
and physics classes. She
graduated with a chemical
engineering degree and
went to work at Boeing
more than 30 years ago.
In her ATF role, she is
recognized as an expert in her field and also a
resource for helping others. The ATF application
process is rigorous, but she’s glad she achieved her
goal. “It’s helped me become a more strategically
As an Area Rep, she is also a resource for co-
workers who have questions about SPEEA.
“If I see someone with a layoff, I remind them
of what’s on the SPEEA website, for example.
When they have a question I can’t answer, I can
refer them to a Council Rep,” she said.
“The role is vital as a basic line of communication with the membership.”
Boeing video - SPEEA participants
SPEEA bargaining unit participants in the
Boeing video include:
• Monica Alcabin, ATF
• Neha Borkar
• Stephanie LaBoo
• Quynhgiao Le, TF
• Sherrie Rippe
• Amy Reiss, TF
• Christina Royalty, ATF
• Linda Thomas, ATF
ATF - Associate Technical Fellow
TF - Technical Fellow
Highlights from archives of
Society of Women Engineers
Women have been performing engi- neering related roles for more than a century. Below are highlights
from research provided by the Society of
Women Engineers (SWE) archivist, based at
Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan.
• Elizabeth Bragg was the first woman
known to graduate with a bachelor’s
in engineering. She earned the degree
in 1876 in civil engineering from the
University of California, Berkeley.
• From 1876 through 1900, about one
woman per year graduated in the entire
• A slight increase occurred between 1900s
and 1910s - but typically five or fewer.
• World War I and World War II created
opportunities for women who were
recruited due to manpower shortages.
• By 1950, less than 0.2% of engineering
degrees went to women.
See the Boeing video - ‘ Women Make Us Better’