On 2024-03-08
by Inclusion and Diversity Team, Airbus Protect

International Women’s Day: meet some of the women that make Airbus Protect

International Women's Day

On this International Women's Day, we would like to share with you the inspiring story of three women working for Airbus Protect : Anaïs Sabadie (Airbus Protect France), Cari Westacott (Airbus Protect United Kingdom) and Paula Abbruzzesi (Airbus Protect Germany).

Some of our experts share with you their journey as Women in STEM.

international women's day

Paula Abbruzzesi, Head of Cyber Security Consulting Line Office Germany

Why did you choose to study engineering?

I studied Aerospace Engineering and did my M.Sc. with a major in Avionic System Design. I always wanted to work in aviation and studying something within that area was an implication. 


How did you feel as a woman during your studies?

When I started studying it was announced that we were around 10 % women including the industrial engineering students (where the ratio of women was much higher) and that was a positive achievement back then. I am sure that nowadays the ratio is higher.

From my perspective I always felt great during that time, met fabulous fellow students and had a fantastic experience. Most of the female students knew each other. I never had any situation where I felt treated unfairly or anything like that. During my masters we were a much smaller group, something between 70 and 80 students. This group was really diverse, so being a woman was also nothing special. At least I have not experienced it as anything special and being treated differently. 


What job do you do at Airbus Protect, and what makes you proud to do it?

I am leading the Line Office in Germany for the Business Unit Cybersecurity Consulting. What makes me proud of doing that? That is definitely the team, on one side the leadership team of our BU and being part of it and on the other side leading the great team together with my Team Leads. We have a highly skilled team with lots of ideas and motivation. I am really thankful for that.


How is it to manage people in an engineering environment?

Honestly speaking I have never been in a different environment so I do not know how it would be outside of engineering. For me, having a technical background, it is a normal environment. You have to accept that you are not the technical expert, your team is the technical expert and whenever needed, you can talk to them and include them in anything that is needed. 


Do you have any motivational words or advice for people who might be reading this post?

No matter the gender, origin, age or anything else, if you really want to do or achieve something go for it. Try things out, fail, stand up again and most importantly learn from it. You can achieve your dreams if you have a positive mindset.

international women's day

Anaïs Sabadie, Multi-Systems Physical Architect

Why did you choose to study engineering?

I’ve always been interested in solving problems through technology. But to tell you the truth, when I was in high school, I didn’t yet know what profession I wanted to pursue. I was drawn to mathematics and aviation, so I decided to study aeronautical and space engineering.


How did you feel as a woman during your studies?

When I was studying engineering, I didn’t really feel any difference between me and my male classmates. There weren’t many women in my class – 20 out of 120 or so – but it never was really an issue.

What’s more, I noticed that women in the class had an excellent success rate.


What job do you do at Airbus Protect, and what makes you proud to do it?

I’m a multi-systems physical architect, a job I discovered at Airbus Protect. I carry out risk analyses, in particular for external events such as engine explosions, tire explosions, bird strikes, etc. For each potential trajectory, I check whether it is possible to avoid a collision. For each potential trajectory, I check that all the cables cut could not lead to the loss of the aircraft.

I’m proud to contribute to the reliability of tomorrow’s technologies, to ensure the safety of the aircraft and its passengers.


You’re a member of “Elles-Bougent”, an association dedicated to attracting young women into STEM careers. Can you tell us about your role in this organisation?

I want to promote the role of women in industry. For me, it’s important to inform women about the diversity of careers in engineering, because there’s a place for them. Engineering is a vast field and we don’t necessarily know what it has to offer.

I’m helping to raise awareness among young people to help them to make their own choices and get all the information they need.

Overall, it’s important for everyone to be informed so that they can follow their interests, overcoming preconceived ideas and stereotypes.


Do you have any motivational words or advice for people who might be reading this blog article?

Follow your ambitions! Your gender can’t stop you if that’s what you want. It shouldn’t be a brake. There’s always a place for invested people.

international women's day

Cari Westacott, Business Operations Manager

What did you study at University and why?

I studied law because it is such a wide ranging subject and provided a chance to research many interesting events occurring in real-time. It naturally allowed me to engage in social, moral and political discussion and debate with fellow students, academics and professionals whilst also offering volunteering opportunities within the community allowing me to put theory into practice.


How did you feel as a woman during your studies?

In the UK, the percentage of women working in the legal profession and studying the subject is typically slightly higher than men. During my studies, there were many talks, events, and initiatives run by some very inspiring women in the field which was highly motivating. I was also fortunate to study amongst a diverse cohort of students offering interesting insights and varied perspectives. 


What job do you do at Airbus Protect, and what makes you proud to do it?

I am the UK Business Operations Manager – overseeing daily operations in Airbus Protect UK and optimizing processes to increase productivity and efficiency.

I am super proud to do my job; developing operational performance to ensure positive customer experience and relationships. I get to work with clever, passionate people across many different teams, in all home countries, who are dedicated to making Airbus Protect a success. It has been very rewarding to see the company grow since day one!


Do you have any motivational words or advice for people who might be reading this blog article?

Challenge yourself and do the things that scare you!

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