AeroWomen21 – A celebration of Women in Aerospace

24 March 2021
Leonardo to host virtual AeroWomen21 event on 23 June 2021, International Women in Engineering Day

Leonardo is hosting AeroWomen21 in June 2021, celebrating, educating and uniting Women in Aerospace, whether they are working in industry or aspiring to join those who already are.

Aerospace can be accused of suffering from gender disparity, something the sector is working extremely hard to bring balance to. However, we can always do more.

On 23 June 2021, AeroWomen21 will take place online, with female attendees from aerospace companies and organisations, universities, female-centred charities and local female students aged 16 and 17 (Yr12). AeroWomen21 will provide an excellent networking opportunity between those women who have established careers in Aerospace, as well as create a platform for the future generation to meet potential employers and understand that there is space for them in this arena.

The event aims to:

  • Showcase and celebrate the history of Women in Aerospace
  • Invite women in industry to share their career paths, highlighting the plethora of different ways that a woman can be successful in this sector
  • Deliver a set of pragmatic and engaging workshops to promote the skills needed to have a purposeful and successful career in aerospace
  • Educate all attendees
  • Increase diversity in the candidates who apply for apprenticeships, graduate schemes and STEM courses for stakeholders
  • Create an association of Women in Aerospace that exists beyond the event, in the form of an invitation-only LinkedIn group that will offer solidarity and networking for all involved

AeroWomen21 hopes to achieve this by creating a cross generational networking group, inclusive of women in industry and students studying STEM based A-level subjects. It is our ambition that this network group will continue to grow and develop as this event expands over the coming years.

The agenda for the day will consist of:

  • Special guest speakers from women in aerospace who will share their experiences within the industry
  • Workshops for all guests, to encourage the development of skills required for a successful career in aerospace

Companies and organisations involved in AeroWomen21 will have the opportunity to contribute some recruitment material to be shared with the students at the end of the day’s event. After the event, each attendee will be invited to join a group on LinkedIn that is exclusively for the event attendees and will allow for any networking opportunities to continue afterwards.

Registration opens in May

We would welcome anyone to join us for the speeches and panellists in the morning, with registration details to be published here in May. We will also be announcing the speakers on our AeroWomen21 Instagram channel, as we confirm them, so please follow us there If you’d like to be updated.

Meet the AeroWomen21 team

Jessica Chamberlain

I am a 2nd Year Graduate on the Procurement and Supply Chain Scheme at Leonardo. My role on the AeroWomen21 Committee is to support on liaising with local schools and colleges in the area, enabling us to reach out to young female students who have an interest in STEM careers and provide them with the opportunity to network with potential future employers in STEM industries.

I believe it is important for young women interested in STEM to feel empowered and confident to explore this interest and the opportunities available. Women are equally as capable as men in such careers, and I take great pride in helping young people engage in practical exercises that will encourage them to make the first step in building a career in the field, and becoming a female STEM role model for future generations to come.

Bethany Elwell

I am in my final year of my business apprenticeship at Leonardo Helicopters in Yeovil. My role on the AW21 committee is as a School Liaison. My main task is to organise with local sixth forms and colleges to provide an opportunity for local young women to attend the event. I am thrilled to be part of the committee to encourage women to work in this industry.

Olivia Gribler

I am at the start of my career at Leonardo Helicopters on their Products and Programmes Graduate Scheme. A few months ago, while working on another STEM outreach project, I asked the school I was working with to ensure that there was a balanced gender split in the kids participating. When I arrived, there were only 5 girls, in a group of 25 students. The group of female students, were the highest performing group from that school. 

It was after this that the idea for AeroWomen21 came to mind. One of the reasons often cited for there not being more girls studying STEM, or women in STEM-based careers, is the unconscious gender bias of teachers and parents. In the past, young women may not have been presented with the opportunity to experience as many STEM-based activities, workshops or exposure to STEM industries. Things are now changing and there is an ongoing national agenda to address this – something we at Leonardo are passionate to support with events such as AeroWoman21, which focus on a young female audience. 

AeroWomen21 invites young women aged 16 and 17, during their first year of A-Levels, to come and meet successful women in the aerospace industry. This cross-generational networking will show these young women, who are at a crossroads in their education, what kind of opportunities, successes and exceptional careers are available to them in this sector.

I hope that the women in industry will enjoy the celebration of their careers, and take the time to impart the struggles and the benefits of building a career in Aerospace and Defence. A number of special guests will be invited to share their stories and experiences, to then play the role of mentee in a series of workshops that are aimed at helping women build up the key skills and competencies they need to defeat the biases and break through the barriers to a triumphant career. 

Samantha Hubbard

I am an electrical engineering degree apprentice at Leonardo Helicopters, Yeovil. My role in the AeroWomen21 committee is to organise the workshops for the event. I am looking forward to bringing this event to life and encouraging young women to explore the aerospace industry.

Kealey Judd

I am a former Customer Support Engineering Graduate who has just started a permanent role in the Repair Design Team at Leonardo Helicopters.

I have taken on the role of Logistics alongside Karolina on the AeroWomen21 committee.

Events like this are extremely important to encourage young women to explore the unique opportunities the aerospace industry provides. We hope that this event will inspire them to consider a future career in aerospace.

Holly Marnier

Hello, I’m Holly, a new member of the Commercial Team at Leonardo, Helicopters Division, after completing the Graduate scheme in 2020. My role on the AeroWomen 21 event committee is the Special Guest and Speakers Liaison. I am excited about the event because it is really important to encourage young women to explore the aerospace industry and provide a support network with peers and successful women as role models in STEM and aerospace.

Holly Phiminster

I am on Leonardo's graduate scheme working within Transmissions, where we manufacture gearboxes and rotor assemblies for aircraft flown worldwide. I am currently on placement working on a AW159 programme.

For the AeroWomen 21 event I am organising workshops focused on confidence building, networking and using LinkedIn for students and guests to take part in on the day.

I wanted to take part in this project to encourage other young women into aerospace, which may not be an option they’ve considered before. It wasn’t what I planned on after leaving university, but it has proved to be an interesting and challenging path.

Karolina Piatek

I'm a 2nd Year Business Apprentice at Leonardo Helicopters and am working on Logistics for AeroWomen21, alongside Kealey.

I’m really excited to be working on organising an event like AeroWomen21. Due to the aerospace industry being heavily male dominated, it’s important for women to be given opportunities like attending these types of networking events. This way they can make connections and links that could benefit them in the future, and it also helps them get their foot in the door of a really competitive industry.

Holly Ward

I am a Product & Programmes Post Graduate at Leonardo Helicopters. My role for AeroWomen21 role is as the Business & Organisation Liaison.

I have always had a passion for STEM subjects but was never fully aware of all the career possibilities throughout my education. My studies included Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry and Business A-Levels. I completed a degree in Business & Management and I now work in Programme Management for Leonardo. I love working for an aerospace company and want to be able to share my experience with a younger generation of women so they have the knowledge to pursue a career in STEM.