We are celebrating this year’s International Women’s Day by showcasing some of our successful female leaders across a variety of operational roles within the Airport.
We strive to ensure that people are treated equally at work across all levels, departments and locations. Through our People Strategy, we focus on making sure that everyone has the same opportunities for reward, recognition and career development, thereby achieving our goal of being an “Employer of Choice” and our continued Investors in People accreditation.
Gender equality forms an important part of this policy and whilst males have historically dominated the Airport sector, and this is still reflected at LJLA, there are many career opportunities for women at the Airport. Half our management team are women and this week we are sharing the experiences of some of our successful female leaders.
Mel Lawley - Airfield Operations Manager
With over 20 years of airport experience spent across a variety of disciplines, Mel has first hand knowledge of how to take advantage of the opportunities available working at the Airport:
I have been working at the airport for over 20 years now. I started off in security on a temporary summer contract and never left! Following a number of different roles over the years, including time spent in air traffic control and terminal operations I now work in Airfield Operations as the Airfield Operations Manager. Our department is responsible for providing a safe and compliant environment for aircraft and ground service providers to operate in.
I have always enjoyed working at the Airport As a company it has supported me in my career progression, even throughout periods of maternity leave and then returning to work afterwards, providing flexibility for childcare wherever possible.
I have also had the opportunity to take part in exciting events, including organising operations as part of the mass exodus of Liverpool fans ahead of the two recent Champions League finals, a charity plane pull along the taxiway, and even a PR photo opportunity with a former Grand National winning racehorse on our runway! There is never a dull moment at the Airport and we all work as a really great team to achieve our goals.
I would encourage anyone to consider working at the Airport and in particular to look at roles that you may not have immediately thought of. There are a host of diverse roles across all departments, with opportunities open to anyone, regardless of gender. All come with the training needed to do the job, with support to help employees progress their career here - all it takes is for you to be willing to work hard and with a belief in yourself.
Rebecca Lucy – HR & Community Manager
As Becci explains, her first taste of a career at the Airport came in 2011, spending a year working here as part of her degree placement whilst studying at University, returning for full time employment later:
Life for me working at the Airport started in 2011, spending a year as an HR Intern on my degree placement, gaining a really good insight into all aspects of working at the Airport.
After finishing my degree in Business Studies with a specialisation in HR and having really enjoyed my internship at the Airport, I returned in 2013 having been successful in applying for the position of HR Assistant and have since been very fortunate to develop my career further and progress from an HR Advisor into my current position as the Airport company’s HR Manager.
My role is really varied, but essentially I’m responsible for providing HR support to all Managers and colleagues at Liverpool John Lennon Airport and Air Traffic Control Services Limited including recruitment, training and development, diversity & inclusion and reward & recognition, and also for the development and implementation of our People Strategy.
The Airport has also supported me in the completion of my MA in Human Resource Management which I achieved in 2017 and my proudest moment in my role so far has been achieving he Investor in People Silver accreditation in 2020.
It’s great to work for a Company that has so many inspiring females in influential management and leadership positions, in what is usually a male dominated environment, particularly in aviation, and that this is reflected in our negative gender pay gap.
My favourite thing about working in the Airport is the variety – every day is different with so many unique departments to work with and there is always something new and exciting (and usually challenging!) to get involved in which is great for personal development.
Debbie Lacy-May - Head of Security and Terminal Operations
Debbie has worked at the Airport for the past 10 years and is rightly proud of her role within the business as she explains:
I have worked in varied roles which I’m sure all have some bearing on where I am today. From donning oversized overalls and steel toe cap boots on rooftops, labouring for my dad as a teenager, bar work as a student and even a brief spell presenting on local radio, to venues management which took me into general business and security. I took the opportunity to join the airport team 10 years ago, on moving to the area and I found my skills fitted into the security team beginning my career within aviation.
Today, I feel privileged to have achieved the position of Head of Security and Terminal Operations at Liverpool Airport. The role covers a range of areas from our passenger screening, car parks, control rooms, terminal cleaning, passengers with reduced mobility services, liaising with the government security bodies and ensuring high standards throughout the terminal and the customer process. This covers pretty much everything that you do in an airport before you get on the plane. If all goes smoothly, passengers tend not to be aware of most of the areas of the operation that I oversee.
I like being part of a close knit team who support and work well with one another despite us all having very different experiences and backgrounds. It would be a struggle to succeed here working in your own Silo. Our success is about our teamwork and the encounters that we make getting there.
Kellie Johnson – Airport Duty Manager
Kellie’s career started at Liverpool Airport almost 25 years ago and here she talks about her journey from then to her current position:
I first joined the team at the Airport in 1996 with a position working in Airport Security, quickly becoming a supervisor of a team of four with me being the youngest and only female on the team at the time.
In 2000 I moved from my Security role to become one of Liverpool’s first female aircraft dispatchers for Servisair, one of the UK’s largest handling agents. Working in this mostly male dominated role at the time, this was quite a challenge for me, however I proved how capable I was in the role and soon became accepted as part of the team.
In 2004 I joined Airfield Operations working for the Airport Company as an assistant to the Airfield Duty Managers and gained a lot of experience and knowledge in airfield and terminal operations which subsequently stood me n good stead to successfully apply for the role of Airport Duty Manager, a position which I have now held for the last 3 and a half years.
My role as an Airport Duty Manager involves overseeing the day to day running of Airport operations, assisting passengers with their airport experience and ensuring operations run smoothly, safely and remain compliant.
I love working at the Airport not just for the fantastic staff we have here, but also because no two days are the same. It t is never boring working at Liverpool John Lennon Airport.
Whilst it’s been a tough year for everyone at the Airport due to the coronavirus pandemic and the impact it’s had on our business, with international travel set to restart in the coming months, I can’t wait to see the airport terminal full of passengers again soon.