Describe your Job?
I work in Engineering  as the People Manager LGW, Regional & Overseas – I am accountable for building, strengthening and maintaining relationships with the Engineering workforce with the ultimate aim of ensuring a consistent approach to people management within Aircraft Maintenance. Engagement, development & welfare in a nutshell! An important part of my role is looking after the development  for all of our Engineering Apprentices.  

What did you want to be when you grew up?
My dream job when I was growing up was to be a flight attendant. As a child I was fortunate enough to travel abroad. I was always so excited about the flight, probably more than the holiday! I loved how the Flight Attendants looked after me and made the start of my trips so special. Ever since I was eight I thought about being a flight attendant, as I grew older my ambition got stronger and every job I took was tourist related to put me in the best position for when I was old enough to apply, which was 21 back then. The opportunity to meet new people , discover new cultures, travel the world and wear a fabulous uniform! It was just the perfect job!  I never really thought about becoming a pilot. I hadn’t had that much exposure and it seemed that the majority of the pilots had come from a military background or had lessons from an early age which wasn’t really an option for me.  

What in your job has brought or given you the greatest satisfaction or fulfilment?
I have been really lucky to have worked in several roles during my career with Virgin Atlantic. I can honestly say that each of my roles has brought wide and varied experiences and challenges; highlights below:

  • Early days as cabin crew due to the exciting destinations, long layovers and the lifelong friendships that I made during my time as crew.
  • Virgin Nigeria secondment where I spent two years in Lagos. The exposure to different cultures and experiences were really special and really paved the way for my career to flourish at Virgin Atlantic.
  • Crew Logistics – 10 years working with a fantastic team in the high speed, ever changing world of airline operations.
  • My time in Engineering has also been really rewarding. Being given the opportunity to develop a new role has not only been a challenge but has been incredibly satisfying, seeing the changes made within the large Engineering teams. Looking after the Engineering Apprentice scheme has been fabulous, watching young people grow and becoming accomplished Engineers.

What keeps you motivated?
The ability to grow and constantly challenge myself.

What women have inspired you?
Nicola McIvor – Former flight service manager and flatmate. For the guidance she gave me for the first 15 years of my career. She taught me to meet every challenge with a positive attitude and that I could be anything I wanted to be.

Most recently Frances Milner, Executive Director of Philanthropy and Partnerships at Cancer Research UK – For the inspirational way that she takes on every challenge, her dedication to fundraising and her commitment to improving the lives of those suffering with cancer through the research the organisation carries out.

How do you think women’s equality has evolved and what needs to happen next?
Over the last 10 years there has been a major focus on gender and equality. What we are now seeing is talented women from all backgrounds being given the opportunity to take on roles that were historically not there. This has changed the direction of many companies with women bringing a whole different perspective to how we manage organisations and people.  It is important to remember that those women who are emerging as leaders are doing it on ability not gender.  

Globally we need to work together to empower the next generation through education;  quality education for all girls, particularly in the least developed countries.


Return to our inspirational women page