Throughout my life and career, I have often followed the road less-traveled. My background is in finance, and I have gone from holding various accounting positions to running the day-to-day operations for several business units within Goodrich Corporation.

As a woman working in the male-dominated aerospace and defense industry, I have benefited from mentors throughout my journey. These relationships have illuminated some of the more complex aspects of our global industry, from how a defense contract receives funding to integrating joint ventures in several different countries.

Mentors have led me through some of the more personal aspects of my career as well. The big decisions that often accompany corporate leadership positions, such as uprooting the family for a new job opportunity, can often gain needed perspective when discussed with a trusted mentor.

When I look at Goodrich and how we’ve grown into one of the top aerospace and defense companies in the world with a reputation as a great place to work, I reflect on the importance of the open, two-way communication that’s critical to our success. The simple fact that an employee understands our culture of one-on-one communication can be an open door to nurturing a successful mentoring relationship with leaders throughout the organization. I am quick to advise people to develop the mentoring relationships they want, because it is rare that an experienced leader would turn down the opportunity to give back and counsel the next generation.

I make it a point to serve as a mentor or trusted advisor to both women and men across our organization. By advising others the way my mentors advised me, I believe I am playing a role in developing new leaders to share the values I believe are critical for success – demonstrating mutual trust and respect, displaying ethical behavior and a drive for continuous improvement, valuing the individual and diversity of ideas, and embracing a never-ending zeal for learning.

At the same time, I benefit from the mentoring relationship as well; it helps me keep up-to-date on emerging issues that may not gain visibility at the executive level, and also allows me to participate in finding new approaches to addressing dynamic challenges.