Panasonic Avionics Celebrates Women in Engineering

Panasonic Avionics< Panasonic Avionics
07/06/21 3 MIN READ

Since joining Panasonic Avionics in 2007, Debbie Neeley has been the lead developer for processing and analyzing Aircraft offloads. Her understanding of the complexities of data transformations across the board is unparalleled and unmatched in our organization. With years of tenacious work to refine business rules for dealing with legacy limitations in data personify how invaluable data software engineers are to Panasonic Avionics success.

Read on to hear about Debbie’s experience as an engineer and her hopes for the future of engineering.

How or why did you choose engineering as a career path/area of study?

I always liked math, so I entered college in 1980 as a math major. I took “Intro to Computer Science” my freshman year and ended up with a double major. I was hooked and never looked back.

What inspires you about engineering?

I am grateful to have enjoyed a long career in software development. I have provided for my family doing work that I find challenging and interesting. Programming is still my number one passion! Being able to grow in the field within engineering is what drives me.

What challenges do women face in the engineering professions/academia?

Women face many obstacles, though it has gotten better over the years. Personally, I’ve been lucky in my upbringing and in the various roles I’ve held in my career. I’ve never felt like I couldn’t achieve and do my best because of my gender. That is a testament to the mentors and managers that have helped me grow and develop in my career over the years.

What is the most exciting thing about your job?

The most exciting part of my job is working alongside my colleagues and facing the challenges of the day. Some days can be tough and equally frustrating but knowing that I’m working with my team solving problems is what makes it all worth it.

What does a typical day in your job involve?

Technology has significantly changed the way we do things. Looking at ways to engineer data solutions with the cloud and automation, as well as creating new ways to communicate our learnings has been my focus. Working with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and seeing what is possible in the cloud has been very interesting.

What kind of impact would bring you great satisfaction in your work?

A few years ago, I was part of the Connectivity Tiger team at Panasonic Avionics. Our role was to provide visibility and help troubleshoot performance issues with our solution. We’ve had some hiccups, but now, it’s been amazing to see the improvements we’ve made to our solution and how we’ve increased the quality of experience for our airline customers and our passengers. Taking on tough projects, providing improvements that enhance our customers’ experience of our solutions, and making a true impact is what makes me proud.

What are your hopes for the future of engineering?

Thanks to the women’s movement in the 1960s, I grew up believing that I could be anything I wanted to be. I do not feel that being a woman has ever held me back in my career, and I feel lucky for that. I want to ensure that our younger generation, as well as those already in the field, feel the same way and encounter those same opportunities to succeed and do well in the field they are passionate about. Be inspired to do well and not be discouraged – let your work speak for you.

What would you say to women and girls in school/college who may be considering engineering as a career choice/study option?

Ignore the stereotypes. You can be a cool nerd.

A Step in the Right Direction

Encouraging women to pursue engineering careers has never been more important. Not only to promote diversity and inclusion – a business imperative for Panasonic – but to help address a critical global engineering skills shortage.

We are proud to highlight the perspectives and insights of Debbie Neeley and other women engineers at Panasonic who are hands-on in creating a better life and a better world each day.

To read more about Life at Panasonic click here.

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