Maryam Yania is a Senior First Officer at Trans Maldivian Airways, World’s Largest Seaplane Operator.
Yania talks to us about her career as a woman in aviation and shares her experiences that could inspire and motivate women to break through gender barriers and pursue their dreams.
As a kid, I loved the rush that came over me whenever the aircraft took off. It was probably what caught my interest in the first place. I finished high school, took a gap year and joined flying school. This is my first job and I’ve been working at Trans Maldivian Airways for the past 2 years.
I think what primarily drives me in any aspect of life, be it professional or personal, is my desire to be better and do better than what I was yesterday. Constantly growing and learning with every experience. Staying curious is pretty rewarding. Another thing that motivates me would be the people around me at work.
My alarm goes off at 4 am as I have to report by 5:30 am if it’s the earliest departure which is 6 am. I fly from dusk till dawn. When it’s high season it’s always rush hour at TMA. 12 hours feel like 6 hours on those days, because I don’t realise how fast the time flies. On the other hand, when things are slow at work in the low season, everyone relaxed. The air is less tense.
My experience has been very good. What I’ve noticed in the past two years is that, if you’re good at your job people will appreciate you regardless of your gender. Whenever there’s a challenge I try to face it head-on. I don’t let it get to me. I try to find a solution/a way around it.
This is a given; flying. What makes it even better is the view. The fact that we fly at such low altitudes over the Maldives. I mean, I see dolphins when I look out the window some days. It’s kinda cool.
My first big achievement will be becoming a captain.
Being an only child, my family wasn’t thrilled with the idea of me flying. Convincing them wasn’t easy but I knew I would regret it later in life if I had chosen another career path. If you want to pursue a career in aviation, don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. Drown out the noise. Go after what you want and don’t stop until you achieve it. Don’t be afraid to dream a little. The sky is not the limit.
You will face challenges and it won’t be an easy ride but it will be all worth it at the end when you’re up in the sky. Also, do proper research when you’re deciding on a flying school.
I would like to see more girls working in different fields of the aviation industry. Hopefully, the young generation (girls) will feel more welcome and feel like this is an industry where they belong to close the gender gap in aviation. A future where they wouldn’t shy out and stand tall with confidence, shoulder to shoulder with men.