In the lead-up to International Women’s Day, Airservices is proudly championing the women in our national team to help #BreakTheBias and showcase the many varied and rewarding opportunities available for women considering a career in aviation.
Catch up on previous profiles on our Newsroom, including an interview with Airservices Drone Surveillance Initiative Lead, Bridget Kehoe.
Meet Laura Bocking, Program Manager (Digital Investments)
Laura is leading a team of innovators exploring the potential of advanced technologies to enhance the efficiency and sustainability of our air traffic management services. From a Digital Twin of Australian airspace to Digital Aerodrome Services and transforming Aeronautical Information Management through automation and digitisation, Laura is on the leading-edge of emerging aviation technologies.
How did you achieve your current role?
My current role is leading the delivery of the digital transformation program for Airservices. I’ve worked within project environments for most of my career across both the public and private sector. I started out as a business analyst, taking on project management work as well, and became a program manager/director in the air traffic management space in 2015. Since then, I’ve been leading a range of strategic programs such as Meteorological and Airport Collaborative Decision Making, Long-Range Air Traffic Flow Management and Digital Aerodrome Services.
What inspires you? What do you love most about your job?
I’m inspired by so many things in different ways! Seeing others overcome adversity is a big one, whether that be in sport, breaking down barriers in society, overcoming physical disability, or just getting though the smaller challenges of everyday life. My kids also inspire and motivate me every day. I love that my job is really making a difference. We’re improving our services to the aviation industry through introducing leading edge technology, which is both challenging and very exciting.
How do you see women in aviation/your profession breaking the bias locally, nationally or internationally?
More and more women are pursuing program and project leadership roles in IT, engineering and construction – and excelling at it. They bring with them new ways of thinking which helps us to tackle new and old problems in different ways. I think it’s important that we (both men and women) continue to promote and support women pursuing these roles – it’s part of the change we need to see in society to ensure everyone is accepted and valued for their contributions.
What female role models have inspired you?
Three inspirational women spring to mind immediately: The first being Jacinda Ardern – calm and cool under pressure, she’s demonstrated that you can be a strong leader while showing compassion for others. Next up, Ellyse Perry – she has been at the top of her game for so long, but continues to work hard, contribute to others, and conduct herself with grace and gratitude. Finally, Grace Tame – Grace has shown conviction and determination in changing the general acceptance of the way women have been treated. We need to keep standing with women like Grace to make sure these changes keep happening.
What advice would you give women thinking about a career in aviation/at Airservices?
Do it! Aviation offers so many opportunities across a range of professions and the chance to make a real difference.
Airservices has adopted a hybrid work from home/work from the office model for non-operational teams. Doo you have any top tips on how to establish a work/life balance?
First, establish a routine, but accept that there’s no perfect balance. It’s always a juggle and you need to stay flexible – that’s part of life.
Secondly, keep checking in on yourself and your family – you need to look after yourself first and family second. Your health is important, both physical and mental, and it doesn’t happen by accident. The amount of work it takes shouldn’t be underestimated and should always be a priority!
Airservices Australia is responsible for the safe and efficient management of 11 per cent of the world’s airspace and the provision of aviation rescue fire fighting services at Australia’s busiest airports. We connect people with their world safely – linking family and friends, generating economic activity, creating jobs and facilitating trade and tourism.