Vicky and 17-year-old Beth Carr
EasyJet mothers brought their daughters to work to help inspire the next generation of women in “STEM” jobs such as pilots, engineers and data scientists. Coinciding with the week leading up to Mother’s Day in the UK (19 March), the initiative was aimed at raising awareness of “Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics” career opportunities in aviation and in professions where women are under-represented across the industry.
In the case of EasyJet, these include apprenticeships in engineering, IT, data and artificial intelligence, as well as graduate programs in engineering and finance and its pilot training program.
According to the company – a key low-cost airline operator at Corvera Airport Murcia – the objective is “to bust traditional gendered stereotypes of these professions and encourage more young women to explore these careers, by showing young people that all jobs are for everyone. It follows recent research which has suggested that, based on current trends, it would take 22 years (until 2044) for the same number of women to be starting STEM apprenticeships as men.”
Debbie and Harriet Thomas
Two of the mothers taking their daughter behind the scenes were first officer Debbie Thomas, an airline pilot at EasyJet and former engineer, and Nikoletta, a physicist and senior data analyst for EasyJet.
Thomas was joined by 10-year-old daughter Harriet for a day at Luton airport, where they explored Debbie’s “office” – the flight deck of an A320 easyJet aircraft. Harriet was shown the controls by her mother and practised making a pilot’s passenger announcement. “It was so fun to see my mum at her work. I think her job is amazing, which is why I want to be a pilot just like her when I grow up.”
Seven-year-old Amaryllis also joined her mother Nikoletta at work ahead of Mother’s Day. The budding young maths whizz spent the day analysing baggage data and trends, meeting colleagues across the business and attending meetings at the airline’s Luton Airport head office.
“This was a brilliant and important opportunity to bring Amaryllis to work with me and show her what a job in data is all about,” said Nikoletta. “With fewer women than men starting STEM apprenticeships in the last year and research even showing that that number is falling compared to previous years, it’s critical to raise awareness of the incredible variety of jobs available in the industry and in those STEM roles from a young age.”
Nikoletta Pakalidou and daughter Amaryllis
Driving a More Diverse Community
EasyJet offers 17 apprenticeships that provide opportunities for school leavers and graduates, as well as continuous professional development for people who want to progress and excel in their careers.
The campaign is part of the airline’s ongoing work to “support employability and early career opportunities and to drive a more diverse community within the airline and the aviation industry as a whole”.
It follows the launch of a partnership with leading diversity in aviation youth organisation Fantasy Wings to provide young people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds and young women with greater opportunities to launch a career in the industry.
EasyJet is sponsoring places for students from 50 schools across the UK to join Fantasy Wings’ aviation career development program, which is designed to equip young people with the necessary tools they need to succeed in the industry and land their first-time role through skills development, practical knowledge training, career mentorship by industry leaders and flight training.
All photos by David Parry/PA Wire
The airline has also launched a team of “enterprise advisors” – EasyJet employees from across the business, including engineering and maintenance, IT and data and operations – who are partnered with local schools in the Luton and Gatwick areas (home to the airline’s largest UK operations) to provide careers advice and employability support to young people.
More information on all career opportunities with EasyJet can be found here.
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