At neuco, we’re experts at sourcing talent for the Satellite & NewSpace industry. We recently spoke to Tamara Bond Williams, the Director of Engagement at Space and Satellite Professionals International, on Episode 24 of The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast about how the industry can attract talent from other sectors to improve the diversity of skills within it. Tamara works to expand and enhance the professional lives of SSPI members, giving her valuable insights into the working lives of those within the Satellite & NewSpace industry. Read on for her insights on the topic.
How have things changed around attracting people from outside STEM into the Satellite industry?
I think the only big change that I can really speak to is the awareness. There have always been people in the industry who came from outside of STEM. That has been true the entire time, but we are becoming increasingly aware of that fact. This is largely because of the rate of expansion in our industry, the number of startup companies and the way that legacy companies are diversifying how they engage. There’s just so much happening, and it puts pressure on the industry to think about ‘Where’s all this talent coming from to manage all this expansion?’ We’re now looking at it, not because it’s new, but because we now have competitive pressure to meet a need.
What other industries could people enter the satellite industry from?
There are several. For example, there is a specific investment community that has specialised in investing in space and satellite. We have insurance companies that are specialised in the same way. We have legal companies that do space law. There are so many companies that already exist whose niches fit our industry. The question is not ‘Are they out there?’ The question is, ‘Have we done enough to promote participation in the space industry itself?’
We should be saying ‘Hey, we’re going to the moon again. Where can you fit in?’. We need to advertise the career paths around lunar exploration. Our conversations should be around ‘We need more colloquiums around the legal ramifications of going to space. What are the international ramifications? What is the investment opportunity?’ We haven’t explored the opportunities enough, and we haven’t yet communicated outside of our bubble that there are plenty of opportunities here and that we want people to be a part of them.
What can companies do to proactively find talent outside the industry?
I think that companies need to be having the conversation themselves. SSPI is working to expand that conversation through our various webinars and roundtables. We had this conversation recently to talk about the idea of what I called ‘outside in’. That means people who are outside companies themselves need to be proactive to have the conversation.
One of the things that would be super beneficial is for them to create a path. Let’s say ‘If you have these skills, here’s how it maps to what we need in our company, this is how you get in and this would be your growth opportunity’. It’s all about giving people who are outside the industry a clear view of how they can get into it. If companies don’t know where those paths are, they can work with a recruitment company to articulate those pathways. You’ve got to do the groundwork of figuring out where people with these skills fit in, and then find ways to keep that talent once you’ve attracted it.
To hear more from Tamara, tune into Episode 24 of The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast here.
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