To celebrate International Women’s Day, Heathrow champions equality and diversity with colleagues and passengers. We’ve caught up with some of our Heathrow female role models who work in a diverse range of roles across the airport.
Several female role models across Heathrow Airport tell us about their career journeys and share top tips for being your own superhero.
Lizzie Cryan, H7 Programme Lead
How long have you been at Heathrow?
I started at Heathrow 15 years ago when we were still part of BAA. There’s been a lot of change since then and it’s been a fascinating journey to be on.
Where did you start your career here and how did you get to where you are now?
I joined the Internal Audit Team and I worked in a variety of roles within that function. Once I had children the work-life balance opportunities at Heathrow have always enabled me to continue with my career but also to have that family life which has been really important. Once my kids were older, I felt I needed a new challenge and Heathrow really helped me take that next step.
How has Heathrow helped with your career progression?
I tapped into some of the coaching opportunities that were available. This gave me the opportunity to look outside of what I was doing in my current role and to think about what my next step would be and to think longer term.
What’s the best thing about working at Heathrow?
It’s a really exciting place to work. I love the variety and challenges, and the opportunity to work with people from across the business and with our key stakeholders. Heathrow has now become such a strong brand and I feel proud to be part of shaping Heathrow’s future.
Sangeeta Vishwanath, IT Programme Manager
How long have you been at Heathrow?
I started with Heathrow in 2014 but have worked in partnership with Heathrow while working with British Airways and Amadeus as a Project/Programme and Implementation Manager.
Why do you come to work in the morning?
I work in a professional team but with a human touch as we work hard but also look after each other. My team has a family feel and there are always opportunities to grow and learn. Knowing that I positively contribute and lead my team to achieve goals on a daily basis makes it all worthwhile.
What’s special about Heathrow?
Heathrow is a dynamic and diverse place to work. It is extremely progressive and drives itself forward to get better and better. There is also a real passenger focus throughout the company and that gives the work a good sense of purpose. I can see career growth and a bright future for myself in this organisation.
What has been the biggest challenge in your career so far?
Work- life balance, I have twin 9 year old girls who I love dearly. Making sure I have a good balance between home/family and work is essential to me. Heathrow are very supportive and Agile working has made the balancing easier.
What advice would you give to returning mums at Heathrow?
Returning to work following maternity leave can be daunting – but with a bit of thought, structure, realistic planning, and support from your management, this can be a very positive experience.
Helen Elsby, Development Director Expansion
Helen tells us about her career journey and recent experience of coming back to work after maternity leave.
More about how Heathrow is empowering women…
In support of #breastcancerawareness, a number of passenger walkways and sites across the airport including Terminals 2, 3, 4 and 5 were lit up in pink this week.
We’ve also been selling cupcakes in terminals to raise money and show our support for Breast Cancer Now. If you would like to make a difference then click here to donate.
On Monday 4 March, Heathrow Expansion Director Emma Gilthorpe hosted an internal Q&A session with some of the female role models at Heathrow. Our colleagues gave an insight into their career journeys and tips for being your own superhero.
On Thursday 7 March, the Heathrow Academy held an inspirational talk by Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith, Mace Board Member who told her story about being the only Asian female Chief Executive of a FTSE 250 company.
Heathrow’s Altitude Women’s Network
The Heathrow Altitude Women’s Network aims to empower women to reach their full career aspirations, showcase outstanding role models at Heathrow and support colleagues to flourish. Heathrow encourages more female applications for leadership and management roles, helping women to be the best they can be.
The Women in Aviation and Aerospace Charter
Heathrow Airport is 1 of 52 signatories to the UK Women in Aviation and Aerospace Charter. The Charter commits organisations like Heathrow to build a more fair and balanced industry for women.
This reflects the aspiration of the industry to see gender balance across all levels. Click here to find out more information about the Women in Aviation and Aerospace Charter.