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Future of Women in Aviation 2024 | 17th October 2024

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  • Date: 17 Oct - 29 Oct 2025
  • Time: 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
  • Location: online

The Future of Women in Aviation webinar is where remarkable women in aviation share their unique journeys, challenges, and triumphs. Whether you're an aviation enthusiast, a budding pilot, working in the Aviation Sector or simply curious about the industry, this webinar is for YOU

Why is it Important?

We explore  personal  stories, opportunities, challenges, and   invaluable contributions of key women in the Irish aviation sector. The goal of this webinar is to encourage and empower young people and professionals into the field but also to create awareness and understanding in this area.


On Tuesday 17th October, over 2000 students from 40 different schools  and aviation professionals joined us for our event  which included an exciting line up of women working in Aviation today. This event was in collaboration with the Shannon Airport Group, Shannon Aviation Museum and TY Hub




Webinar Facilitator

John (Drysdale @The Shannon Airport Group)

John Drysdale, Business Development Manager, Shannon Group.

John joined Shannon Group in 2017 and now heads up the Shannon International Aviation Services Centre (IASC) Cluster. He is responsible for the development and promotion of the aviation cluster both on and off the airfield, which now has over eighty businesses and three thousand employees. John is a non-executive Director of Propeller Shannon; this is a global aviation startup accelerator scheme funded by Enterprise Ireland and a number of stakeholders, including Boeing and the Irish Aviation Authority. He is the industry mentor on the Industry Advisory Committee for the Irish Aviation Students council (IASA) and an aviation programme validation committee member for the Technology University of the Shannon (TUS). John also sits on the Aviation Industry advisory board at Dublin City University and has been a long-standing member of the industry steering committee for the ICBE Aviation Skillnet. John is an EASA Part 66 licensed aircraft Engineer, holds numerous technical and academic qualifications/accreditations in Aviation and Business Leadership and is a recent graduate from Dublin City University’s Masters in Aviation Leadership programme.




Laura Russell ( Keynote speaker)



I am a First Officer with Aer Lingus, a Flying Instructor and an Aerobatic Pilot.With Aer Lingus, I fly the A320 to short haul European destinations and the A321LR on US routes. I hold an EASA and a UK CAA ATPL with flight instructor privileges for aerobatics and for Advanced Upset Recovery Training which allows me to teach student pilots both at Waterford Aero Club at Waterford Airport and at the British Aerobatic Academy based in Cambridgeshire in the UK.I compete in power aerobatics at Advanced level. I flew in my first aerobatic competition in 2009. This year, I hope to compete in the World Advanced Aerobatic Championships in Nevada, becoming the first Irish female to do so.In 2006 I obtained my Private Pilot Licence with Atlantic Flight Training, Cork. In 2016, I completed my Flight Instructor certificate with Atlantic Flight Training Academy and commenced an Integrated ATPL course at FTE Jerez, Spain after winning a cadetship with Aer Lingus.Previously, I was a Valeo Expert in Optical Engineering based at Valeo Vision Systems in Galway, Ireland. My role centered around the advancement of camera-based technologies for the automotive industry, dissemination of my expertise through internal training courses and attendance of internal conferences, and project managing the development of new optics for the eventual goal of autonomous driving.I graduated from University College Cork in 2008 with a BSc (Hons) in Physics. In September 2008, I commenced an experimental PhD in the Quantum Optics Group at Tyndall National Institute with funding from IRCSET under the Embark Initiative. My research investigated the interaction of laser-cooled rubidium atoms with optical nanofibres. I completed my PhD in July 2013.



Fiona Scott

Fiona Scott is Chief People Officer (CPO) at CDB Aviation where, as a member of the C-Suite, Scott is responsible for setting and overseeing the execution of the business' overall People strategy in line with its ESG goals, leading all aspects of talent acquisition and engagement, training and development, performance management, as well as building an agile culture of diversity, inclusivity, and personal growth. With more than 20 years of experience in managing talent and operations, Scott has served in managerial and consulting roles at several organizations, both in Ireland and across Europe. In 2017, Airline Economics recognized her as one of the industry’s ‘40 under 40.’ Scott co-founded PropelHer, a grass roots initiative focused on the exchange of ideas, opinions, and experiences around topics relevant to the aircraft leasing industry. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Advancing Women in Aviation Roundtable (“AWAR”) and not-for-profit Aoibhneas. Scott is a graduate of Dublin City University. She earned a B.A. in International Marketing and Languages and an M.Sc. in Talent, Leadership & HR Strategy



Julie Garland

Julie is the Founder and CEO of Avtrain - one of Europe’s leading drone training and certification bodies setting the standards for others to follow. She is a former Airline Training Captain, Aircraft Maintenance Engineer, Barrister at Law and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators; prior to undertaking her position as CEO of Avtrain she was the Director Compliance for Norwegian Air International. She is the Vice-Chair of the Unmanned Aircraft Association of Ireland and sits on the Board of Directors of JEDA - Joint European Drone Associations as the Irish representative and is the JEDA representative on JARUS – the Joint Authorities for Rulemaking on Unmanned Systems where she is Vice-Chair of the JARUS Industry Stakeholder's Body Steering Committee.
Avtrain’s mission is to encourage prolific drone operations and keep the skies safe through the highest standards of training and certification.



