Women’s History Month Spotlight: Asha Lemet
In honor of Women's History Month, Bristow is shining a spotlight on the women who make Bristow soar. This interview features Business Development Analyst and Commercial Contracts Administrator Asha Lemet from our Trinidad operations.
Talk about your role at Bristow and what are you currently working on?
I currently hold the role of Business Development Analyst and Commercial Contracts Administrator for our Trinidad operation. Working in this role has afforded me the opportunity to interact and collaborate closely with senior level leaders such as Senior Business Development Manager Kade Monlezun and Trinidad Area Manager Larry Khadoo providing key business, customer and market insights, cost structure and estimates for tendering and acquisition of new contracts and maintaining contract compliance between client and company. A unique requirement of my role is providing technical and commercial support into defining company and client contract terms and conditions and key performance metrics necessary for contract compliance, client efficiency and company success. A key success factor is networking and fostering strong relationships with key decision makers to continue to make Bristow a more safe, reliable and efficient operator within the industry.
What is a recent success you're particularly proud of?
I’m proud of how I’ve adapted to change in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic. This pandemic has stretched by ability to adapt, become creative in innovate new ways in working to deliver on company objectives and client requirements whilst maintaining safety, mental health, and a proper work life balance.
What in your background prepared you for this assignment?
Academics, dedication, determination and experience! Hunger to learn and, most of all, respecting the contributions and values of those who went before me. I’ve been with Bristow for 25 plus years. During this time, I’ve held several roles, including passenger check in clerk / flight scheduler, dispatch supervisor, manager flight dispatch, passenger handling and customer service, training and heliport operations manager, ground operations manager and operations support manager. Prior to my current role, I held a management development role with assignment in Bristow UK operations. Each of these roles provided unique learnings, experience, development, building and strengthening my technical, operational, emotional and interpersonal competence.
Although my time in our UK operations was short, it was invaluable. The exposure to Bristow operations in Aberdeen and Shetland allowed me to witness the similarities and yet the unique operational and multicultural differences that exist within the Bristow group, further adding to my wealth of knowledge and skills. Today, I leverage on all these experiences together with my academic qualification as enablers to Bristow Trinidad transition from a service provider to a single client to a service provider for multiple clients within the region.
What are some challenges you’ve faced in your career? How did you overcome them?
I’ve encountered many challenges in my career, including working in a male dominated environment, managing people, maintaining client relationships and regulatory compliance and safe operations through training. Each of these challenges had one common thread: success was dependent on fostering relationships. Building strong and healthy relationships with was key to my delivery. These challenges also required a willingness to listen, learn, adapt, ask the “unasked” question, build trust, provide honest and open feedback, value each contribution and respect all roles and. I also credit my strong support staff, managers who had trust and confidence in me and superiors who created the space to perform and make mistakes while selflessly and respectfully coaching.
Who inspires you (work, personal and / or historical)?
My biggest inspiration comes from God, who grants me the opportunity to witness the gift he has for me each day. Faith in my religious belief gives me the confidence, hope and excitement to see another day.
My parents are also a huge inspiration to me. They taught me resilience and tenacity, which has helped me overcome obstacles in my quest for success.
What advice do you have for women just beginning their career?
There is no one prescription that fits all, but I will offer nuggets from my own experience. First, be authentic and true to yourself. Be confident. Believe in yourself and know your worth. Oftentimes, as women, we are afraid to speak up and share our ideas, views and opinions. No matter how uncomfortable it may feel, speak up and let your voice be heard. You bring your own unique value to the table, underpinned by your own knowledge and experience. Sharing your thoughts and opinions can make a difference between success and failure – but first, you must speak up!
As Joshua Vincent says, “Life without vision equals age without change.” Having a vision is critical for achieving success. Set small goals to achieve your vision, and, along the way, pause and celebrate when you achieve each goal. We are worth more than the price tag society places on us.
Do not be afraid to make mistakes on your journey. Mistakes create a gift of learning and prepare you for what is ahead. So, pardon yourself when you err in judgement. It will only make you stronger, better and more resilient for what is ahead.
Inspire and support your teammates along your journey. Your team is vital to success, and it’s important to be a good team member yourself.
What is unique about your journey to your current role?
When I started my career in aviation 27 years ago in a male dominated industry, gender inequality was prevalent, and women were often not recognized as valued contributors to success. I am happy to see that the work environment has evolved and that there is progress towards creating more gender balance in leadership roles within the organization. Having the opportunity to hold several managerial roles during my tenure is testament to the effort being made to change the balance and bring about gender equality.
Another unique experience is my development role in Aberdeen. Interfacing with clients and colleagues from multicultural backgrounds certainly expanded my interrelationship skills. I was exposed to different origins and culture beyond what I was accustomed to.
Working in a team that was warm and willing to share knowledge in our Shetland Islands operations elevated my experience significantly, and I’m thankful for my time there. The experience in both fixed- and rotary-wing crafts and the critical role weather timing plays in successful flight operations were the “order of the day.” Weather reports had to be correct the first time or else chaos will be the order of a seemingly never-ending day! This critical skill building was rare, and I am grateful for the opportunity.
On a lighter note, the view of the brown colored dried grass beyond the horizon and the heavy winds in Shetland island was frightening, yet amazing. At that moment, I recognize how lucky I was to bear witness to two different seasons in the same world that we live in. I have truly grown to appreciate the joy of green grass and dry weather.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Free time is a very scarce commodity in my life. The current pandemic has allowed me to seize the opportunity to progress on my studies. Furthering my education is preparing me to adapt to the everchanging global environment. I have a bachelor’s degree in Management Studies, and an MBA, yet I find it necessary to continue upskilling myself. New theories, practices and teachings would have triggered a change in the learning curriculum, so I find it necessary to remain current and relevant. At the moment, I am pursing Professional Accounting studies, with a vision of becoming a Certified Accountant.
The time with family and friends is priceless. They go down in memories that I find solace in during low moments, especially during the current global pandemic. I have a goal to build an inventory of joyous times especially with my niece and nephews, and I am happily pursuing this goal.
What was your dream career/job?
My dream job is to become a certified Forensic Accountant! I’ve had an interest in accounting from a very young age, initially with my eyes set on the role of accounting auditor. During my career, I have witnessed many large organizations falling prey to bad accounting practices. Proper accounting practices with full transparency and accountability is the foundation of successful organizations. Good financial governance is just good business. I do believe that my years of experience, academic certifications and deep analytical skills have now set me on course to achieve this vision.