Blog: Tricia Williams, COO, on International Women's Day

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day, Press for Progress, really resonates with me as it is so important for everyone in our business to be able to progress and succeed with equal opportunity for all. We’ve always had firm commitments to diversity and inclusion, and we’re already making significant progress to deliver these with a third of our Executive Committee being women.

However, there is always more that we can do. We not only want to accelerate gender equality in our business, but to also use our position and influence as a major UK employer, so I’m delighted to say we’ve just announced a new partnership with Northern Power Women. I’m also delighted to be the author of our first blog.

Northern Power Women is a UK campaign, driven from the North, to accelerate gender diversity across all industries and businesses. By working with men and women across the UK, they hope to transform the cultures of organisations to increase opportunities for women and drive best practise.

Our partnership with Northern Power Women will see us acting as positive advocates for change across all the regions we operate in, actively engaging in the debate and taking part in wider initiatives.

Above, you’ll find videos of some of our female senior leaders talking more about their roles, the responsibilities they hold, and why they love coming to work. I’m delighted when I see more young women entering the aviation industry, so we’ve also given some advice for those wanting to work their way up in this exciting, thriving workplace.

My advice to young people who are working towards being future business leaders, would be to stretch yourself, take any opportunity that’s offered to you so you can branch out and develop your capabilities, and always be ambitious. I haven’t always worked in the aviation industry, beginning my career as a graduate trainee at United Utilities where I worked for twenty years before moving to Manchester Airport six years ago. The advice I’ve given is very relevant to my own career as I have moved through the business taking every opportunity that came my way and stretching myself so I could really develop my abilities and knowledge. This really is a great time for women in business to step up, grab opportunities with both hands, and go for it.