10th August 2016
Almost 30 years ago Air Vanuatu began operations and like most of the world, there were hardly any women in management positions. Things are very different in 2016. Women comprise a hefty portion of airline employees, with many having success in management roles. Just like much has changed with flights to Vanuatu over time, so too has the representation of women in the workforce.
As the national carrier of Vanuatu, Air Vanuatu is an equal opportunity employer that prides themselves on recruiting local people across all departments within the airline. While cabin crew has traditionally been a women's role, we've seen many changes here as men entered this domain and the same can be said for women in senior positions throughout the airline.
Chief Executive Officer Joseph Laloyer has said that women play an important role at the airline, with females represented not just in cabin crew but also in sales staff, as General Manager of Safety and Chief Financial Officer.
"The leadership and camaraderie is hugely beneficial to our younger employees. We're very fortunate to have such talented women at the airline" he said.
In a recent summit celebrating the achievements of female employees within the airline, the women leaders convened to discuss their experiences at Air Vanuatu. Having been with Air Vanuatu for three years, Twin Otter First Officer Stephany Tarileo is just one of Air Van's many female pilots. Enjoying the day to day variety her job provides, Ms Tarileo said the best thing about her job is the view, one of the best in the world. She one day hopes to Captain a Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
Julianne Spillane is Air Vanuatu's Sydney Airport Manager, but don't dare suggest that she's not Vanuatu through and through. She loves working for a smaller airline because it allows her to build a rapport with regular travellers who love being 'recognised' every time they travel. Another reason she loves her job are the people she meets along the way. Ms Spillane said the way she would leave Air Vanuatu would be if she won lotto.
Lisa Guillain knows the ins and outs of Air Vanuatu having worked across a number of departments. The current Cargo Manager, Ms Guillain has also worked in sales, ticketing and even catering. It's the relationships she's created and developed that Ms Guillain cherishes the most, with the worldwide aviation industry providing many opportunities to meet new people and gain exposure to the rest of the world.
Some of the greatest contributions of female employees happen behind the scenes. Katie White is the Australian Senior Sales Consultant and her office literally could not run without her. Katie is on the front lines of both phone and email assisting customers with buying tickets, changing tickets or in the rare event of a delay.
Executive Assistant at Head Office, what Eileen Barthelemy doesn't know about Air Vanuatu isn't worth knowing. In fact, there's nothing this woman doesn't know about the airline and she has been a fiercely loyal asset to management and the airline for many years.