Aerion Supersonic

Yesterday and Today: The Women Who Inspire Us

By Aerion Supersonic on Mar 06, 2022

5 min read

Amelia Earhart was the first female to fly solo across the Atlantic. Emma Lilian Todd was the first female airplane designer. Raymonde de Laroche was the first female to earn her pilot’s license.

These are just a few of the many women who have made their mark in aviation. Their inspiring stories have made an undeniable impact on the industry as a whole and future females pursuing a career in aviation.

In honor of National Women’s History Month, we’re reflecting on the women who have paved the way before us and give thanks to the wonderful women in our lives who inspire us to do and be more. Here’s what a few of our employees had to say about the women they look up to:

“I’ve always been inspired by Serena Williams’ resilient attitude. She has spent her life working to become the world’s best tennis player - overcoming criticism like being booed at on the court and constantly being compared to her sister Venus. The more obstacles people put in front of her, the harder she tries to prove them wrong. And prove them wrong she does. To this day, people find anything to try to bring her down including criticizing the outfits she wears on the court and she responds in the most Serena way possible, by winning. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. I aspire to be as resilient as Serena and not let anyone’s opinion or attempts to bring me to down get in the way of my success and goals.”

- Kelsey Ausherman, Technical Support Specialist


“My mom has always been my inspiration. She was the first in her family to receive any level of formal education and actually ended up becoming an educator herself. She worked hard while raising three kids through several economic crises in Brazil. She has shown my siblings and me how dedication and perseverance are the key to success. To me, she is a real-life role model!”

- Fernanda Aline Matta de Paiva, Flight Controls Principal Engineer


“Early in my career, I hired an intern (Kathy) – she was probably a dozen years my senior but just finishing her master’s degree and starting her career, whereas I started working full-time six years earlier. Theoretically, I was mentoring her – but in actuality, she was really my mentor.  Her path from high school student to the woman I knew had been incredibly challenging – life had really thrown some curveballs at her – but her wisdom and grace were truly striking and inspirational. Her example and advice over the years I worked with her genuinely changed my life – I am a better person and professional for having known her.

- Lisa Holden, Chief Human Resources Officer


“Risk-taking, inspiring women such as Moya Lear who were willing to take charge and continue to attempt to make dreams a reality give women in aviation someone to look up to and guide the way. Moya had 6 honorary doctoral degrees and devoted so much time to the philanthropy center right here in Reno, NV. I choose to look up to her because of her fascinating history and drive for moving the aviation industry forward. A quote of hers that I continuously turn to is: ‘It’s never finished. There’s always the next objective, the next goal.’”

- Sarah Glendon, HR Generalist


“One woman who has inspired me throughout my life is my paternal grandmother, who passed away in 2019 at the age of 102.5. My grandma was tough. No nonsense. No drama. She lived her life with integrity and dignity, regardless of the people who were or weren’t in her life. Subconsciously, I’ve picked up on that. I’ve had the power to pull myself together and press on. With her arranged marriage as contrast, I no longer take the freedom of choice for granted and have learned to follow my intuition and make my own choices. Through her story, I understand the emotional fortitude that served as her superpower. All those lessons learned have enabled me to kick a** as a single mom who works an intense, corporate job yet still has the heart to love those around me. My grandmother’s legacy lives on in all I do.”

- Kristi Finney, Chief of Staff


“One female that inspires me is my current boss at Aerion Supersonic, Cathy Rice. She is the role model of a strong leader. She is an outstanding boss that has strong soft skills including emotional intelligence and heightened communication skills. Not only is she an industry leader in business management and shown in her 35+ years of experience as SVP of Business Management, she genuinely cares about her company, the mission and the people. She mentors through example and provides career opportunities and growth. I feel very fortunate and humble to be part of a great team and company.

Michelle Obama is another woman that inspires me. She is an inspiration that shows a woman can excel and do anything that she puts her mind to. At a young age, she demonstrated determination. She was told in high school that she probably wouldn’t be “Princeton material” but she didn’t let the opinion of people define who she is. She ended up not only graduating from Princeton, but also Harvard, and became an intellectual property lawyer and a devoted mother. She demonstrates the perfect balance of family and work. To me, that is truly inspiring.”

-  Yiwen Schriefer, Director of Business Management


We’re proud to have so many strong, brilliant, and compassionate women working throughout our company at every level. But it doesn’t stop here, the aviation industry still has a ways to go, and we’re committed to doing our part to prioritize diversity in our industry.