'The possibilities are endless'
Math was always Kimberly Sledge’s favorite subject growing up, but once she got her hands on her first computer, she knew she wanted to be a software engineer.
“I love math because you can always get to a specific result. I love computers because of their power and all of the things you can do with them,” Kimberly said. “Writing software code can make awesome things happen like sending rockets to the moon and beyond. The possibilities are endless.”
After finishing a high school apprenticeship with NASA, the Huntsville, Alabama, native set out to make a mark of her own. Kimberly earned multiple college scholarships and graduated co-salutatorian from Johnson High School before going on to complete two Boeing internships and graduate magna cum laude from Auburn University with a degree in software engineering.
Two years after her college graduation and beginning her engineering career in Florida, Kimberly returned to Huntsville — and to Boeing — as a software test engineer on the International Space Station program.
After about 10 years, Kimberly made the move from space to defense to lead a Ground-based Midcourse Defense systems engineering and integration team. Today, she’s a senior project engineer on the Patriot Advanced Capability-3, or PAC-3, program, where she also leads the Safety Review Board and Government-Industry Data Exchange Program for the Integrated Air & Missile Defense portfolio to foster greater safety and synergy between Boeing and its customers.
“Boeing is a great company to work for. They’ve provided me with a lot of opportunities, from supporting the space station and programs that are helping to defend the U.S., to paying for my master’s degree through the Learning Together Program,” Kimberly said. “Another thing that’s kept me at our company are the people I’ve worked with and the friendships I’ve made here throughout the years.”
Equally important to Kimberly is our company’s corporate partnerships with organizations like the National Society of Black Engineers and the ability to get involved with the community through a variety of volunteer and leadership activities. While at Boeing, she’s been involved with the Huntsville site’s Diversity and Inclusion Council and has held various roles in the local Boeing Black Employees Association chapter.
"Being a minority — not only Black, but also a female engineer — trying to be an inspiration for younger Black females that will come after me and are interested in STEM is something that motivates me,” Kimberly said. “I want them to see what is possible and know that somebody that looks like them is able to be successful in fields like engineering.”
As Boeing continues to make progress on its commitment to increase representation of women and minorities across our company, Kimberly understands that the work of engineering the company's industry-leading aerospace and defense products and advancing equity, diversity and inclusion go hand in hand.
“Everyone deserves a seat at the table,” Kimberly said.
Kimberly is dedicated to diversity and inclusion in her community as well and she currently serves on the board of directors for Girls Inc. of Huntsville. “I’m grateful for all the experiences and many mentors I’ve had along the way, and I want to help make that possible for others,” Kimberly said. “Words of advice I would offer to the next generation is to be dedicated, determined and dependable in whatever you do and you’ll be destined for great things.”
About the Learning Together Program
Boeing’s industry-leading Learning Together Program provides tuition assistance for teammates around the world. Tuition and eligible expenses are paid directly to the school, removing the financial burden for employees. Generous funding is available at all levels, including up to $25,000/year for graduate degrees, and there is no funding limit for eligible STEM programs. Teammates can choose to study at any of Boeing’s 300+ partner colleges and universities.
See more of the ways we invest in our employees’ learning and development to help them have a great career.
Boeing offers a wealth of benefits to help teammates and their families live a great life. Check out more of the benefits of joining #TeamBoeing.
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