The day I started working at the Munich Airport Information Desk in 1998, I had no idea where it would lead me to, much less did I know what a huge and passionate impact it would have on my life. Besides big planes, being airside and the interaction with all stakeholders that make an airport function, like most, I love to travel too. After 21 years working in airport operations, I am still till this day, just as excited as I was from the get go to jump onto a plane and face my next challenge abroad to be part of a new or expanding airport. This mostly in the Middle East, where as one would imagine, being a woman could be a little challenging. I for one, am unfazed by race, age or gender, much less a different religion to my own and love experiencing and exploring other cultures. We are all people from different backgrounds and at the end of the day we have one collective goal to achieve together and that’s making our projects succeed.
My experiences especially with the Arabic culture would astound many. Reason being, no matter if I was working in Egypt, Oman or Saudi Arabia, I would always be received with respect and hospitality. Obviously, aviation in these countries is known to be even more male-dominated than it is in Europe. While you can find an increasing number of women working in airport terminal operations, either in a control center, as Terminal Duty Officers or for an airline, the percentage of women working airside is less than 1 per cent and in some countries it is even 0 per cent.