In the lead-up to International Women’s Day (IWD), Airservices is proudly championing the highly skilled women in our national team to help #BreakTheBias and showcase the many varied and rewarding opportunities available for women considering a career in aviation.
Over the coming days, we’ll be profiling just some of the outstanding women who are an integral part of ensuring the safe and sustainable growth of Australian aviation.
Airservices Chief People & Culture Officer Lucinda Gemmell said she was pleased to have the opportunity to celebrate our women’s achievements as part of a global push for a gender equal world – free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination.
“We are proud of each and every one of our female leaders at Airservices, from our brilliant and highly capable air traffic controllers through to our dedicated, leading fire fighters,” Ms Gemmell said.
“This International Women’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to recognise our female colleagues and together mark this important movement in raising awareness against bias and take action for equality.”
Meet Bridget Kehoe, Airservices Drone Surveillance Initiative Lead
Australia is one of the fastest-growing markets for drones and is leading the world in adopting these technologies to improve the way we do business, look after our environment, and assist in emergency situations.
Bridget is playing a key role in the safe integration of drone technologies, leading the development of an Integrated Drone Surveillance Systems trial to investigate strategies to detect and safely manage drone activity near Australian airports.
How did you achieve your current role?
Having worked with Airservices for several years, I became interested in the emerging technology space and so put my hand up to be involved in innovation projects. When there was an opportunity to work on a project exploring the surveillance and management of drones around aerodromes, I was able to use the aviation experience I had gained in previous roles to successfully apply for this exciting opportunity.
What inspires you? What do you love most about your job?
I’m inspired when I’m surrounded by people who question the way things are being done and challenge me to approach things in a different way. I enjoy the constant learning in my job. It’s such a fast-paced industry – there’s always a new problem to be solved or a new initiative to learn about.
How do you see women in aviation/your profession breaking the bias locally, nationally or internationally?
I find it encouraging to see more women working in technical and operational roles. Several female colleagues have moved into operational leadership roles and are using their unique skillsets to help their teams achieve. It’s great to see skills such as being a good listener, showing empathy and communicating being valued just as much as technical knowledge.
What female role models have inspired you?
I’m inspired by some of the amazing women I’m friends with. They’re always supportive and provide great advice, both professionally and personally. They’re passionate about their careers and want to work in roles that they love and where they feel they can make a difference.
What advice would you give women thinking about a career in aviation or at Airservices?
There are so many career paths in aviation that you may not know exist. So, I recommend attending industry events or career expos and asking people about their jobs and what they enjoy doing. I’m always surprised by how generous people are with their time.
Airservices has adopted a hybrid work from home/work from the office model for non-operational teams. Do you have any top tips on how to establish a work/life balance?
Other people usually respond to the way you approach your work/life balance so I try to lead by example and set boundaries. Make sure you take proper lunch breaks, avoid answering emails out of hours and turn off your computer at the end of the day. Encourage others to do the same and to recognise that everyone needs to rest and refocus to do their best work.
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.