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Abi's Story – Women of Aviation Week

Date: 9 March 2018


My name is Abi, my journey began at L3 CTS and the aviation industry over twenty years ago.

It started after my first year of university where I was studying Mechanical Engineering at UCL, I got a summer placement at L3. I obviously made an impression! L3 CTS offered me sponsorship for my remaining two years of university, so I came out of university debt free. And here I am now, at the same company all these years later.

 

Over 20 years my job has changed and evolved, I’ve worked on flight certification, been an Operations Program Controller, processed repairs and my current role is as a Senior Planner where I ensure all the items required to build a Full Flight Simulator are ordered, arrive on time, and are correct. As I’ve progressed through the company over time, my responsibilities outside of work have also changed over this time but L3 have been great at understanding this.

 

 

I’ve seen firsthand the industry attitude towards women change, and believe me it has a changed a lot and I think it will continue to. 20 years ago I was told by my mentor that “if I didn’t go off and have babies, I’d go far!” – I can’t image anyone saying that now, and they certainly would not get away with it. I was also told when I was applying for university that they would offer me a place as it was “good for their numbers”, needless to say I walked out and didn’t look back.


20 years on it is definitely a different story. I hope that nobody starting a career in engineering would ever have such things said to them anymore, because it really is not the case anymore. The schemes to encourage women into the industry are a great idea, as despite everything, it is still considered a bold move for a woman to go into engineering.


I think any woman thinking about coming into this industry should jump in with both feet. It will be a challenge, but all jobs are these days, and the rewards are great. I love saying I help build aircraft simulators and contribute to the training of pilots when people ask what I do!


Abi Newton