British Airways

British Airways

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At British Airways we understand that equality is a journey and it’s one we’re committed to. Our aim is to build a truly inclusive environment where colleagues can be themselves. From gender and ethnicity to our commitment to support our colleagues across generations, we value diversity in every sense. We appreciate and understand that diverse perspectives, experiences and backgrounds enable our business to flourish, be more dynamic and continue to grow.


We encourage and support all our colleagues in their careers each and every day. You can build a career for yourself. But you don’t have to do it by yourself. We’ll be behind you and beside you every step of your way.


Find out what life is like for a woman in tech at BA from some of our team.



  1. Karen Slinger, Director of Revenue Management

I joined British Airways via the Finance Graduate Scheme. The company provides such a wide variety of roles and moving between different departments is very achievable. So, since then, I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked in different general management roles across British Airways, before taking up my current role as Director of Revenue Management.

I lead a team of Revenue Management professionals who are responsible for generating revenue and selling the seats on all British Airways flights, across our network, by maximising the capability of our system, data exploitation and analytical skills. I love the variety within my role. Life is never dull within the aviation industry and there is always a new challenge.

If you are a woman looking to follow a career in Tech, my advice would be; if it interests you, go for it – never before has there been greater focus in attracting greater diversity into the workplace. I’m a big believer that knowledge and skills can be taught. The most important thing that I look for in recruitment is candidates with a positive attitude, strong work ethic, willingness to learn and those who show an obvious motivation for the role.




  1. Jo Cook, Head of Data Science at Nexus

I studied Maths and Statistics at university and, when I left, jobs in analytics sparked my interest as they offered the chance to apply some of my learning and natural love of problem-solving together. I was young and had a mixture of creative and logical skills that I knew was reasonably unusual, but no one talked much about Tech roles and where the career paths led in 2004. I applied for a few graduate analytical roles and fell into Tech from there.

My first role was for HSBC, on their grad scheme. I learned a lot about databases and my core technical skills there, in Structured Query Language (SQL), Statistical Analysis System (SAS) and predictive modelling. I moved between teams, working on bank mergers, sales lead generation, direct marketing campaigns and the set-up of a partnership credit card. It was during this last role that I began to get more involved in analysing customer behaviour. I became the go-to person between the two teams.

I joined British Airways nine years ago, and have worked in Commercial, Customer, Insight and Innovation. I’m now back in Commercial, leading the Analytics and Data Science work on Nexus – it’s my biggest challenge to-date. We have the opportunity to rethink and reconstruct a truly great experience for our customers. For me, this is in the analytical and data set-up we design for the company’s future in the digital space.

I enjoy having the ability to turn a complex problem into a solution through the understanding of why it has happened.

In the industry, discrimination is a problem – particularly for expecting or working mothers, which is not the case for working fathers. There are increasingly more women in Tech roles today and in analytics, it is particularly diverse. Overall, it’s a career that’s rewarding, challenging and good fun to pursue. It’s also an area I am very proud to talk to my two daughters about – I want them to grow up knowing anything they choose is open to them.




  1. Louise Baxendale, Head of Commercial Product – Nexus

I have led many product teams across British Airways, including within Engineering, Aircraft Onboard Experience, Lounges, Airports and ancillaries. While we have previously been limited by British Airways’ technical architecture, there has been investment in our digital capability, and we can now revolutionise our customer experience and revenue potential. So, I am delighted to be part of the team leading Nexus and driving digital transformation.

Every day is high-energy, fast-paced and full of complex technical challenges. My role is to lead an amazing team of product experts to configure and exploit our new digital retail platform. I love the opportunity to develop as the industry evolves and am really enjoying being at the heart of the company’s new digital experience, creating and shaping it from a blank canvas.

Throughout my career in Tech, women have always been in the minority in Tech leadership roles. Although I have never felt disadvantaged or limited, there have been inevitable challenges. However, I have also worked hard and been transparent in the balance I need between my home and professional life. Many jobs do not require specific business knowledge, they require specific skills, qualities, attitude and motivation. Don’t limit your options by self-imposed limitations. If you are genuinely interested and willing to learn, you can develop knowledge.


  1. Lydia Bennett, Principal Data Science Consultant

I was always the kid who loved maths, so I knew I’d head into the Tech field in some way. It was when I was looking around universities that I realised my passion would be using maths skills to help improve business processes, leading me down the Operational Research specialism and into a Data Science role.

I wanted a Tech role with variety and a real-life view of the products that I create being used by the business. Data Science roles fit this mould. There has been such a variety within the five years I’ve worked at British Airways, and seeing my work come to life in these ways gives great job satisfaction. I also meet regularly with a professional coach to focus on soft skills I’d like to improve, to progress through my career.

I love communicating with a range of people every day and seeing a piece of data science work come to life i.e. a model being used in the business. Seeing business processes become more data-driven feels a success for those who are in the Tech field.