Ruth Bagnell

Ruth Bagnell is a prominent figure in the Irish aviation industry, respected for her role as an Airworthiness Inspector with the Irish Aviation Authority. With a career spanning two decades, Ruth's expertise and dedication are reflected in the breadth of her experiences and the depth of her knowledge.Ruth began her journey in the aviation industry as an aeronautical engineer from University of Limerick. In this role, she was instrumental in designing and executing various engineering solutions critical to aviation operations. Her analytical mind, coupled with her technical prowess, allowed her to make significant contributions to the field.A testament to her passion for aviation, Ruth also obtained a Private Pilot's License. This achievement not only demonstrates her personal commitment to understanding all aspects of aviation but also offers her a unique perspective on flight operations, which translates into her professional responsibilities.In her role as an Airworthiness Inspector, Ruth is responsible for ensuring that aircraft comply with strict safety and maintenance standards. Her job is crucial for the safety of both passengers and crew, and she executes it with a level of diligence that comes from holding a pilot's license herself.Ruth's expertise doesn't stop at engineering and inspection, however. She is also adept at the statutory level of Compliance Management and Safety Management Systems. These areas involve ensuring that all aviation operations adhere to the established rules and regulations, and that safety is prioritized at all levels. Ruth's role in these domains is pivotal in upholding the high standards of Irish aviation.



Ciara Kennedy

Ciara Kennedy is Vice President & General Manager at Spirit AeroSystems, Belfast.She holds a Masters Business Administration (MBA) with specialisms in Strategic Procurement Management, Postgraduate in Management and a BA (Hons) Degree in Business Studies.Ciara began her career as a graduate with Bombardier in 1999 and has held various positions across Supply Chain, Aftermarket & Operations, including Director, General Manager and Vice President in Supply Chain, Value Engineering, Aftermarket & Operations.Whilst working in Customer Services, Ciara was responsible for managing aftermarket customer and supplier activities associated with Spares, Maintenance Repair & Overhaul and Part Services. She was promoted to Director, Customer Services in 2014, a post held until November 2015 when she was appointed Director Supply Chain, Value Engineering.
At the end of January 2016, Ciara was promoted to the role of General Manager, Supply Chain and Logistics in Belfast, and in August 2017, the role was expanded to General Manager, Supply Chain for Bombardier Aerostructures and Engineering Services. In March 2018, Ciara took on the role as Vice President, Procurement & Supply Chain responsible for Bombardier’s five global Aerostructure sites.Following the acquisition by Spirit of Bombardier’s Northern Ireland Operations, in October 2020 Ciara was appointed Vice President of Operations, Belfast.In June 2022, Ciara was appointed Vice President & General Manager for Spirit AeroSystems Belfast.





Jacinta Courtney

Jacinta Courtney is the EASA Part 147 Training Team Leader, for Atlantic Aviation Group in Shannon.With 32 years experienced covering many areas in Aviation such as Aircraft Maintenance, Technical Training, Product Development, Team Development and Customer Relationships. For the last 10 years' working specifically in an EASA Part 147 / 66 Training School, at management level.She is self-motivated, with her greatest strengths in planning and team management. She has a proven track record of successful project management and in producing quality outcomes through her leadership and team motivation, building meaningful and trusting relationships with customers and employees alike.  https://www.linkedin.com/in/jacinta-courtney-32639385/


Jane Magill

Chair Shannon Aviation Museum and Aviation Discovery Centre
MD AAV Aviation Technical Services Training


Jane Magill is Chair of Shannon Aviation Museum and Aviation Discovery Centre, co-founding the organisation with the late Eddie Ryan in 2007. Her driving objectives are to create an accessible and immersive environment where young people are inspired to learn about aviation. meet real role models and become familiar with the scope of career opportunities available to them.  She has an active interest in encouraging girls and women of all ages, has organised numerous events for Women in International Girls in Aviation Day and is President of the WAI Irish Chapter.

Jane is also Managing Director of AAV Aviation Technical Services Training, which develops and delivers exceptional Aircraft Technical Services training courses in partnership with Technological University of the Shannon Region, the Shannon Aviation Cluster companies and Aviation Skillnet.The training facility also offers B737-800NG Fixed Base Trainer utilised for Airline Interview Sim Interview Preparation, Jet Orientation and Simulated Engine Run Training. The facility also has a CFM 56-3 available for Engine Borescope Training. Alongside the educational value of the facility, Jane is engaged with developing a flight and science-based visitor attraction for Shannon which is synonymous with global aviation. Jane is a member of Limerick Flying Club and holds a current EASA Private Pilot’s licence.  In her spare time . . . she enjoys flying!



Maria Frost

Vice President of Human Resources at Engine Lease Finance Corporation (ELFC) for 11 years.  A business degree graduate from the University of Limerick. Maria also holds a MSc in Human Resource Management and a Specialist Diploma in Aviation Leasing & Finance from the University of Limerick.

Maria is an experienced HR professional with over eleven years’ experience working specifically in the Aviation Leasing sector. Specialist knowledge in Recruitment, Talent Management, Succession Planning, Leadership Development, Compensation and Benefits, Employee well-being and engagement.

Maria currently manages the global HR function in ELF, with offices located in Shannon, London, Boston and Singapore.

Maria is a member of the CIPD, is a Committee member of the Shannon Skillnet Steering Committee, the Shannon Aviation Museum Charity Committee  and is member of the Aviation Skillnet Steering Committee.



Lauren Cusack

A distinguished pilot who has been commissioned to the Irish Air Corps for the first time in 15 years. Lauren Cusack (26), from Donabate in north Co Dublin, becomes the sole commissioned female pilot serving in the organization. Ms Cusack was one of seven new pilots commissioned into the Air Corps at a ceremony at Baldonnel Airbase and is part of The 35th Air Corps cadet class.



To register your interest in future events email : maeve@icbe.ie / kumar@icbe.ie