International Women’s Day: Katie Cooper
AAA Director Katie Cooper shared her insights for a women in aviation feature in International Airport Review. We’ve republished her contribution to coincide with International Women’s Day.
Years ago, I was asked how I managed to beat the boys club. The truth is I have never really tried.
I’ve always taken the view that if you work hard and deliver results, you will be rewarded for that. You need to create opportunities for yourself and others. Sometimes beg for forgiveness rather than ask for permission. Be proud and confident of what you bring to the table with your perspective, experience and knowledge. Own your career, no one else will do that for you.
I encourage women to take the road less travelled and pursue careers in the technical and operational areas of aviation. My work in operations taught me so much about the industry and I’m a better leader and manager because of it. As an industry, we need to get better at promoting these roles to women.
My advice to those just starting out would be to use your time well and take stock of your achievements on a regular basis. Be deliberate about the opportunities you pursue and think about the next three roles, not just what’s in front of you now. It can be beneficial to make a lateral career move for experience or learning opportunities, which sets you up even more strongly for a vertical move.
Find those who will support you along the way – your own board of advisors. Look for people who will tell you the truth, inspire you and challenge your thinking. These people may change as your career develops, but together they’ll help you keep your focus as you work to achieve your goals.
The above first appeared in International Airport Review.
About Katie Cooper
Head of Transformation, Melbourne Airport
Director, Australian Airports Association
Katie Cooper is an accomplished senior business leader with extensive operational and management experience. Katie has an MBA and several other qualifications, along with a broad range of experience from across Australia and overseas. Her breadth of aviation experience ranges from managing remote airports through to major capital city airports, as well as having working for regional, domestic and international airlines.