Another Crack in the Fighter Glass Ceiling

Lockheed Martin announced Thursday that Bridget Lauderdale, who had headed up the F-35 sustainment unit, will become the boss at the company’s Integrated Fighter Group, where she will manage development, manufacturing, and sustainment of the F-22 and F-16 programs.

Lauderdale joins a growing club of mostly women running fighter aircraft programs for the Air Force. She’ll be working for Michele Evans, company executive vice president for aeronautics, who in turn reports to Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson.

Shelley Lavender at Boeing heads up the strike, surveillance, and mobility division, where she’s in charge of the F-15 for the Air Force and F/A-18 and EF-18G for the Navy/Marine Corps. She reports to Leanne Caret, executive VP for defense, space, and security.

Northrop Grumman’s chief executive officer is Kathy Warden; the company makes F-35 center fuselages, as well as the B-21 bomber and Global Hawk reconnaissance aircraft.