Vice president of advanced programs for L3 Communication Systems- West, a division of L3 Technologies, Inc., a Fortune 300 company, Margaret Coen Calomino, a Notre Dame- and Harvard-trained mechanical engineer, brings an abundance of knowledge from her relationships with the Air Force, Navy, Missile Defense Agency and industry partners to address extremely difficult military needs and requirements and find innovative solutions. Her background in technical research, mechanical design, program management and systems engineering has enabled her to deliver cutting-edge technical solutions to those in combat, and she has a proven record of delivering products ahead of schedule and under budget.

Calomino has a strong background in strategic planning, addressing both long- and short-term needs and product development planning. While working with ICBMs, she was responsible for developing a critical missile engineering skill pipeline that would support corporate missile programs. She handled hiring and overseeing the training of more than 50 engineers over a three-year period.

For Calomino, diversity means listening, encouraging and engaging everyone in solving the problem at hand. “All people, all personalities, all levels of the organization and all disciplines need to work together in order to create success,” she states.

Dealing with diversity is critical to business because addressing differences and getting employees to work together creates a common focus, the product; a common goal, delivering the product; and common results, success. As individuals, we each bring our own perspectives, our distinct personalities and our different experiences,” Calomino explains. “When we work together – understanding and accepting our differences, and creating a collaborative work environment – we become much more productive and achieve much better results.”

Having experienced pushback on creative ideas and collaboration many times, Calomino says this about overcoming obstacles, “I have found that communication, including listening, closes most gaps in understanding each other. Once we can come to a common language and understanding of each other’s positions, we can discuss the project or product and move forward in a constructive way.” With that in mind, she offers women at every stage of their careers the following advice, “Let your voice be heard in a positive, problem-solving and collaborative way.”