By Barbara Wenger
Kennametal Inc., an industrial technology leader, appointed former Lockheed Martin executive and women’s advocate Lorraine Martin to its board of directors.
Martin, a recently retired executive vice president and deputy of Lockheed Martin’s Rotary and Mission Systems (RMS), began her career as an officer in the U.S. Air Force when there were few women in the military in top posts.
“There were instances when some would place limits on my potential, but I learned quickly to be confident in myself and my abilities — to take it on, not take it personally," she wrote for Diversity Journal's Women Worth Watching.
She has championed women in the workplace, and regarding the lack of women in leadership, she said in a Business Line article that: “Packaging does not matter. One should have a voice, bring value to the discussions and prove one’s mettle to be counted.”
Prior to joining RMS — which features more than 1000 programs, such as the Aegis Combat System, Littoral Combat ship, Sikorsky helicopters and military and commercial training systems — she was executive vice president and general manager for the $9 billion F-35 Lightning II Program, responsible for the successful completion of the System Development and Demonstration Program, production, flight testing, global deployment and sustainment of the three F-35 variants for 13 military services in nine partner countries and three foreign military sales customers.
During her 30-year career with Lockheed Martin, she held a variety of high visibility leadership positions across the corporation, including vice president of C-130 Programs, vice president of the C-5 Program and vice president, Flight Solutions, Lockheed Martin Simulation, Training & Support.
“Lorraine’s experience spans more than 30 years in leadership, international business and manufacturing that will bring significant value to the transformation currently underway at Kennametal,” said Chris Rossi, Kennametal president and CEO.
William J. Harvey, Kennametal board member and chair of the nominating/corporate governance committee, added: “We are excited to welcome Lorraine to our board and look forward to the unique perspective she will bring from her knowledge in supply chain, aerospace and cyber.”
Martin offered some sage advice for young women trying to climb the ladder of success in the Women Worth Watching piece:
My advice is to be authentic no matter what you do. Never limit yourself or question what you can do, and don’t let being female define your opportunities. Always perform to the highest expectations and be who you are.
I would also remind young women new in their careers to be patient when it comes to advancing in their career. Be hungry for growth and opportunities, but do not be too focused on the future that you do not fulfill your responsibilities today. Excellence today nearly always brings opportunity.