NAVAL AIR STATION NORTH ISLAND, Calif. –
Women’s History Month is celebrated in March and was established by Congress 35 years ago to acknowledge the contributions and accomplishments women have made to America and its history.
In recognition, Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) is highlighting the life and work of aerospace engineer Janene Valenzuela.
A native of Southern California, Valenzuela joined FRCSW in 2018 after working at Ducommun Aerostructures for approximately two years as an intern supporting the company’s supply chain, and then as a process engineer in its AH-64 Apache helicopter program.
Arriving at FRCSW, she was assigned to the F/A-18 & EA-18G Fleet Support Team Reliability-Centered Maintenance (RCM) team where she works as a Reliability-Centered Maintenance (RCM) analyst.
“I analyze failure data and provide recommendations to optimize maintenance tasks and intervals to improve overall reliability,” she said.
Valenzuela has handled high-priority projects beyond her duties of an RCM analyst, as well as smaller projects. One of her more challenging assignments was to serve as the Field Service Evaluation (FSE) Age Exploration Bulletin (AEB) MRT Coordinator.
As the FSE AEB MRT Coordinator she was responsible for coordinating people, updating the status of tasks, and gathering and keeping files and information organized on a daily basis.
“I worked with people ranging from engineers and specialists on the East Coast, to local engineers, logisticians, Information Technology (IT) specialists, site representatives, and Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) team leads. The most rewarding aspect of being in this role was working with the various teams and seeing how each team supported each other to meet project milestones.”
The influence of individual interactions on teamwork to meet completion of a project may also serve as a catalyst to overall learning, just as NAVAIR’s seven Diversity Action Teams (DAT), Valenzuela noted.
“Every person’s voice is important. Diversity is about embracing the fact that you can learn something from the next person and embracing that we all have something worth sharing,” she said. “It’s always a good time to learn something new and being involved in a diversity action team provides opportunities for you to not only learn about others, but to learn from them and to even learn about yourself.”
A member of NAVAIR’s DAT Women’s Initiative Network (WIN), Valenzuela is the FRCSW Site Lead. The goal of WIN is to address an array of issues relative to women in the workforce.
“I advocate for women as part of an inclusive and supportive environment through advancing diversity in hiring, development and career growth, promoting a work-life balance, identifying and eliminating barriers, and cultivating networking and mentoring opportunities,” she said.
In addition to regular WIN team meetings, Valenzuela said she also regularly confers with the local Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Committee (EEOAC) to discuss issues and exchange ideas and information to advance EEO and other matters.
“Women’s History Month means that we, as a society, recognize that historically women have not been afforded the same opportunities as men and that part of making progress toward equality is highlighting the fact that women have just as much to offer as any other person,” she said.
“Shedding a positive light on the many achievements made by women and making dedicated efforts to discuss and eliminate the disparities between the treatment of men and women are important steps in achieving equality as the disparities would continue to exist without these focused efforts.”
Valenzuela is one of the more than 59,000 civilian women who serve in the Navy.