March 8, 2018
The Faces of Aviation include Women – Happy International Women’s Day!
NAV CANADA’s goal is to recruit and retain people who have a wide range of skills, backgrounds and perspectives. We believe that each employee has a unique contribution to make, and that by reflecting and respecting diversity – in all its forms – we can truly support the development of our people in reaching their full professional potential.
Between March 5 and 11, 2018, we are celebrating Women of Aviation Worldwide Week, an annual global initiative that commemorates the anniversary of Raymonde de Laroche becoming the world’s first woman to receive a pilot’s license. We are also celebrating International Women’s Day which takes place on March 8.
Meet some of our female colleagues that are helping to build a workplace that is positive, dynamic, and as diverse as our country itself through their own unique stories and contributions to the aviation industry.
The faces of aviation include women
Our air traffic services team plays a key role in the company, helping keep people and goods moving safely and efficiently across Canada and the globe. Four years ago, Kendra Kincade, an air traffic controller from our Edmonton Terminal started Elevate Aviation, a not-for-profit initiative that amplifies women’s voices within their career by connecting them together through mentorship and speaking opportunities.
While the industry has changed over the years, NAV CANADA and Elevate Aviation are working to continue to remove barriers and increase awareness by encouraging more women and minority groups to consider a career in aviation. “From ATC’s, pilots, aerospace engineers, and support and corporate staff, our community brings women in aviation together, and demonstrates that there are women that are thriving and succeeding in our sector – though our mission goes beyond that. We’re also in communities, introducing the idea of aviation careers to young girls, we’re meeting women who are interested in making a change in their careers, and we’re supporting the development of women looking for more financial independence. Elevate Aviation elevates opportunities so that they feel reachable, and achievable among every Canadian – whether they are women or men.”
Inclusion begins with ‘I’
Maryam Awan joined NAV CANADA as a Change Management Specialist in 2015. The Change Practice plays an important role in the company by acting as people integrators who help us embed change thinking into business planning by considering the impacts of all decisions and initiatives on our stakeholders. The team is primarily focused on equipping the organization with knowledge, skills and tools that will enable us to be thoughtful leaders in change, and as a result, more inclusive in our approach.
One of the biggest ‘changes’ Maryam has managed is immigrating to Canada from Pakistan 13 years ago, and she’s proud to work for a company that thrives on the diverse backgrounds and experiences each employee brings to the table. For Maryam, it’s not just important for the employer to encourage inclusivity in the workplace, but for the individual to bring their whole selves to work too. In Maryam’s case, that means being open to answer questions about her culture or ethnic background, and sharing the occasional Pakistani treats with her colleagues. According to Maryam, “Inclusion begins with ‘I’ and we each have the power to include others in our personal story.”
Leaders are lifelong learners and open doors for others
Over two decades, our Assistant Vice-President of Talent Management, Lyne Wilson, has worked in a variety of roles, and credits her growth to being curious, open to new opportunities, and getting out of her comfort zone. Leading our Explore Aviation Summer Camp, Lyne is keen to help young Canadians explore what a career in aviation may look like for them. Between July 15 and 20, 2018, a group of Canadian students from across the country will gain hands-on experience in the aviation industry. They will use our simulators, visit our radars, fly our drones, and meet the professionals who help keep our skies safe. In its first year, the Explore Aviation Summer Camp will be open to 20 young women entering grade ten (applications close March 9, 2018).
“Whether you’re a woman or a man, when opportunity presents itself to try something new – go for it because that’s how you learn. The best move of my career was transitioning from headquarters to the regional level where I gained a better understanding of our business. From this experience, I was able to make more impact at NAV CANADA by leading different teams with different perspectives. This adds to our culture of opening doors for others to experiment with their unique interests, much like our Explore Aviation Summer Camp aims to achieve.”