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For International Women’s Day, Three Leaders at Hughes & EchoStar Share Insights and Advice

Women's Impact Network lunch 2023

Women at Hughes and EchoStar hold a variety of influential roles––from engineering to marketing to senior management. The Women’s Impact Network (WIN) was formed to bring women across the company ––and those who support them––together for learning opportunities, networking and professional growth. At a recent luncheon, colleagues from around the world met to connect, reflect and share their experiences. In honor of International Women’s Day, we highlight three of our WIN leaders who offer insights and advice for young professionals.

Jennifer Manner, Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs

During her 10 years with the company, Jennifer has been responsible for licensing and obtaining spectrum across the European Union and the globe––which is essential to connecting everyone, anywhere. As the head of Regulatory Affairs, Manner’s current focus is on the S-band Mobile Satellite Service (MSS) program, the construction of the global S-band constellation and leading the direct-to-device and LoRa® (Long Range) Internet of Things (IoT) initiatives in Europe.

EchoStar is a great place to work, Manner says, because “Every day is different. We get to work on such a wide array of interesting issues. For me, it could be coordinating our satellites, entering new markets or creating standards. Few places offer so many exciting issues and opportunities to be part of the team solving them.”

Through WIN and the mentorship program, Manner loves helping people grow in their careers as much as she loves learning from her mentees.

Her advice to young professionals? “Ask questions and seek opportunities. Being proactive is the best way you can advance your career and learn.”

Seema Shankar, Senior Director, IT

With more than 20 years at Hughes, Seema Shankar has held several positions, from programmer and individual contributor to team leader and manager. She has deep experience working with customers, implementing IT solutions, training customers and managing projects. Shankar’s team was integral to the recent roll-out of HughesNet® Fusion™ plans, the new service for U.S. consumers that combine satellite and wireless technologies to provide a low-latency internet experience, as well as implementing robotics automation on the manufacturing floor. Currently, she leads the SAP IT Supply Chain team, which is responsible for supporting all SAP IT related logistics, manufacturing, production, warranty and Export/Import activities.

At EchoStar, Shankar says she has been allowed to grow and explore different career opportunities.

“I have the unique experience of being in STEM and also part of the Supply Chain Industry. STEM provides a good background for any industry,” she said.

WIN has enabled Shankar to meet colleagues from many different fields; while the mentorship program has provided a way to speak with and learn from fellow leaders across a variety of business areas. Plus, it’s a great way to network, she says.

Shankar’s best advice for young professionals? “Use your best effort and be open to change.”

Gabriela Lago, Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs

After more than 15 years in the telecommunications regulatory and public policy arena, across various satellite companies, Gabriela Lago joined EchoStar’s regulatory team two years ago.

“Users can only benefit from such solutions when regulations are done correctly,” she says.

Since joining EchoStar, Lago has enjoyed applying her regulatory expertise to ensure the company can provide services outside the U.S.; first, by working so that existing regulatory frameworks continue to allow the profitable provision of services and, second, by improving those frameworks wherever necessary.

“Working in a STEM-related field is exciting and challenging, since you can contribute to changing the world with technology and innovation,” she says.

When it comes to WIN and the mentorship program, Lago believes there is tremendous value in having a mentor/friend/colleague at work to talk through issues. “If you cannot find camaraderie or support at work, it is unlikely you will have a good experience at the job,” she emphasizes.

For young professionals, Lago says, “Find a mentor, listen to people and share experiences.”

Here at Hughes, we’re always on the lookout for the next generation of female employees to make their mark in engineering, sales, marketing, operations, finance and more. Ready to join the team? Check out our list of open positions here: