International Women’s Day traces back to March 8, 1908, when around 15,000 women marched through the streets of New York standing up for their economic and political rights.
Now a global celebration of respect, appreciation and love, International Women’s Day was created to honour the achievements of the female population.
Here at Glasgow Prestwick Airport, we want to pay tribute to that historical milestone by looking at some of the demanding jobs held by women within the airport and by our business partners.
We asked them to give us an insight into their everyday roles, how they came to be in that position and what they love about it.
Meet Kate Kilgour, our Security Operations Manager.
Can you tell us about your role within the Security Department?
“I plan, resource and manage all aspects of the security department to ensure a safe and secure environment for all who are employed at the airport or using its facilities. I manage delivery of Airport Security Services in accordance to meet the appropriate regulatory requirements, business needs and industry best practice.”
What does an average day look like for you?
“An average day for me would be attending or chairing airport meetings where Security input may be required, consistently reviewing staffing levels, areas of improvement through training and development and day to day staff communications. I also manage the security budget, equipment and all maintenance contracts.
“I am the main point of contact with all other Security agencies like Police Scotland, Border Force and attend a lot of Emergency table top exercises to keep myself up to speed with all the necessary skills in the event that I have to attend a live Incident.”
And lastly, we asked Kate what she loved about her job.
“The parts of the job I love the most are the fantastic people I work with across the entire airport. I relish the challenge that every day brings. There’s nothing I dislike about my job.”
Christine Brint, Operations Manager – Change Group
Can you tell us about your role within Change Group?
“I look after the day to day running of Change Group Foreign Exchange Bureau in Glasgow Prestwick Airport. As well as many tasks, I am responsible for the budget and cost control, stock management, customer service as well as the managing and developing of my team to ensure smooth operations at all times.”
“I have worked within Change Group at Prestwick Airport since the contract started in February 2008, and have worked in Foreign Exchange for 12 years.”
What is your favourite thing about working for Change Group?
“Change Group has offered me involvement in the operations in a support and audit role. In the past few years, I have been fortunate enough to be engaged in our operations in Estonia, Finland, France, Denmark, Austria, Germany, London and New York. It’s a real blessing that I have been lucky enough to have been given the opportunity to meet people all over the world in the same line of work as myself, serving international travellers worldwide.”
What makes your job satisfying?
“Great management who have given me the opportunity to grow and develop and a fantastic team who work closely together to ensure the success of the operations and the wellbeing of their colleagues.”
Kirsten Sweeney, Glasgow Prestwick Airport Communications and Marketing Manager.
What does your role consist of?
“Communications and marketing touches upon almost everything that we do. It might be that a project needs customer information signage or it could be that we want to tell all employees or the public about something positive that is happening at the airport. It can sometimes be that we simply provide advice on how activities could positively or negatively impact on our reputation and how we manage this.
“I manage the communications and marketing team so I also spend time planning our workload, managing the budget and supporting the team to ensure that we continually improve and deliver as many quality outputs that add value as possible.”
What challenges might you face day-to-day?
“Often there can be things that can come from leftfield in what I do and I need to be ready to react and adapt plans.
“The element of my role that is about managing relationships with the media can be challenging as newspapers and broadcast media have tight deadlines and it can be hard to get the information and approvals that I require for their deadline.
“There is also a huge change taking place at the airport with the new brand and keeping that moving at pace is a challenge, but a very visible and rewarding one. It is great to stand back and take a look at areas and how much they’ve improved.
“The variety of the job can create a challenge and you have to learn to be able to shift your mind set quickly to focus on a potentially very different kind of task to the last one you were working on.”
What do you love about your job?
“Although the variety brings challenges, I love that about my job. There is never a boring day.
“Often communications and marketing activities can be very public and when something – be it an event or media release gets a positive reception, this is hugely rewarding. I think the reason that this is so rewarding is that I’ve helped to get a colleague recognition for a job well done – that’s a really special thing helping to give people a great big pat on the back on the front of a newspaper or on TV.
“I have great colleagues and we work really well together. They make every day a pleasure and I wouldn’t enjoy my job half as much if it wasn’t for the people. Team work makes the dream work!”
On this day we would like to acknowledge all of the strong, independent women who inspire us on a daily basis. Never doubt your potential – you are amazing!