We all have different priorities, experiences and commitments and because of these differences, there is no template that allows everyone to be their best selves at home and at work.
Flexibility means different things to different people. Whether it is family or carer responsibilities, or to pursue a passion outside of work – at AGL, flexibility is the norm and not the exception.
We are proud to share the stories of how some of our people are incorporating flexibility into their work life.
Meet Nerita Somers
Growing up, I always had a love for aviation and planes. My grandfather used to take my younger brother and me to the annual air shows, where I would watch in awe as these giant jets bolted through the sky, performing the most amazing aerobatic stunts.
The one thing I didn’t see though was any female pilots.
As a result, I never thought it was realistic for me to become a pilot, and so I pursued a different career path at university. But that inner desire to fly never went away.
Captain Anny Divya, one of the world’s youngest Boeing 777 pilots, became a powerful role model for me. Anny qualified as a lawyer before pursuing her dream to become a commercial pilot, which made me wonder: is my dream really that farfetched?
With limited resources at my disposal I found a small flight training school in Melbourne and enrolled for their entrance exam. To my delight, I passed. This was the beginning of a new chapter in my life, and there has been no looking back since!
The journey has not always been easy.
Commercial pilots have diverse roles and responsibilities, ranging from pre-flight checks on engines, monitoring fuel, weather conditions and flight schedules, and liaising with the control tower for take-off and arrival instructions.
As a commercial pilot student, I quickly learned that keeping up with the theoretical and practical components of the study can be tough, as is juggling exams, managing people’s expectations, and maintaining the required level of fitness.
Then, in 2018, I was awarded a scholarship from the Women in Aviation International (WAI) Australian Chapter for my Instrument Flight Training. Instrument Flight Rules allow a pilot to fly within cloud with only the use of flying instruments. This is a national scholarship, and the first of its kind – and it has literally changed my life.
The WAI scholarship helped me to alleviate the financial burden of my training but more than that, it has shown the Aviation community that I’m a real contender.
This is important – not only because I’m a woman, but because I also come from an ethnically and culturally different background to most of my counterparts.
I recall my very first class at flight training school, walking in, and being told by the instructor that ‘hairdressing was next-door’. And if I look at the major airlines in Australia, I don’t see any airline pilots that look like me. This is something I hope to change moving forward.
How AGL’s Flexible Working Policy has helped me
I really believe that change is the only constant in life, and you are never too old or too experienced to learn something new, and I’m so glad I’ve had the opportunity to do this.
With AGL’s flexible working arrangements, I have been able to fit my dream of becoming a commercial pilot around my corporate career. My leaders have been very supportive of my goal and have encouraged me to keep going every step of the way, and I’ve since adopted flexible start and finish times in order to attend my classes and take part in training flights.
Want to know more?
At AGL, we are focused on driving outcomes for our customers and communities while offering our people flexibility in how they work.
For more information, visit the AGL Flex Careers page.