The U.S. defense industry used to be regarded as a bastion of white male executives. It still is seen that way in some quarters, but the reality is that women are rapidly ascending into top jobs across the defense sector. Since the new year began, General Dynamics has announced its next Chairman & CEO will be a woman, Lockheed Martin has announced its next President & Chief Operating Officer will be a woman, and Northrop Grumman has announced women will be taking over half of the top jobs in the company. However, none of these ascending executives is getting promoted because she is a female. Their rise is a reward for superior performance in careers that often stretch over decades in the industry. Nonetheless, the defense sector is in the midst of a demographic transformation as women assume senior positions — a trend that will make the U.S. industry more resilient and responsive than its male-dominated overseas counterparts. I have written a commentary for Forbes.com that you can read here.
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