The Women Who Make Bristow Soar: Julie Carnie Builds Successful Career Evolving from Operations to IT

Julie Carnie

IT Manager Julie Carnie in the Aberdeen office began her career in Operations and evolved into a leader in IT. She has learned from many people throughout her career and has her own advice to share with women building their career. She is being profiled as part of Bristow’s recognition of International Day of the Girl.

Talk about your role at Bristow and what are you currently working on?

As the IT Manager in the IT Program Office, I am responsible for business readiness, which means I help ensure business preparedness for new software project rollouts. I am the liaison between IT and the business, making sure the requirements and needs from both angles are clearly understood and incorporated. Currently, I am working with the project teams on the Concur global expense management rollout and on completing the BeSafe reporting tool implementation in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) and Suriname.

What is a recent success you're particularly proud of?

I believe we work as a team at Bristow, and successes result from a combined effort. I am very proud of the shared successes. Projects belong to the business, and IT assists with delivering them, so we diligently work together to achieve success. I am honored to have been part of two successful recent projects. One project was the SAP Finance system integration of the combined companies, which was quite challenging as it had to be done all online due to the COVID-19 restrictions. It was great to be part of a team where employees from two companies quickly came together with solid commitment and personal flexibility amid a worldwide pandemic to ensure the success of a project of this magnitude. The other project I have been very fortunate to be involved in is the BeSAFE Reporting tool rollout. Working alongside the BeSafe team on the Brazil and GOM phases has been a real inspiration. The highly engaging and collaborative global team is a perfect example of what it takes for a successful implementation.

What inspired you to pursue a career in technology?

After working many years in Bristow Operations, my career evolved as I took opportunities with IT projects. While working in Operations, I was asked to be part of a team to review INTOPS and determine what software could help centralize Bristow's flight operations. This assignment advanced into working with a global team to roll out eFlight in Norway and the UK. I was then asked to assist with the SAP implementation. I am very grateful to my teammates for being incredibly patient and supportive while educating me in each new position.

What in your background prepared you for this assignment?

During my 26 years in aviation, I have acquired a well-rounded view of our business that helps me better understand the challenges teams face. I recognize the nuances and regulations that must be adhered to in each region and understand why tailoring standard processes is sometimes necessary due to specific regional regulations or customer requirements at a particular base.

What are some challenges you've faced in your career? How did you overcome them?

My greatest challenge is seeing a need for help and offering my assistance, only to realize later that I have taken on more than I can humanly do in a day. Since then, I've learned a vital life lesson; I am at my best and focused when I am well rested and have exercise and fresh air. Ideally, I like to have eight hours of sleep each night, do yoga each morning before work and walk my dog at lunchtime to get fresh air and gentle exercise.

What is unique about your journey to your current role?

Working in Operations was my passion for many years, and I never thought of changing to another role. However, many new doors of opportunity unexpectedly opened when former Bristow Chief Information Officer Steve Sidney took me under his wing. The exciting growth opportunities have broadened my understanding of other departments and allowed me to travel to other offices in various locations and make so many friends around the globe.

What motivates you in your role / career?

People motivate me! My passion is helping someone grow in their career or attain their goal. It is a great feeling to offer advice or mentor and assist with someone’s personal or professional growth or success.

Who inspires you (work, personal and / or historical)?

Julie Carnie and her family

My mum and my children are my inspiration. My mum is the hardest working women I have ever known. She has been strong in the face of adversity, holding down three jobs at times to make ends meet for her family. Having a great sense of humor, she always manages to share a smile. My mum has taught me the importance of laughter and kindness, which can help in facing most life situations. My children are my greatest teachers. They continually educate me about how the world is today, and I love how they still question everything. Our children are one-third of the population and hold the future, so we need to be open to their perspectives.

Professionally, former Bristow Regional Director of Africa Duncan Moore inspired me during the time I worked with him, and I have carried that experience with me through my career. He greatly encouraged me with his vast knowledge and drive to get things done and to do them well. Former Bristow Chief Technical Officer John Cloggie inspired me with his inclusiveness. He made sure to regularly speak with and carefully listen to employees, asking for their ideas of how we could do things better. Senior Director and Chief Information Officer Noel Malcaba has shared a vast amount of knowledge and guidance during my time working with him. I have learned so much from his leadership style and I truly appreciate his personable and kind demeanor.

What advice do you have for other women?

American cultural anthropologist Margaret Meade said, "It only takes a small group of people to change the world…helping someone through difficulty is where civilization starts." I, too, stand on these beliefs in my personal and professional life. I believe that one act of kindness may change someone's life or create ripples to change the lives of many.

What advice do you have for women just beginning their careers?

My advice is not to be afraid to ask the question because, undoubtedly, someone else is thinking the same thing. There are no silly questions, and the more you ask, the more you will understand. Sharing information is crucial, and communication is key to success. Be kind always - try to see the other person's point of view and never pass judgment. There are three sides to every story--your side, their side and the truth. Learn to see things from different perspectives for a better understanding and, most often, a better solution.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Spending time with my husband and two daughters brings me the greatest joy, as we are a very close family. Pre-pandemic, I enjoyed walking and socializing with friends, traveling and experiencing new cultures. I tried to make the most of the COVID-19 lockdown and studied to become a meditation teacher. I am also a yoga instructor, and during my spare time, I teach yoga. I love to paddleboard and, most weekends with nice weather, you will find me on the water.