Distinguished New Engineer

Flavia Barone de Oliveira Johansen

Whirlpool Corporation

For demonstrating leadership and communication skills that get results and win trust; for transforming company culture through diversity, equity, and inclusion; and for raising SWE’s visibility throughout Brazil.

Flavia Barone de Oliveira Johansen is a senior technology engineer at Whirlpool Corporation in Brazil, at the company’s Laundry Product Center. She developed her technical career in the simulation-based design team as a computer-aided engineering (CAE) professional, performing finite element simulations of the injection molding process of plastic parts.

Johansen has worked on dozens of projects for new washer and dryer machines for more than eight countries. Her work has contributed to the launch of new products that are increasingly robust, with adequate productivity and low scrap rates. Her work is key to avoiding aesthetic and dimensional defects and preventing launch delays caused by retooling or poor craftsmanship. Part of Johansen’s work is to continuously search for cost and quality improvement opportunities by using statistical techniques and to incorporate manufacturing criteria in optimization experiments, something that is not commonly done in conventional studies.

Johansen is Six Sigma black belt-certified and brings this training to her daily routine. She has taught and mentored many employees and has also assumed a role as simulation integrator, responsible for virtual verification within a project’s verification and validation strategy.

Johansen was introduced to gender equity issues in 2017, while watching the film “Hidden Figures.” Ever since, she has been engaging and leading diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. She co-led the Whirlpool Women’s Network employee resource group from 2019 to 2020; helped Whirlpool provide lactation rooms in every company site across Brazil; and launched several initiatives designed to break gender bias in the workplace.

Johansen discovered the Society of Women Engineers in 2019 and, finding it a perfect match with her mission and values, immediately joined the SWE Campinas Metropolitan Region (RMC) global affiliate. Her SWE leadership journey began as co-leader of the RMC communication pillar, and she currently serves as SWE Brazil Attract pillar leader. She was part of an unprecedented movement to unify the efforts of all of Brazil’s professional affiliates, launching the SWE Communication Brazil and SWE Brazil Attract pillars to leverage SWE’s voice and accelerate its growth in Brazil.

Under her leadership, Instagram hits grew organically by the thousands, and LinkedIn and TikTok initiatives were launched. Johansen was personally involved in the creation of three new SWE university affiliates and a new company partnership, exclusively in Brazil. She also worked to spread awareness of SWE in Whirlpool Brazil and gained sponsorship for 80 local memberships. This planted the seed for creating Brazil’s SWE Joinville Affiliate, which she mentored, and which later received the SWE 2023 Membership Growth Award. Her main focus lately is engaging with university students to unleash their potential and increasing the SWE network in Brazil.

Johansen holds a B.E. in materials engineering from Universidade Federal de São Carlos. She lives in Rio Claro, Brazil, with her husband and two cats. She enjoys playing sports, outdoor activities, and hitting the trails in her Suzuki.