I think there is so much to do to widen accessibility into the industry. Master of Science (MSc) degrees can be expensive to finance but are highly desired by companies. British Airways has been sponsoring people through MSc. The company has also recently begun a Data Science apprenticeship scheme. If you’re a woman looking to get into the Tech industry, I’d say do it. It’s a great industry that is always challenging, with new things to learn every day. You’ll have a great support network around you.

There is so much you can learn online now, rather than through the traditional university route. Look to upskill yourself in any way possible and know that it’s a fast-changing space, where we’re all having to upskill ourselves regularly. You need a strong appetite to learn, always keeping up with the latest in the Tech world, but you also need to be a strong communicator with the ability to find data science use cases in current business processes.




  1. Olivia Winston, Product Design Lead

I was always looking for ways to combine my love of art with my skills in science and technology. When I was figuring out what I wanted to pursue at university, I was guided by these two pillars and looked for places I could study both facets. I didn’t have the network, at the time, to know about the great work happening in design. And its emerging fields, such as User Experience design, didn’t exist in name.

I continued to follow my intuition and carved a self-taught path through publication design, marketing, brand and web design to where I am now in Digital Product Design.

Design exists to serve other humans. With every new project, client, or role, I have to bring a deep level of empathy to the problem space and ask loads of questions to understand the humans that my work will serve. I love this about my field – I’m always learning something new.

My day-to-day largely comprises collaboration and communication as a Design Lead managing a team of fabulous Product Designers. I spend my days looking outwards and serving them. I am always looking for opportunities to elevate the amazing work we do in Design and Research at British Airways, and ensure that they feel connected to the rest of the teams and business. It may surprise you that I don’t spend much time in Figma, which is our design tool, unless I am mapping user journeys or facilitating workshops to get people collaborating more efficiently.

I love that my team is responsible for making a more seamless and stress-free digital experience for our customers and I love learning, from our customers, what their needs are.

I have had wonderful mentors, at British Airways, who have always uplifted me even before I saw the ability in myself. I am fortunate to have not experienced significant obstacles due to being female, but I do see them in the industry, which is why I try to give back by being a role model and mentor to other women.




  1. Paula Fontes. Head of Transformation Delivery

My sheer passion for driving change and transformation is what made me pursue a career in Tech. Ultimately, my aim was to deliver a step change in our customer experience through digital innovations. While I did not follow a specific path to get into the industry, I was always keen to be involved in strategic initiatives that would drive significant value to our business and customers.

I joined British Airways in 2001, as a Customer Service Representative in Terminal 4. After a couple of years, I progressed into Head Office roles in our Learning Academy and within our Operational Planning teams. Over a decade ago, I joined the British Airways Transformation team and had the pleasure of delivering several strategic programmes across several areas. Over the last five years, I’ve had the opportunity to lead and manage the British Airways change portfolio. Initially, within commercial and, more recently, across the whole of the company’s transformation delivery roadmap.

I dedicate a lot of my time leading and inspiring a large group of very passionate change professionals that are crucial in ensuring the successful delivery of our transformational programmes at British Airways. I love being able to play a pivotal role in shaping and delivering transformational changes across our business, and demonstrating the value it brings to our customers, colleagues and the company, as a whole.

I’ve been very lucky to have mentors in my career. They have been amazing champions, but have also always encouraged me to believe in my skills and abilities as a leader and to seek further growth opportunities.




  1. Yuki Barton, Digital Product Designer

I decided to change my career a few years ago because I was drawn to User Experience (UX) and (User Interface) UI design. I was a designer in the Fashion industry and wanted to pursue a career that still aligned to my creative strengths. During COVID-19, I decided to try out UX/UI design as I felt ready for a change and dove in through a remote bootcamp. I barely knew anything about the Tech industry until five years ago. I think it would be helpful for kids to be taught about the opportunities that exist in these areas, at school, to encourage more diverse talent to enter the industry.

Tech allows you to work within so many industries and work flexibly around the world. I like that Product Designers are responsible for delivering value, to the end user and business, through designing user-centric experiences. I also wanted to pursue Product Design because data and research inform the problems you’re working to solve. So, my designs are based on user research and testing, rather than pushing something new out and hoping for the best.

When people think of a designer, they often imagine our days are filled with sketching and drawing, but that is only a very small portion of our day-to-day work. A lot of it is about collaboration with our squad, workshopping, conducting research, and so much more.

Don’t let self-doubt or the news stop you from exploring a career in Tech. The industry is continually changing and growing and think it’s an exciting and progressive space to be in.

There are lots of free resources online, such as YouTube and Medium, as well as free courses you can take to understand the basics and see if it’s something you may be interested in. Do as much as possible for free before paying for an expensive bootcamp or courses, because the industry cares about your processes and portfolio work rather than academic credentials.

I’m very proud to be at British Airways right now. We’ve got a great team culture and are able to work on a product that is used and recognised by so many.