Patrice Mantey: Head of joint venture and commercial planning

Describe your job
I head up The Virgin Atlantic, Delta Air Lines & Air France & KLM Joint Venture. This involves ensuring our businesses are aligned and deliver the best possible offering to our joint customers

What did you want to be when you grew up? Why? What options seemed open or closed to you?
The first thing I remember wanting to be was a model; I saw Naomi Campbell and thought – I want to be just like that sashaying down the catwalk. Unfortunately whilst I was the tallest in my class at 11 I failed to grow after that and am still 5ft tall!

What in your job has brought or given you the greatest satisfaction or fulfilment?
In my job I am able to contribute to both the strategy of the organisation and invest my time to develop others. This is the perfect mix for me

What keeps you motivated?
Variety, getting things done, contributing to the growth of the organisation but most importantly helping people live out their potential

What women have inspired you?
My mother of course, Oprah and Jennifer Lopez. These are all women who didn’t have the best start in life, but they started where they were, had big dreams and have overcome huge obstacles to now be able to thrive.

How do you think women’s equality has evolved and what needs to happen next?
People are more comfortable talking about it now which is really important. Research shows the benefit of female leaders in the workplace, more investment in helping women be more confident in putting themselves forward and being heard.

What is your role on the Springboard course? I am the first non-HR facilitator for Springboard at Virgin Atlantic. I expressed a really deep interest in expanding my role to ensure that I could contribute to the future of the organisation and was nominated to train as a facilitator.

How does Springboard help our women?
It gives them a very safe space to be themselves, voice their fears with a group of other women, share their experiences, learn from others and most importantly it gives them some tools to help them personally and professionally.


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