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Bringing Your Authentic Self to Work: How Donna Green is Spreading Allyship and Acceptance

June 27, 2024 | by Kinsey Gulley

Donna Green doesn’t just see numbers and trends in the data she analyzes. She sees a puzzle waiting to be solved and a story waiting to be told. 

During her twenty-two-year tenure at GE Aerospace, Green has seen plenty of changes. Rising from a development engineer to her current role as a senior staff analytics engineer and Controlled Title Holder (CTH), Green helps set the standard for coding and analytical modeling.

Top Image: Green and her colleague Peter Knight winning a Customer Champion Award at Engineering Recognition Day.

Above: Green representing GE at Southampton, UK Pride Parade.

But it’s her passion for allyship in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) that has created another type of modeling for the engineer — safety for those in the LGBTQIA+ community. 

When she first joined Smiths Aerospace, later purchased by GE Aerospace in 2007, there were no employee resource groups (ERGs) at her site. In fact, it was five years before Green even heard of an ERG. Then, in 2012, she was asked to co-lead the first Women’s Network Hub in the Southeast UK region. 

“This meant that I needed to start the first ERG on our site,” Green said. “Luckily, I suddenly had access to a huge network of senior women in GE from around the UK.” 

After co-founding the Women’s Network Southeast UK Hub, Green found a passion for mentoring young women in the male dominated science, technology, engineering, and mathematical (STEM) fields. 

“Having a network of women, many of whom are in STEM fields, who I could talk to and learn from was brilliant,” she says. 

Green at Jet Engine Tear Down School (JETS) dismantling a CT7 engine.

As she continued her involvement in the Women’s Network, Green became more familiar with the other ERGs that were available, including the Pride Alliance ERG. “I started to learn that there were people who were comfortable being out in the workplace and being who they were at work.” 

At the time, Green never thought about coming out in the workplace. But within a few years, she decided to start a Pride Alliance ERG in Southampton and come out to her co-workers.

“I thought it wasn’t relevant to my job, it’s not relevant to what I do, and it’s not relevant to the people around me.” 

Green later realized that this assumption was incorrect. When making small talk with her colleagues she realized she’d often change the pronouns and name of her partner. “You have to start keeping a mental log of what you’ve said to whom all the time. And all of this is extremely exhausting.” 

After stopping these behaviors and coming out to her colleagues, she noticed how much energy she had been wasting all those years. From then on Green’s goal was to ensure that everyone should feel safe being themselves and coming out in the workplace. 

Since then, Green has been a strong advocate for the Pride Alliance by holding allyship workshops for her entire site and was recently able to speak about her coming out in the workplace experience at GE Aerospace’s first annual Cross-ERG Summit in Atlanta, GA. She is also an active member of the Data Science DEI council, which runs cultural initiatives and focuses on starting conversations surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion across the globe.

In addition to being a data sleuth and DEI advocate, Green also enjoys spending time with her partner, Hannah, and their two cats: Flash and Freya. She also practices boxing and teaches a women’s self-defense Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class. 

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GE Aerospace is a world-leading provider of jet and turboprop engines, as well as integrated systems for commercial, military, business and general aviation aircraft.