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DEI Chats with Women in Mobility: Rhonda Walthall, Collins Aerospace  

Posted: March 30, 2022

Rhonda Walthall wrote the book on finding success as a woman in aerospace.  


In 2021, Walthall co-authored Flight Paths to Success: Career Insights from Women Leaders in Aerospace with Brenda Mitchell. The book profiles the personal journeys of 33 women who have been, and continue to be, successful in aviation, space, and academia. 

“I look up to every woman featured in that book,” Walthall said. “I continue to be amazed at what they have accomplished in their lives.” 

Walthall’s no slouch herself. Currently a Technical Fellow at Collins Aerospace, she’s made a career of serving as a leader, including her current role as a member of the SAE International Board of Directors.  

In that time, she’s seen her fair share of obstacles and learned to challenge herself to go beyond her comfort zone. 

“I never considered myself to be less capable than the men I worked beside. What I found was that my voice was less likely to be heard because of a few reasons: I was naturally less talkative, my voice was softer than the men in the room, or I believed that I needed to be the world’s foremost expert on a subject before I joined the conversation,” Walthall said. “Over the years, I learned that I needed to speak up in meetings and I needed to take the lead in driving the conversation in meetings. I did not need to be an expert at everything, but I needed to be willing to learn.”  

Part of that learning includes networking with others in the industry. Through her involvement with SAE, Walthall has connected with more women engineers than through any position she’s held during her career.  

“When I became involved in SAE, I had the opportunity to meet and network with women who shared my passion for aerospace,” she said. “SAE membership enables women to connect with each other, to mentor one another, and to participate in activities that can advance our careers.”  

And as for what’s possible for women in aerospace when they come together?  

The sky’s the limit.  


Rhonda Walthall is one of the many women members of SAE International making a difference in mobility. Want to get involved? Check out SAE Membership and Community Engagement for opportunities to get involved with like-minded engineers who are pushing the world of mobility forward.