Louise MacLeod, Certifying Engineer

Describe your current job? My current role is a B1/C licensed certifying engineer at the LGW hangar.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Why? When I was a child, I wanted to be an interior designer or vet when I grew up (inspired by 90’s TV programmes – Changing Rooms and Animal Hospital) or an astronaut.

What in your job has given you the greatest satisfaction or fulfilment? The best thing about my job is the people I work with. I’m lucky enough to be on a shift that makes me laugh every day. Even after 16 years, I still love my job, it’s varied and active and no day is ever the same.

What women have inspired you? My mum has always pushed me to work hard and dragged me to college open days when I was a moody teenager, which lead to me enrolling onto an NVQ course in aeronautical engineering. She encouraged me to write to all the airlines early to ask about work experience before the rest of my class, which resulted in Virgin Atlantic calling me at college to invite me to apply for the apprenticeship and the rest is history! I’m forever grateful for her support and that I inherited her strong work ethic and determination.

How do you think women’s equality has evolved and what needs to happen next? Since I have worked at Virgin, I’ve seen the number of women in engineering increasing, which is brilliant to see. I think Virgin needs to keep promoting the STEM projects such as Passport to Change to continue encouraging youngsters into pursuing a career in aviation.

How does Springboard help our women? Springboard is an amazing four part workshop that connects you to other women in the business, helps you to realise your goals, finds out your strengths and weaknesses and informs you of courses and schemes available to us within the business.

How has Springboard helped you? Since attending the course, it’s had a really positive impact on me. I feel more confident and assertive and it’s given me the confidence to seek out opportunities and push myself out of my comfort zone. Since attending the course I have:

  • been accepted onto the ILM level 3 management course
  • got involved with the Star Wars, Galaxy Edge PR shoot
  • mentored year 7 children as part of Passport For Change
  • been matched with an amazing coach
  • set up a mentoring scheme for the apprentices in the LGW hangar.
  • signed up to be a mentor with Alta, which is a free on-line mentoring scheme for women in aviation and aerospace.

Return to our inspirational women page