The percentage of women in aviation maintenance fields is in the single digits. Perhaps that makes ExecuJet MRO Services Europe’s workforce statistics even more impressive: roughly a third of the Dassault Aviation subsidiary’s employees in Belgium are women.
Now, in a further testament to its commitment to promoting female talent from within, ExecuJet MRO Services Europe has appointed Nadia Coetzee as General Manager of its maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility at Brussels International Airport, following stints in supervisory and financial roles at the firm’s global headquarters in Lanseria, near Johannesburg, South Africa.
ExecuJet MRO Services Europe is part of Dassault Aviation’s Maintenance Control Centre, and responds to aircraft on ground (AOG) incidents throughout Europe and Africa. Expert teams can dispatch within hours of an AOG call.
In her new role, Coetzee will focus on further expanding ExecuJet MRO Services Europe’s support to customers including the growth of its AOG support business.
“Putting AOG aircraft quickly back into service is highly valued by customers and is a business we know well. It helps build loyalty and leads to repeat inspection and service business,” notes Coetzee.
“We’re qualified and certified to respond to AOGs anywhere in the world, depending on the aircraft type and registration.”
But what does a day in the life of Coetzee entail? Runway Girl Network reached out to learn more about her new position, and how she landed at a firm that specializes in airframe, avionics and engine maintenance.
“A day in my life as a General Manager begins with purpose and enthusiasm. It involves overseeing the seamless operation of our facility in Brussels,” she tells Runway Girl Network.
Interacting with my team is a central part of my day as each day is dynamic and demands adaptability.
I dedicate time to interacting with customers. Whether through planned meetings or impromptu visits to our facility, I value direct feedback from customers. I listen attentively, addressing concerns, and ensuring that their experience aligns with EJE’s [ExecuJet MRO Services Europe’s] commitment to excellence.
My day usually ends by addressing any last-minute concerns and discussing pending tasks or deadlines and a few notes jotted down for tomorrow’s agenda.
Coetzee was born in South Africa and has a degree in business and financial management from Nelson Mandala University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa’s Eastern Cape region. She confides that aviation wasn’t really a known career to her at first.
“I started in the billing department within ExecuJet MRO Services [in South Africa] as I studied financial management, and I remember that excitement I felt walking into the hangar and seeing the aircraft on my first day. Over the past years I was fortunate to gain more knowledge and insight in the MRO business and the passion for aviation keeps on growing everyday,” she explains.
“The inspiration now also stems from its dynamic and innovative nature, the endless possibilities and the chance to contribute to a cutting-edge field which constantly pushes boundaries.”
Did she experience any challenges when entering this largely male-dominated profession?
“Well any position has it’s own unique challenges, however in my experience in this male-dominated industry, I am grateful to say that these challenges were never related to gender,” replies Coetzee.
“While I initially expected some resistance, I was pleasantly surprised to find a remarkably supportive environment. The continuous support, motivation, and encouragement within the industry have not only exceeded my expectations but have also transformed my journey in aviation. This positive atmosphere has made my work not just a job but a genuine passion, and I feel fortunate to be part of an industry that values diversity and fosters an environment of collaboration and support.”
Coetzee’s advice to other women who are interested in exploring aviation careers is to “believe in your capabilities, seek mentorship, and embrace the unique perspective you bring to the industry”.
“Anything you set your mind to, you can do and gender doesn’t define it,” she declares.
- Camber’s Szylowski on the benefit of seizing opportunities
- Building relationships is key to success: West Star’s Cunningham
- Dassault updates on 6X, 10X, new EASy IV flight deck and MRO
- Industry veteran Dana Kirchmar on helping women ascend in aviation
- Regional aviation proves big draw for Deutsche Aircraft’s Visnakova
All images credited to ExecuJet MRO Services Europe