Though Reed Exhibitions’ mega PaxEx event, the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, AIX has unveiled its ‘Women Behind Aviation’ campaign to coincide with Women’s History Month.
Several of the industry’s leading female professionals have taken part, including Geraldine Lundy, passenger accessibility manager at Virgin Atlantic; Nicole Noack, head of Independent Aircraft Modifier Alliance at Lufthansa Technik; and Melissa Raudebaugh, general manager of aircraft experience at Delta Air Lines.
These women, along with 10 others have shared their thoughts, advice and experiences of working in the aviation industry in a series of interviews, now available to download as a free e-book. In the e-book participants highlight some of the challenges they’ve faced within the industry, as well as key characteristics for success and advice to those considering a career in aviation.
For instance, on the issue of gender discrimination, Noack said:
I have always brought my own skills and beliefs to my job and while they might not always fit into the environment, I have personally never had to deal seriously with gender discrimination by myself. I have always been lucky to have very supportive superiors, especially during the time I started my family. It was a balanced give-and-take set-up and I am still grateful I got the chance to go into a management position back then.
That said, I do encounter gender discrimination around me, particularly when it comes to stereotypes and prejudices; there’s always the feeling that as a woman you first have to prove people wrong before being taken seriously beyond serving the coffee in a meeting.
Mariya Stoyanova, director of product development at JetBlue encouraged women to trust their intuition and to not be afraid to ask ‘the obvious questions’ while suggesting those seeking a career in aviation should “become comfortable being uncomfortable, it’s the fastest way to learn and grow”.
AIX event director Polly Magraw in a statement about the Women Behind Aviation campaign, said: “AIX is renowned for being the home of conversations that influence the industry of tomorrow, and by highlighting both the achievements and challenges that these women have experienced within their career, we hope to help spearhead further growth towards even greater diversity in the industry.”
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