Irene Geraldo

I have always had the interest of becoming a pilot for as far back as I can recall. Growing up, I found myself daydreaming about sitting behind the controls whenever an aircraft flew over our rooftop.

Country of origin

Ghana

Which company do you work for?

Runway Aviation

What is your specific area of specialisation?

Aviation, Marketing

How long have you been in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math’s (STEM) fields?

4 Years

As a woman in a male dominated industry, what has been the biggest challenge you have faced in your career, and how did you overcome it?

Luckily, the biggest challenges I have been confronted with do not necessarily emanate from the gender divide, although I have come to appreciate that being a woman in a male dominated field can sometimes prove to be a complex undertaking. I wouldn’t categorize this as my biggest challenge but there have been a few instances of dealing with stereotypes and also proving oneself. Because of the gender imbalance, women like myself standout from the crowd of men, and have to deliver on tons of expectations as well as the enormous pressure to succeed. I have had to commit to self-improvement continually, while using this as a drive to surpass my past results and always put in my best because there are a lot of people watching and drawing inspiration from what I do.

What inspired you to join this industry?

Personally, ambition, primarily. I have always been fascinated by flying machines. I have always had the interest of becoming a pilot for as far back as I can recall. Growing up, I found myself daydreaming about sitting behind the controls whenever an aircraft flew over our rooftop. The interest piqued somewhere in my late teens, where I managed to find a community of aviation enthusiasts who have been very instrumental in my aviation journey so far. Although I am yet to fully realize my aspirations, I am also very thankful that such inspiration transcends beyond just a personal ambition and has led me to committing to a greater calling of sharing the passion and helping others discover theirs through mentorship outreach, career workshops, and other engagements.

What changes, if any, have you seen with regards to women in your field?

The gender imbalance of careers in Aviation and Aerospace as well as other STEM fields is a pressing concern globally. However, women are gradually becoming more empowered and leading the change in bridging the gender gap and that is a great thing. Also, I am very proud of the progress made so far, but all things considered, I believe there is still a long way to go. The changes so far have been slow and incremental, but I believe as long as the conversation remains one that needs to be had, we will soon see women being accorded with the recognition, access and opportunities we deserve just as our male counterparts are accustomed to.

How can we attract more women to consider a career in the STEM fields?

For starters, we need to consider more deliberate efforts in sensitizing women against the notion that STEM fields are reserved for men. More and more women and young girls need to be mentored and exposed to the opportunities and realities of STEM careers as well. The younger generation, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds need to see and experience positive STEM role models to develop a interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math careers. In a wider context, we can advocate for governments and organizations to promote sustained and more inclusive policies, funding opportunities and diversity driven initiatives to attract more women to consider careers in STEM fields.

If you were to advise other young women starting their careers in the tech or within the STEM fields, what is the one thing you would say to them?

The one thing I would say, is to have a personal development plan of becoming more skilled and capable in your chosen profession and build your network. Associate with women or people with similar interests who are already in the field – you will gain knowledge and experience quickly than if you set out on your own

When not working, what do you do for fun?

Swimming, cycling, flying the Microsoft Flight Simulator, and exploring the vibrant city of Accrams 🙂

Social media handles

LinkedIn

 

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