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Brittany Isherwood, 2024 Women in Business Honoree

Brittany Isherwood is the president of Farmington-based Burke Aerospace, headquartered in Farmington. Burke Aerospace has provided electric discharge machining and milling services to the aerospace, industrial gas turbine, and defense industries for over 60 years.

Isherwood has considerable experience within the industry, having spent nine years at GE Aviation in Lynn, Massachusetts, as senior operation leader of commercial and military engines combustor manufacturing. She joined Burke Aerospace in 2016 to further develop its growing business in the aerospace and industrial gas turbine markets as vice president of business development. After growing the business’ revenues significantly in four years, she took over as president in 2020.

What have been your biggest professional accomplishments so far?

My biggest accomplishments include growing the business at Burke Aerospace 20% year over year since 2016. Burke Aerospace has grown 70% from 2022 to 2023 and increased its headcount by 20%, while investing over $15 million in technology advances. Women in manufacturing at Burke Aerospace have increased by 30%.

What’s the next big goal you want to accomplish professionally?

To support other women and underrepresented groups in the industry by providing mentorship, creating opportunities for their growth, and advocating for policies that promote diversity and equality.

What’s one of the biggest professional challenges you’ve overcome?

A significant professional challenge I faced as the president of Burke Aerospace was driving innovation and change within a 60-year-old, second-generation, family-owned organization when our industry was impacted during the pandemic.

Staying ahead in the industry requires the adoption of cutting-edge technologies and forming strategic partnerships with other companies or research institutions.

Navigating these partnerships and integrating new technologies into your operations can be complex, requiring careful management and foresight.

How are you involved in the community?

I am deeply involved in professional networks and organizations supporting women’s advancement in aerospace and manufacturing. I sit on CBIA, ACM, CONNSTEP, and Manufacture CT advisory boards that aim to address key challenges in manufacturing.

Additionally, I am actively engaged in mentorship programs, speaking at conferences focused on women in leadership and manufacturing, and advocating for policies that support business in Connecticut, gender equality, and work-life balance.

What legacy do you want to leave after your career is over?

As a trailblazer in a male-dominated field, part of my legacy is the inspiration I provide to young women and aspiring leaders in STEM fields.

Through my journey, achievements and the challenges I have overcome, I can serve as a powerful role model, showing that with resilience, hard work and vision, it’s possible to break barriers and achieve your dreams.

Check out the rest of the 2024 Women in Business Honorees

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