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Celebrating Women’s History Month

Americas, Asia Pacific, EMEA

Charlène, why did you choose to pursue a career in aviation management?

I didn’t necessarily know I was pursuing a career in aviation management per se but have always been motivated to act professionally and to bring my best to my work. I joined Jet Aviation in 2007 as an assistant, working my way up to the role of VIP aircraft support program manager. I’m both thankful for the opportunities I’ve been given and proud of what I’ve achieved.

I’m currently responsible for leading and managing all activities related to Aircraft After Delivery Support, which includes the internal and external stakeholders, the budget, and ultimately ensuring customer satisfaction.

How did you overcome barriers in advancing your career?

Jet Aviation is committed to excellence at every touchpoint, and I’ve overcome any barriers at work by simply relying on my motivation, rigor, organizational and interpersonal skills to ensure my customers see, feel, and appreciate my competence and commitment, as well as all the soft skills I bring to a project.

My job starts when a Completions project is delivered and continues throughout the warranty period of the aircraft, which is between 2 and 4 years. I am the only point of contact to our customers during this period. How I handle our customers, how I assure them that we are present and available to support them, is how we win their trust and loyalty.

What can Jet Aviation do to attract and support women in non-traditional roles within the company?

Help open doors for women to gain experience and expertise in all types of positions! Women see things differently to men and our sense of detail, understanding, attentive listening, and organization is a real plus for Jet Aviation — and any company.

“Help open doors for women to gain experience and expertise in all types of positions! Women see things differently to men and our sense of detail, understanding, attentive listening, and organization is a real plus for Jet Aviation — and any company.”

Katrina, why did you choose to pursue a career in aviation?

I didn’t choose aviation as a career. I believe that it chose me.

My career in aviation started nearly 20 years ago, working for the Department of Defence within their Aerospace Division. The dynamic and complex nature of the work, alongside a continuum of post-secondary schooling, has kept me engaged and challenged within the industry.

I have contemplated other industries however aviation has provided me a rewarding and challenging career, working across all areas of the business with a professional team that strives to provide the highest level of customer service, innovative delivery and contemporary practices in safety and quality.

How did you overcome barriers in advancing your career?

Consciously and deliberately. I embarked on a process of personal growth and development, which has taught me to control the things that I can. I had no control over my manager who found ‘me’ unsuitable for the workplace, thus I learned how to better interact with him, better discuss matters as they arose, and better understand him and his motivations. I reflected on how my behavior and actions may have contributed to his perceptions and took action to ensure that I reviewed the situation objectively. This process of self-reflection gave me the tools and pathways to work through the situation without allowing my well-being to suffer.

What can Jet Aviation do to attract and support women in non-traditional roles within the company?

Most team members I have worked with over the last nine years have been very supportive, not because I am a woman, but because we are a team. We respect each individual’s contributions. We have collective goals and objectives. We that work closely together to achieve a high level of service delivery to our people, and our customers.

Our global focus on Diversity and Inclusion and our strong Values are what allow us to differentiate ourselves as a company. I hope that we will be able to better advocate non-traditional roles for women in each and every area of the business as we continue to build a foundation for Diversity, Inclusion & Equality.

“Our global focus on Diversity and Inclusion and our strong Values are what allow us to differentiate ourselves as a company. I hope that we will be able to better advocate non-traditional roles for women in each and every area of the business as we continue to build a foundation for Diversity, Inclusion & Equality.”

Tiana, why did you choose to pursue your pilot’s license and a career in aviation?

Becoming a pilot has always been a childhood dream of mine. You hear a lot of children say that they would like to become a firefighter, police officer, or doctor when they grow up but for me, that aspiration was always a pilot. From the time I was young, I had always envisioned myself doing something unorthodox—I had always wanted to pursue a more unconventional route. I suppose my parents are to thank for that. Neither one of them had a pilot’s license but the activities we would partake in when I was growing up truly lead me to where I am today. I was introduced to heights and speed through skiing while I was only a year old. There was something about being in off the ground on a ski left that felt tranquil for me. The rush I was received when skiing down the mountain also gave me the same feeling that I get when I’m in a plane today—a feeling that is hard to put into words but a feeling that felt like home. Because of this, it only made sense that I purse a career as a pilot.

How did you overcome barriers in advancing your career?

Everyone will come across roadblocks in life. It’s important that we find courage, strength, and confidence to overcome those roadblocks. For me, I was able to lean on my support system—my mentor and my family. With their help, I was able to face any and every barrier that stood in front of me. My mentor from Sisters of the Skies led the way as she encouraged me to continue on my journey, even when it became tough. I was given guidance in what to expect when pursuing a pilot career as a young, African American girl. Having a support system with an experienced mentor is imperative—without those people to rely and fall back on, it is incredibly difficult to continue to grow.

 

“As Jet Aviation continues its journey of supporting and attracting women in non-traditional roles within aviation, it’s important to continue to take a stand and lead by example. There has always been an underlying belief that women in aviation are solely flight attendants and not pilots. This stereotype will continue to remain prevalent unless Jet Aviation and others from all over the world speak up.”

What can Jet Aviation do to attract and support women in non-traditional roles within the company?

As Jet Aviation continues its journey of supporting and attracting women in non-traditional roles within aviation, it’s important to continue to take a stand and lead by example. There has always been an underlying belief that women in aviation are solely flight attendants and not pilots. This stereotype will continue to remain prevalent unless Jet Aviation and others from all over the world speak up. It’s important to communicate that women within all lines of aviation are needed and to express the scarcity of women in non-traditional roles within the school systems so that the next generation is educated on what is possible and available. If we properly plant the seed, the aviation industry will continue to grow from here—welcoming people from all types of different backgrounds.

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