By Melanie Eakes
When I was just a teenager, I interned at Marshall Space Flight Center, which was a short drive from my hometown of Hazel Green, Alabama. It was such an inspiring place. That’s where rockets were developed that took man to the moon (and soon, to Mars!), and the International Space Station’s experiments are managed from the 24/7 Payload Operations Integration Center.
While I worked there, I was mentored by a woman who encouraged me to explore my gift for math. She saw in me the potential to contribute to the world of science and technology at a time when girls weren’t necessarily being guided into those fields as much as their male counterparts.
And I’m so grateful she did that. I’ve spent the past 30+ years with Hexagon, dreaming big and solving problems. But sometimes I wonder where I’d be if that long-ago employer hadn’t taken the time to nudge me where I needed to go.
During Women’s History Month, which has been celebrated every March in the United States since 1987, the potential of women takes center stage. So many ground-breaking discoveries have been made by women, and we all know that our world is best served when everyone has the confidence and support to achieve their potential.
And achieving great things is also at the heart of HxGN LIVE, where thousands of technology-minded people gather to get inspired, brainstorm challenges with experienced leaders, and have hands-on experiences with Hexagon solutions. We’ve created agendas for workers in any stage of their careers - executives, managers, users.
I am hopeful that for HxGN LIVE 2019 in Las Vegas June 11-14, we will see even more women attending to gain the knowledge and inspiration that will make them even more valuable to their industries. You’ve got so much to offer!
Melanie Eakes is an executive vice president and chief technology officer with Hexagon's PPM division. She joined Hexagon full time in 1984, beginning as a PDS developer and later managing PDS development, as well as other solutions. She has a double degree in computer science and math from the University of North Alabama.