Dr. Michaelyn Thomas
Head of Affordability and Executive Sponsor of Teammates for Women Empowerment at Virgin Orbit
Average Post Engagement:
What I use Linkedin for:
LinkedIn is a wonderful platform to connect with people across the globe. I use LinkedIn to grow, to learn, and to network with diverse professionals and students at all levels. I have met some wonderful people and I have been afforded many opportunities to share my deep passion for space exploration and scientific discovery.
Number of Followers:
Aerospace, particularly the space sector
Who am I:
I am on a mission to encourage as many underrepresented groups as possible to pursue STEM education and careers by leveraging my personal experience and partnering with dedicated allies across the globe. I always strive to be an example, and through mentorship, allyship, and sponsorship, STEM education and careers will become more accessible and equitable for everyone.
I have three publications entitled:
1) “Exploring the advancement of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) executive management positions in the aerospace industry: Strategies identified by women that enable success”;
2) “Empowering women to take on STEM leadership positions within the aerospace industry”; and
3) “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work on rockets: My top three reasons why the aerospace industry needs you”. I hold a doctoral degree in organizational leadership; a master’s degree in space systems engineering; a master’s degree in business administration (MBA); a bachelor’s degree in political science, public law; and a minor degree in Russian language. My diverse academic background has led to a fruitful and well-rounded space career.
What I do:
I am an aerospace leader based out of Long Beach, California, USA. I work on space systems and I program manage spaceport development at Virgin Orbit. It is my job to make rocket science affordable and accessible by democratizing space.
I also serve as a mentor, a sponsor, and an ally to everyone pursing STEM education and careers. I do this through my inclusive and supportive employer, as well as the “Spaced Out Doc” community I founded at https://spacedoutdoc.com/. There, I provide a regular fix of space chatter through a female perspective while emphasizing the importance of allyship, and I encourage all underrepresented groups to keep persisting, to dream wildly, and to plan ferociously for whatever they aim to achieve.
Why you should follow me on Linkedin:
I am a positive person and I aim to find the opportunity in every unfavorable situation. I mentor many, and my online presence sparks inspiration and innovation in others. Through challenges, I remind people to turn any negativity received into the power needed to fuel their greatness.
Who I follow on Linkedin:
I follow many inspirational leaders on LinkedIn, too many to list! However, I follow those who want to make a positive impact within their respective professional communities while building a positive sphere of influence.
My favourite or most successful post:
While this post highlighted my academic accomplishments, it proved to be a source of inspiration to many professionals and students alike who look like me, as well as my allies. I found this post to be very successful because many have reached out for academic and career guidance, and I was able to elaborate on my experience and point them to sound resources.