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#BreakTheBias – Funmilayo Makinde

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“The only challenge between you and your dream is “You”. Nobody can stop you from becoming all you want to be except you.

To commemorate International Women’s Day 2022, we spoke to women who are #BreakingTheBias and inspiring us daily. Funmilayo is currently a senior first officer pilot currently flying a Challenger 601 in the corporate sector. She holds a Commercial Pilot License in airplanes and currently rated on the HS 125 and CL 60 with over 100+ Jet hours as well as a cumulative three years of experience managing clients in the Information Technology (IT) industry. 

She describes herself as “hardworking and self-motivated woman with a genuine love for the skies and technology”. Her duties as a senior first officer pilot includes to assist the Captain in flight preparation/operation in all phases of the flight, swapping between the roles of Pilot Flying and Pilot Monitoring.

What does breaking the bias mean to you?  

Breaking the bias to me is breaking the stereotype. I think I have seen women break the stereotypes placed on them by the society and that’s very amazing to see especially as it concerns professional growth.  I choose to believe that No job is gender specific. If you have the knowledge and the skill to do a job and deliver excellently well, then you deserve the role. Just keep being great at whatever role you occupy 

What steps did you take to becoming a young female pilot? 

I had to enrol into a flying school to get the knowledge and skills I needed. I attended Avia Flight Academy in Deland, Florida, USA. Being an aviator especially a pilot the  knowledge building never stops. Each year I have to go for a recurrency training to refresh my knowledge on the type of aircraft I fly. 

What advise would you give to young females looking to break the bias and make history in a male dominated field?  

The only challenge between you and your dream is “You”. Nobody can stop you from becoming all you want to be except you. Once you fix this mindset, nobody and nothing can stop you.   

Do you experience any stereotypes or challenges as a female working in a male dominated field? How do you overcome such challenges? 

Yes, it still happens till now. I think the major stereotype I face is having to manage my job with my family life and eventually children. The truth is I must balance it out. Women are built to be home makers so it can be quite some strain but then again there is a place for balance. I must be intentional about it. 

To every woman out there you are Phenomenal!!!. Don’t just celebrate yourself today but every single day

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