Women’s History Month Spotlight: Sherry Ramlal
In honor of Women's History Month, Bristow is shining a spotlight on the women who make Bristow soar. This interview features Avionics Engineer / Engineering Safety Officer Sherry Ramlal from our Trinidad operations.
Talk about your role at Bristow and what are you currently working on?
I started as a trainee avionics engineer 14 years ago. I am currently a licenced avionics engineer. Recently I was also given the role of engineering safety officer.
What is a recent success you're particularly proud of?
I am proud of being given the role of engineering safety officer and finding ways to promote safety to my colleagues. The Engineering team works long hours together and we have become a family. Contributing to the process that keeps us safe is a joy for me.
What are some challenges you’ve faced in your career? How did you overcome them?
When I applied for the position of trainee engineer, the initial part of the process was an exam. It was quite daunting walking into the exam room and seeing all these accomplished men writing this exam with me. Self-doubt is a major challenge to me as a woman succeeding in a male dominated field. I remind myself constantly what I am made of, then I put my head down and give my best in everything I do.
Who inspires you (work, personal and / or historical)?
Growing up, seeing my cousin Natalie chase her dreams was a big inspiration for me. She spent long nights studying and making sure she did what was necessary to achieve her goals. She grew up with her grandmother and faced financial struggles, as well as the struggles of being a woman pursuing a career in electrical engineering in a time and culture where women were expected to be housewives. Her hard work and dedication were rewarded with success and respect, which was quite visible by the way her coworkers interacted with her. Seeing her passion to do more given the challenges she was facing made me realize anything is possible if you want it badly enough.
My family and friends have also always been a tremendous source of inspiration for me. They’ve given me the encouragement I’ve needed to push through the uncertain times and achieve my goals. My dad especially has always been my biggest fan, and he’s always there to remind me I have what it takes to be great.
What advice do you have for women just beginning their career?
To women just starting a career in aviation, I want to encourage you – you CAN do it! Never let fear of failure stop you from trying and pushing for your dreams because the reward is worth the struggle. I put in the hard work and built a career, making friends and memories along the way, and I love what I do. If I can do it, you can do it! Every time I climb into an aircraft ready for a flight, the sense of accomplishment is one of the greatest feelings. Being in aviation is so much more than just a job – I am living my dream! If this is what you want to do, don’t let anything get in your way!
What is unique about your journey to your current role?
My current role of engineering safety officer is unique because Bristow is leading the way by introducing this role into the industry. Generally, in aviation, focus is heavily on flight safety; however, having an engineering safety officer is encouraging more input from the Engineering team.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I enjoy baking because it brings out my creative side. I develop unique flavors and decorate cakes as a way to de-stress and nurture my softer feminine side.