Timi Reed-Jeske International Women’s Day Interview
Timi Reed-Jeske International Women’s Day Interview
Timi Reed-Jeske leads Honeywell Aerospace Trading (HAT) sales in the Americas. For International Women’s Day she shares the professional insights she’s gained from 27 years in the business – 10 at Honeywell – and the advice she gives to those just starting their careers.
What is Honeywell Aerospace Trading?
HAT buys and resells preowned and new surplus parts from airlines, teardown aircraft and maintenance centers in the aftermarket. Its storefront provides a marketplace for those needing aircraft parts nose to tail from Honeywell and other original equipment manufacturers.
Most of all, we're solution providers. We quickly identify customers’ needs and offer customized solutions to fit their requirements. Our team is made up of professionals whose careers have touched every aspect of aviation as well as business strategy, finance, and sales/marketing. With experience earned in both aircraft cockpits and executive boardrooms, these aviation professionals contribute a wealth of unique understanding and insight to every transaction. While we come from a variety of professional backgrounds, one common thread unites us all – a passion for the success of our customers, their satisfaction with the services we provide.
What is your typical day on the job?
Our team spends a lot of time looking at opportunities to solidify the products we have and determine how we’re going to support our customers. Every day is different and no one scenario fits each day. We move quickly in many directions since we support all the Americas. It's a diverse group of parts, people and companies.
I love working with the people at Honeywell. We have a huge network of amazing people that develop, repair, and support our products, from the executive level to those working on the floor of our shops. Having their support and the diverse background they bring to support our products impacts everything we do each day.
What is your favorite product to sell?
We have amazing product lines that are performance and reliability have proved that I can stand behind them. But my favorites to sell are engines and auxiliary power units (APUs).
I often share the example of a Swiss Air 777 aircraft that had to land in Canada after an engine failure. They had to wait five days to ferry the aircraft out and in the meantime with the cold and lack of hotels they ran the Honeywell APU for five days straight to keep the aircraft warm. Having products with that level of performance and reliability makes it easier for my team to go out and sell Honeywell products.
How did you get started in this business?
I have been in the sales and supply business 27 years, first within airlines and broker businesses. I took the job at Honeywell starting at an entry level sale so I could learn how Honeywell does business and grow from there.
When I started my career, women were not that prominent in aerospace sales. You’d go on sales calls or to conferences and very rarely see other woman. While the COVID-19 crisis has brought huge losses for the aviation industry, it also presents itself as an opportunity to change towards a more sustainable future. Post-pandemic, the sustainability of the sector will not only rely on improving aviation, but also on greater progress towards gender equality and empowerment of women, as the presence of women at all levels, including in decision-making roles, will contribute to being a game changer. Having more women in the aviation’s workforce will translate into greater opportunities for initiatives to be more inclusive, amplify results and increase effectiveness.
Are more jobs opening up for women in our industry?
The aviation industry needs to be aware of the existing bias in the industry to improve the hiring and recruitment process for women. Definitely. Now you see a lot more of women not only in sales, but also in all aspects of our business in marketing, engineering, supply chain and even on the shop floors. I find it very exciting how much the industry has grown and how well women are being accepted into these careers. But there remains work to do.
How do we get more young women to pursue a career in aerospace?
We need to get them engaged in the business. When many women think of aviation, they may just think of what they see at airports with airplanes flying or mechanics working on repairs and majority aren’t interested in doing that. By starting programs and getting kids engaged in what is available in the Aerospace sector may help. We need to show how many different aspects there are in aviation for them to open their minds and eyes to.
What role have mentors played in your career?
I’ve worked with several strong women in my career as leaders and they have meant a lot to my growth and how I have evolved into who I am today. Now I mentor younger women, giving them the confidence and support to help them reach their goals. Mentoring doesn’t always have to be formal meetings it can also be just taking the time to tell someone they are doing a good job. It’s rewarding when someone you respect reaches out to say you’re doing well, and your work is appreciated.
There’s a strong group of women in aerospace, not only at Honeywell but across the industry. It’s important for woman to continue to network and build up those women to be successful and mentor the new generation coming in.
What advice do you have for those just starting their careers?
I was asked this recently when I spoke to our incoming intern class. The best answer I can give someone is to know your audience, particularly since you’re coming out of the informality of college and then finding yourself in a more formal setting. The way you represent yourself with friends on the weekend is not the same way you would represent yourself when you’re in a larger management forum with vice presidents and directors. Just knowing your audience and how to present yourself with different audiences is important and will serve you well in your career.