Proflight Zambia’s women are changing the face of Zambia’s aviation industry, taking centre stage in the traditionally male-dominated world.
The Zambian airline is flying the flag for women in creating a more balanced, better working environment by offering equal opportunities to both me and women.
In the macho field of aviation, Proflight women are stepping up and raising the bar high in the sky, making a difference through displaying the best of their capabilities and quality in the work they do as aviators.
One of Proflight’s longest female employees, Helen Silungwe Senior Flight Dispatch Officer says: “I am very happy that am living my dream and doing the work I love as a dispatch officer. Being part of an airline and family that is pro-women is motivating enough for me to achieve more.”
Mrs Silungwe is responsible for ensuring the airline’s day-to-day operations run on time, dealing with crisis communication, and ensuring the crew are on time and have the right documentations to fly. In other words, ensuring that Proflight maintains its record as a safe, efficient and reliable airline.
“Aviation has been my passion since I was a little girl. As a person who loves challenges, I knew this was what I wanted to do. I never saw myself flying as a pilot or cabin crew. I saw myself planning to make sure that we don’t only have people flying but there is safety and planning as well in flight.”
Helen has been in the aviation industry for about 14 years, working with Proflight for more than 10 years.
“At Proflight’s dispatch office we have two ladies, including myself. I am proud to say I was the first lady dispatcher in the airline.”
“Sometimes you may feel you don’t fit in. But you need to follow your passion and know that gender is not an issue. If a man can do it, we can do it.”
“What motivates me in my career knows that I am not only a trendsetter in the company but is also a trendsetter to many women in our country.”
Mrs Silungwe tries to make a better-balanced world through the work she does in the flight dispatch office. On a daily basis she handles flight preparations, monitoring, safety and emergency responses. Her office is a centre communication dissemination office for the airline.
Proflight, through the Women’s Day theme of creating balance for a better world in its workplace, motivates lady dispatch officers, pilots, engineers, cabin crew, planners and flight operations to work hard and inspire more women to join aviation.
The airline, celebrates women’s day with a cause to make a change, create balance through equality and inspire many to achieve more in aviation.
Mrs Silungwe is among the women making strides in creating balance for the better world. She is the airlines first female to work in the flight dispatch office and she is very proud that the men were very supportive of her work.
What drove Mrs Silungwe into pursuing a career into aviation as a dispatch officer? Well she says: “I wanted to see a change, test the waters, not only that, but to test myself that I can do it even better than the men.”
According to Mrs Silungwe, Zambia still has very few flight dispatchers.
“Women have come a long way, yet there's still more to be achieved. I encourage all women and girls to join the aviation industry; it’s not a career for a few selected women or men, but for all. Let’s change the stereotyping that it’s only for men,” Mrs Silungwe added.
International Women’s Day is held each year on March 8 as a worldwide event that celebrates women’s achievements and calls for gender equality.
The day has been observed since the early 1900s and aims to bring together governments, women's organisations and charities.
Hence, Proflight celebrates the special day highlighting the social, economic, cultural and work achievements of women in aviation while also marking a call to action for accelerating gender balance.
About Proflight Zambia
Proflight Zambia was established in 1991 and is Zambia’s leading scheduled airline. From its base in Lusaka its domestic routes include Livingstone, Mfuwe, Lower Zambezi, Kalabo, Ndola, Solwezi and Ndola-Solwezi and regional routes to Lilongwe in Malawi, Durban in South Africa.
The airline prides itself in providing a safe, reliable, efficient and friendly service, and offering good value to business and leisure travellers locally and internationally.
The airline operates a 50-seater Bombardier CRJ-100 jet, 50-seat Bombardier Dash 8-300, three 29-seater Jetstream 41 aircraft and two C208 Caravans.
More information is available at www.flyzambia.com.