Celebrating Women in STEM
Working in the aviation sector brings a wealth of diverse and exciting opportunities. As we mark International Women’s Day, we asked Nicole Saunders, Senior Consultant to tell us about her career to date, and explain how she is currently helping to encourage and inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.
I joined Osprey, an aviation consultancy with offices in South Gloucestershire, in November 2016 following a 16 year career as Fast Jet aircrew in the RAF, and an even earlier career as a physics teacher. Since joining the company I’ve been presented with some really exciting and challenging opportunities which have allowed me to use the full breadth of my STEM experience.
One of the first tasks I was given was to conduct an air safety assessment on the operation of a High Altitude Unmanned Air Vehicle. I’ve also been able to use my flying experience to inform a piece of work looking at operations at offshore windfarms. I’ve found a career in STEM to be interesting, varied and challenging.
More recently, I’ve been actively involved in the early discussions on the benefits of establishing the Gloucestershire STEM Network. The group held its first quarterly Steering Group meeting in November 2016 where it was decided that our mission is to provide a local STEM Network that supports women, from classroom to boardroom, and is itself supported by local organisations.
A number of organisations in the Gloucestershire/M5 corridor area are already involved, including companies, universities, and national and international professional institutions. I’m pleased to say that Osprey is supporting me in helping to enthuse and inspire the next generation of STEM professionals through my role on the Gloucestershire STEM Network Steering Group and also as a STEM Ambassador.
The Network, which is open to both men and women, plans to organise networking events, to mentor individuals, to support organisations to attract and retain women into STEM roles, and to provide support to professionals, women returners and students.
The next meeting is at the end of March and we would be delighted to see some new faces. Please join our LinkedIn Group if you would like to stay up-to-date with the latest information.