From education to employment

British Airways celebrates International Day of Women in Engineering

Latoya from British Airways smiling in front of a plane

Meet Latoya, a technician in engineering and former apprentice at British Airways (@British_Airways)

Growing up, I always enjoyed building and fixing things. That’s when I knew I liked engineering.  

For as long as can I remember, I have been fascinated by planes and aviation. I was always keen to know how they work, how they fly and how to fix them.

When it came to deciding what to do after completing secondary school, I was familiar with A-levels and going to university, but it wasn’t right for me. I told my mum that I wanted to do an apprenticeship and she was so supportive of my decision.

I joined British Airways in January 2020, stepping into the role of an aircraft maintenance apprentice. It marked the beginning of an exhilarating journey in the aviation industry, one that would see me grow both professionally and personally.

The journey was intense and challenging but incredibly rewarding. In training, I delved into the theory for all 12 modules, complemented by hands-on experience in the workshop and hangars based at Resource Group. This blend of theory and practical application was crucial. It allowed me to embed theoretical knowledge through hands-on experience, which supported me in passing each module. This achievement of passing all my modules and essays affirmed my technical capabilities and solidified my passion for engineering within aviation. This led me to gain real-world experience in the hangers and operational maintenance at Heathrow to become an A licence Technician.

Growing up, I didn’t personally know any females working in this field, but I was always encouraged to pursue my interests. Engineering, to me, is a broad and exciting field that offers endless opportunities to create, develop, challenge, and problem-solve. Despite the industry being a male-majority, celebrating women in engineering highlights our presence and capabilities and it’s good to see more women joining. We can provide different perspectives, which is crucial for fostering collaborative working environments and improving diversity. By embracing and encouraging this, we can support the change in mindset needed to make the industry more inclusive and dynamic.

Looking ahead, I hope my engineering career continues to thrive and evolve. Currently, I am studying to complete the modules required for my B licence. Working in a 24/7 operation is constantly challenging, teaching me new things every day. My ultimate aspiration is to become a Licensed Aircraft Engineer (LAE) one day.

My journey at British Airways has been marked by significant achievements. As I work towards my future goals, I remain passionate about engineering and committed to advocating for more women in this field. Engineering offers boundless opportunities for those willing to embrace its challenges, and I am excited to see where this path will take me.

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