AeroWomen 24 – Championing a diversity of roles for women in aerospace

24 June 2024

Women from across the aerospace sector gathered last week at Westlands Entertainment Venue in Yeovil to support ‘AeroWomen 24: From Astronauts to Analytics: Women Shaping Aerospace Careers’.

The sheer diversity of careers available to women was highlighted throughout the event, which welcomed women at all stages of their careers and education. The day featured speakers, a panel and workshops, as well as an opportunity to network with people from diverse backgrounds across the aerospace sector.

AeroWomen Chair and Leonardo apprentice, Freya Woollett, delivered a speech at the event, which was also supported by Clive Higgins, Chair and CEO of Leonardo UK, who is himself a passionate advocate of women in aerospace.

Freya explained that women still only account for 12% of the engineering workforce and just 19% of the workforce undertaking engineering-related occupations, such as procurement and finance. “While there may be more women than ever in industry, there is still a long way to go before the ideal 50:50 split,” she added.

Several dynamic speakers shared their own personal industry experiences, including Dr Tess Morris-Paterson, Managing Director at Astro Perform; Krystina Pearson-Rampeearee, Engineering Team Lead at BAE Systems; and Folayo Osekita, Chief of Staff, Chair and CEO at Leonardo UK.

A panel session addressed issues on identity, roles in industry and society, and self-empowerment, featuring contributions from representatives of Morson Projects, Leonardo, London Biggin Hill Airport and Babcock.

Every women present at the event was invited to write their own pledge as to how they were going to commit to their own growth and realisation of their full talents.

Leonardo apprentice, Erin Coulson, wrote a three-action pledge: “To be more confident in the delivery of presentations, to become involved in a support/mentoring network either within or outside of Leonardo, and to continue being an ally for myself and my female peers for the progression of our aerospace careers.”

Concluding the event, Freya Woollett shared her own pledge: “To be more courageous – to take up more opportunities and not be scared of failure.”