Empowering Visionaries with Actionable Advice
Are you a STEM+ Leader ready to make a difference? else, to be a Gotara STEM+ career advisor.
Here’s how to become a trusted Gotara STEM-career advisor.
Nominate yourself, or a colleague, to become one of our volunteer elite career advisors.
Onboard in a 30-minute call with a Gotara Leader.
Provide “on-the-go” advice in just a few minutes.
“I am passionate about solving the riddle of why more women and girls don’t go into or stay in STEM roles.”
Colleen Athans, Gotara Advisor
Retired VP/GM Aviation Global Supply Chain
Sometimes you choose a career; sometimes, a career chooses you. This could be said of Colleen Athans. “I don’t know how I ended up in engineering, considering there was no one in my family who had gone that route,” she told us for our premiere REACH REPORT. “But maybe it was more about luck than anything else.” And it was lucky for GE Aviation, where she worked for 34 years before taking the retirement she now enjoys.
As vice president and general manager of Supply Chain at GE Aviation, she led 29,000 people in 12 countries. But Colleen, who has a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from the University of Minnesota and a master’s in manufacturing engineering from Boston University, doesn’t want to leave it to chance for those who follow her path. “I am passionate about solving the riddle of why more women and girls don’t go into STEM careers,” she says.
Yumiko Damashek says that she has always been a people magnet. Part of that is her personality, but her other secret power growing up was her height. “I was a big kid,” she shared with us in our premiere REACH REPORT. “And big kids usually don’t get pushed around because kids think you have gravitas and presence already.” As a young woman, she knew she had “a bigger game to play,” which is why she left her native Japan and headed to San Diego State University to earn an MBA in international marketing and finance.
Her last post before retiring was a VP role at Cabot Microelectronics (now known as CMC Materials). “I’m not an engineer, and without being willing to learn continually, I wouldn’t have survived,” she says. “I wouldn’t have won the trust of all those analytical types in my life. Ironically, though, engineers appreciated my big-picture approach to things, which wasn’t always science-driven. Life isn’t all about data and analysis; big decisions are often made using other considerations.”
“Life isn’t all about data and analysis; big decisions are
often made using other considerations.”
Yumiko Damashek, Gotara Advisor
Retired, VP Cabot Microelectronics
“There may be times in life when you have to step back to learn something in order to go forward to follow your dream. Take risks. Follow your passions, and be willing to stretch yourself and learn something completely new.”