Meet some of the incredible women who work at Portsmouth Aviation.
Portsmouth Aviation prides itself on encouraging its employees to learn, grow and progress. In a male dominated industry, they understand the importance of supporting and highlighting the success of the women who work within their company.
Meet three inspirational women who work at Portsmouth Aviation in the Environmental, Quality and Engineering departments and learn more about their career, their successes and motivations to succeed in this gender imbalanced industry.
- Name: Andrea Csapai
- Job Title at Portsmouth Aviation: Quality Assurance Technician
- Length of Service at Portsmouth Aviation: 3 years
- Length of Service in the STEM Industry: 10 years
- Name: Michelle Turner
- Job Title at Portsmouth Aviation: Engineering Coordinator
- Length of Service at Portsmouth Aviation: 3 years
- Length of Service in the STEM Industry: 25 years
- Name: Ann – Marie Jones
- Job Title at Portsmouth Aviation: Stress Engineer
- Length of Service at Portsmouth Aviation: 16 years
- Length of Service in the STEM Industry: 16 years
When did you first become interested in the STEM industry? What motivated you to start working for an engineering company?
Andrea: I started working within Engineering roughly 10 years ago, due to my fascination with how things worked and the mechanics behind them.
I am originally from Hungary and first worked in a Japanese company called Aikawa, where strict professional standards were expected. This was the beginning of my career and where I learnt how to interpret technical drawings and how to use metrology equipment appropriately. I then went on to work for an engineering company called H+H, here I developed my knowledge further and gained more experience within the industry. After immigrating to the UK, I started working as a Hydraulic Technician at Eaton Corporation and then got a job at Portsmouth Aviation as their Quality Assurance Technician.
Michelle: I fell into the industry accidently – I started working at a manufacturing company 20 years ago as a temporary job, really enjoyed it so decided to stay. I joined Portsmouth Aviation, working in their Engineering department about 3 years ago and haven’t looked back.
I realised if I worked hard, remained motivated and had the ability to motivate others, I could make a career in the industry.
Ann-Marie: My father and brother were both in the RAF working in engineering roles. My original career choice was to be a pilot in the RAF, which is why I chose the more engineering related subjects at A-level and university.
After realising that a pilot was not the right career path for me, I decided that I would like to use the knowledge that I had gained at university and joined the Portsmouth Aviation technical office team.
What has been the biggest success/highlight of your career?
Andrea: The biggest success in my career has to be completing the Metrolog X4 Laser Scanner course – this is something that I am very proud of. A career highlight would be the opportunities I have working within the Quality department in a leading role – contributing to the ongoing success of Portsmouth Aviation.
Michelle: My personal successes have been to progress from an Operator through to Supervisor & Manager within previous companies. With Portsmouth Aviation to be noticed and promoted to Engineering Coordinator was a great success in my career.
Ann-Marie: My biggest personal success while working for Portsmouth Aviation would be achieving my MSc in Airworthiness as it took a substantial amount of time and hard work. I was juggling this whilst completing my regular daily work and, in the final year, looking after my baby daughter.
For women who are starting or thinking about starting their careers in STEM, what skills should they have to help them on their journey?
Andrea: I would say that it’s important to be aware of the constant evolution of the engineering industry – always ensure you have conducted research. Finally I think it’s important to always try to do the best you possibly can, I think that way you will always succeed.
Michelle: From a personal point of view, gaining lots of experience was what allowed me to push my career forward. Jump at every opportunity given to you, attend as many courses as possible, work hard and get noticed for your efforts.
Never stop learning, there is always something you can do to better your skills and widen your knowledge.
Ann-Marie: I think this question applies to everyone thinking about a STEM career; if it is something you are interested in and really want to do then go for it. Academically, it all depends what route suits the person. For me it was the A-level then university route, but there are some great apprenticeships available too.
Can you recall any times when you questioned your involvement in STEM because of your gender?
Andrea: Personally, I do not believe that at any time in my career in the STEM industry my abilities were questioned or self-doubted. Modern times have evolved the concept of gender equality and this has been apparent during the past 10 years. Being a woman or a foreign woman has no bearing on your success and from my own experience, success is driven purely on self-motivation and knowledge. This may not be the case for everyone but I can safely say that within Portsmouth Aviation everyone is valued and opportunities are equally given.
Michelle: Personally, I’ve never felt that my gender has impacted my career- I’ve always felt equal to my colleagues. Portsmouth Aviation is an innovative company that promotes equality in the workplace and it’s a company that I’m very proud to work for.
Ann-Marie: I have never questioned my involvement in STEM because of my gender. I have always been treated with the same respect (and banter too) that is given to my male peers. Portsmouth Aviation values all of their staff – no matter their gender.