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“The person who originally sparked my interest in aviation was my childhood neighbour. She was a talented woman in aviation in her own rite, who ran a local flight school. Her example and passion inspired me to become a flight attendant early in my adult life. It was that frontline operational experience which fueled my interest in human performance and cognition, leading me to obtain a Masters of Science degree in Human Factors Psychology. Front line operational experience combined with a solid education has served me well.
I have certainly experienced challenges being a woman in an industry historically dominated by men. I am encouraged by the progress made in the last few years. As an industry, we are starting to nurture more female talent and provide women with promotable work and opportunities that allow us to add value to the workforce. My personal goal is to highlight and bring visibility to the talented women I work with every day. This takes the form of promoting their work to senior leadership and putting forward their name when opportunities for advancement are discussed. At Swoop, I have felt the importance of working in an inclusive environment. I am seen as a person first, and my leaders and colleagues value the ideas I bring forward in my role without having to fight for the same credibility as my male peers.
My advice for women in aviation looking for career growth is to focus on meaningful, promotable work and opportunities to learn. Prioritize your time by asking yourself if the task or project (1) grows your resume, (2) supports your yearly objectives, or (3) is a passion project. These three categories will ensure the work you undertake is meaningful and career advancing. Take advantage of the fact that as a woman in aviation you stand out by being in the room. Use that visibility as an advantage to showcase your work, contributions, and critical thinking skills.
As a leader, I actively promote real inclusion. We can bring people in the door, but leadership must provide a safe space for them to have an authentic voice, share their talents, experiences, and perspectives to truly realize the full value of what they can contribute. Inclusion means creating a safe authentic space where people can live their full potential without artificial barriers and discrimination. That's truly people first.”
Nicole, Senior Leader, Safety