From working parents to military veterans, GE Aerospace would not be the company it is today without its employees. We created “Quick Six” to celebrate our diverse talent by asking employees six questions that uncover the unique ways that they contribute to GE and the world.
In this Quick Six, we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with Maribel CortesConde, Digital Technology Technical Program Manager for Physical Infrastructure, Security, and Environmental Health Services in Evendale, Ohio. CortesConde has been with GE Aerospace for 4.5 years and is deeply involved with the GE Hispanic Forum.
What do you enjoy most about your work, and how do some of the unique opportunities or initiatives you’ve found at GE Aerospace contribute?
As Digital Technology (DT) Technical Program Manager, I support various DT business functions such as physical security, EHS, global facilities and security operations. I oversee the vendors and ensure they are compliant with our cyber security requirements among other activities. I also lead the team that supports the visitor management system, which has allowed me to interact and support the site security leaders and officers. Learning all the logistics, challenges and processes that run behind the scenes to keep all employees safe has become my passion. This is a career path where you have a lot of opportunities for learning and improving the current processes. I would say that once you find the correct assignment or group, autonomy and flexibility are the best opportunities I have found within GE Aerospace that contribute to my way of work so I can achieve my goals and take care of my priorities.
What made you want to get involved with the Hispanic Forum?
I am passionate about education. I am truly a believer that with education, we can change communities. The Hispanic Forum has two pillars that are close to my heart: education and community. As the co-leader for the community pillar, I have been integrating these two pillars into programs such as Hispanic Volunteer Day, translation services at Heritage Hills elementary school, and supporting the Hispanic festival at the Fairfield Library for the past four years. The projects have impacted the lives of hundreds of students in the community. I led the device drive which provided laptops to 500 Cincinnati Public School students during the pandemic. Also, I led STEM inspired events that informed students about their career options once they graduate from high school. I am one of the focal points for GE Next Engineers under the discovery pillar where I can bring my Hispanic co-workers to inspire students to pursue STEM careers.
How has joining the GE Hispanic Forum lifted you up?
The Hispanic Forum group has become my family in many aspects, personal and professional. I have built great relationships within the group. Every member of the group is passionate about helping each other succeed, as well as using our privilege working in a very important company to open the door for others. Even though we come from different countries, we share the same values, language, and roots. We know that together we are stronger, smarter, and happier. During the pandemic we gathered virtually every Friday to play Mexican “loteria” (similar to bingo). We now have monthly happy hours where we gather to eat Latin food.
What does Hispanic Heritage month mean to you?
Hispanic Heritage Month is a time where I can share my roots with others, either by participating in several Hispanic festivals around Cincinnati or bring educational programs to Hispanic students and families so they can see me as a role model. Hispanic Heritage Month is also important to be me because I am from Mexico and left my country and family 23 years ago, so celebrating this month makes me feel closer to my roots and my family.
What has been your personal experience with GE Aerospace’s diversity initiatives?
I can see how GE Aerospace is making a lot of efforts to increase hiring more diverse talent, not only by race but also gender. We need more women in engineering and IT careers. What makes me happy is that there are inclusion efforts to make employees feel like they belong. I am part of different groups within DT that advocate for that change like Kindred group, a safe space for employees to share their experiences with a DT executive, Digital Technology Leadership Program interview panel and GE Next Engineers. I feel like my opinion counts and my voice is heard when I provide feedback on what we need to consider to attract diverse talent.