Elevating Women in Technology: The Impact of Support and Mentorship
Donya He, Vice President of Engineering and Technology for QinetiQ US, is responsible for providing strategic vision and transformational leadership across an advanced technology investment portfolio. In addition to her professional leadership role, Donya takes pride in her long-standing service as a mentor – particularly to women in the field of engineering and technology.
As a minority woman who has spent her 25+ year career in defense and aerospace industry, Donya has been supporting, mentoring, and advocating for women in engineering and STEM fields, serving as a mentor for thousands of engineers over the past two decades.
“I know that women are more likely to stay in and succeed in engineering and technology when they have a positive, experienced role model alongside them,” said Donya. “Not only do I employee a number of women in my department, but I actively encourage women to apply to open positions within QinetiQ US.”
Women are historically underrepresented in STEM fields, but research has shown that women who are mentored stayed in the field up to 95% of time compared to 75% for those that did not participate in mentorship programs.3
Donya has also held a role as a senior IEEE member where she actively mentored and encouraged women in technology, and is engaged to talk at universities and high schools to encourage the next generation of women to pursue STEM. She is also the executive sponsor of the QinetiQ US Women’s Employee Resource Group (ERG). The charter for this group is to promote diversity and inclusion in a highly technical workplace. By creating and promoting a culture where every voice is heard, the QinetiQ corporate environment is able to attract women who are technically talented and innovative. The women’s ERG offers official mentoring programs to guide and empower women in a demanding career path. It also creates an environment where women can speak freely and benefit from an open-door policy. When every voice is heard, patterns and trends that either help or hinder women in technology can be identified and specific actions can be taken. This allows the women of the company elevate each other to make a larger impact.
“I still maintain contact with many of my mentees, and enjoy using my free time to continue supportive relationships,” said Donya. “This includes organized events like an engineering “walk and talk” to ensure that I am available to answer questions and offer guidance.”
Donya has over 25 years of experience serving the DOD and intelligence community, holding progressively responsible positions with companies like L3 Harris and DRS Technologies before coming to QinetiQ US. She has led teams of 5,000+ engineers, directing activities across multi-year strategic technical roadmaps and product life cycle management.
Donya holds a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and a Master of Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School.