inspiring women series : stacey

featuring .. stacey

Name :           Stacey Rudser

Role :              Aircraft Maintenance and Engineering Mechanic

Location :       Florida, USA 🇺🇸

What work do you do and what does your role entail  :

I work line maintenance at Orlando International Airport in Florida, so I am the mechanic monitoring each flight and performing scheduled maintenance tasks to ensure the aircraft is safe and functioning properly. If an aircraft has a problem at the gate, I am the one everyone sees come on board to remedy the issue. Sometimes it is just paperwork, sometimes you can look out the window and catch me changing a tire. I am also engine run and taxi qualified so even though I can’t fly the airplanes, I can taxi (drive) them on the airfield.

What do you enjoy about your role?

Every single day is different, you never know what to expect. I love airplanes, especially engines, just being on and around them makes me happy. My job can be very challenging so I always have to be on my toes. I also really enjoy surprising the occasional pilot when they request maintenance and they are shocked to see a woman show up. The best day was a maintenance call when both the Captain and First Officer for the flight were also women.

How did you get into industry?  How did you learn your skills? :

I was introduced to aviation in high school in a junior military training program and we would visit a nearby Air Force base where I could get close to planes and helicopters and they fascinated me. I attended a trade school to train and get the authorization to take the tests to get my government license as an aircraft mechanic.

Have you won any awards, earned any special recognition or been involved in something “out of the box”? :

In 2018, I won the AMT Magazine Next Gen 40 under 40 award for outstanding contributions to the aviation maintenance industry.  But what I am most proud of is the work I do with AWAM, the Association for Women in Aviation Maintenance, an international non-profit that supports and promotes women in our industry. I coordinate our scholarship program and sit on the board of directors. I also speak at local schools to introduce young girls to aviation maintenance as a vibrant and viable career path. In an industry where less than 4% of mechanics are women, it means a lot to me to support and encourage those that pursue the career path.

What advice would you give to women? :

Be tenacious. Don’t feel like you have to be one of the guys to do your job, hold yourself and those around you accountable to a higher standard.

Do you have a favourite saying or quote?

“She believed she could, so she did.”

Tell us a funny story about your role or an amusing experience you’ve had :

When I first started being active in the industry, I attended a conference that had a number of very influential individuals present, including a woman named Kim. I desperately wanted to speak with her and pick her brain but I was so nervous that I wouldn’t approach her, even with my friend coaxing me to. We were in line for lunch and Kim walked right up to me and introduced herself saying that SHE wanted to talk to ME. I was floored and we ended up having a great conversation and she is now a great resource and collaborator. I look back and laugh because I had (and still sometimes have) the worst case of impostor syndrome. Reality is, we belong in the spaces we occupy and are there for a reason.

Any feedback or comments about your she wear footwear :

I love my she achieves boots! They are comfortable and fit well and I get so many comments on them. I’m definitely the only person working at my airport that has hot pink boots. In an industry that is so filled with testosterone, my boots give me a chance to be feminine and a little silly and to poke fun at anyone who doesn’t think women belong in aviation.

Any other comments you’d like to share :

I think initiatives like this are so important, “You can’t be what you can’t see” is the absolute truth. The lack of women in trades and the experiences women in these industries have can seem insurmountable but banding together and doing all we can to support each other makes a huge difference. I applaud she wear for not only making incredibly great footwear specifically for women but also for bringing so many women together to share their stories and increase visibility.

We’re sure you’ll all agree .. what an amazing women with a very cool career ✈️👩‍🔧

You can follow Stacey on Instagram at @ostrichairlines.  AWAM (Assocation for Women in Aviation Maintenace) Insta : @awam_aviation.

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