Servicios y Estudios para la Navegación Aérea y la Seguridad Aeronáutica S.M.E. M.P. S.A.
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INTERVIEW TO PARISA KOCHAKI – CHAIRWOMAN OF SENTIR WOMEN’S NETWORK

Madrid, November 10th, 2022

 

SENtir has been running for almost a year now. What does it mean to be part of this women's network at a professional level?

 

Being part of SENtir is a very rewarding personal journey, not just a professional one. To begin with, this experience gives you the opportunity to share the problems and obstacles that a woman can encounter in her professional career, especially in a sector such as aeronautics. This has a direct impact on the personal development of each one of us. It seems that, sometimes, it is not enough just to be part of a network that promotes talent to the outside world, but it is expected to see this potential valued within the organisation itself.

 

Since its presentation, what impact had the network's launch and how has it been received both internally within SENASA and externally?

 

At the official launch in March 2022, we were very well received. However, we found some difficulties in reaching SENASA's staff. We have therefore designed specific actions aimed at promoting our activity internally and making our objectives better known to the entire staff. We hope that more employees will join the project.

 

Outside SENASA we have had very good acceptance, and we are expanding our contacts and support from other networks. In these recent months we have also participated in several meetings and conferences, which have been very positive and have generated a very valuable debate. Since our official presentation, we have focused on working with social media in order to be able to reach all audiences, even those of different profiles and ages.

 

In this first year of activity, what needs has being identified in SENtir’s environment?

 

On the various occasions when I had the opportunity to talk and debate with women of SENASA, we have identified the need to give visibility to female talent, on the one hand, and, on the other, the need to create mentoring, support and collaboration actions between all of us.

 

We want to make known powerful women who are in the shadows and who do not belong to a position of responsibility within the organisation; to bring to light the work of those workers who are worth a lot so that their work does not remain only in their team and/or under their manager, but that their experience and results are shared with the rest of the staff. Otherwise, why do we want talented women in a continuous job that is always in the shadows? We cannot take anything for granted in this respect.

 

We have also identified the need and demand for mentoring actions. We believe that SENtir can be used to put people in contact with each other to improve their knowledge or to encourage them to work in a more innovative or productive way. We see that this need for professional growth can be sustained on the basis of collaboration and mentoring.

 

What are SENtir's challenges and how do you plan to address them?

 

One of SENtir's goals is to promote values in SENASA that foster equality, empower the individual and thus enrich society through training in values (social action, integration, equality, work-life balance, healthy habits, responsible consumption, environmental awareness...). We also want to serve as a platform to promote the potential of the women of SENASA, the talent still hidden that I mentioned earlier. However, we see that we are not reaching as many people as we would like to.

 

Reinforcing internally the use of tools such as SENASA's digital channels to reach the workforce will be crucial, while at the same time developing closer face-to-face actions that allow us to explain up close what we do, and how we can contribute with mentoring as a channel to motivate and inspire, increase confidence, favour the exchange of experiences and transmit knowledge. In addition, this will contribute to deepening the relationship between colleagues within the company. Our aim is to foster an inclusive working environment for the men and women of SENASA, and thus involve them more in this project which, in the end, is for everyone. Nor can we forget our international projection. Through participation in events, we want to identify and take advantage of synergies that are projected from SENASA at European level.

 

We are also very aware of the challenge of reaching out to future generations. In addition to telling them "you can do it", we have to facilitate the path, create mechanisms that enable their real integration in professions where women are less represented. At SENtir we want to set an example, share our knowledge and experiences as a reference for these future professionals. Undoubtedly, the relationship and joint work with other women's networks will allow us to tackle this challenge at a global level.

 

What specific actions are you developing or will you develop in the coming months to promote female talent?

 

We are already working on our "Inspiring Talks" (in person and also remotely) that will help us to make our colleagues aware of our objectives, our mission and encourage them to participate in SENtir.

 

In addition to the above, we have already established contact with some schools and universities in order to carry out awareness-raising actions there as well, which will allow us to directly reach the younger public and promote the future female relay, which we hope will be ever greater. Our focus is on the new generations, which we hope will be more pluralistic.

 

At SENtir we are very proud of our informative work on social media, because it helps us to reach an audience with very diverse profiles. We generate different types of content through the sections we have created, aimed at different audiences, each with their own interests. These sections are "Did you know that...", "Saved from Oblivion" or "SENtir4kids", for example.

 

From our Instagram account, aimed mainly at a youngest audience and future generations, we announce events, activities aimed at the youngest, we also share stories of women who have been great references in the aeronautical sector. One of the most successful videos is the Mother's Day piece in honour of Susan Wright, mother of the famous brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright, first in her class in mathematics and inventor of small household objects.

 

In "Saved from Oblivion" we retrieve the memory of great women philosophers, mathematicians and astronomers who, despite the era in which they lived, shone with their own light. We are talking, for example, about Pythagoras' wife, Theanus, who succeded him after his death at the head of the Pythagorean school; or the well-known Hypatia, taken to the cinema by Amenábar in the film Agora. All these publications can also be seen on our TikTok account, aimed at a much younger audience. On the other hand, we use Linkedin to reach another type of profile, more professional and business-oriented, which helps us to strengthen our relationships with people from other networks and with institutions that work with similar objectives.

 

How do you see SENtir in the future?

 

We hope to see SENtir become a consolidated network, with the support of all SENASA employees, and that, externally, it will be the benchmark among women's networks in the sector.

 

Within the organisation, we intend SENtir to be perceived as a driving force and a source of inspiration, where all kinds of professional profiles whose concerns are represented can be integrated. We would also like SENtir to be seen as a support platform to highlight obstacles and efforts, as well as success stories and their results.

 

With regard to the sector and society in general, we would like the network of contacts that we have already begun to work with to be a reference for collaboration in the future, both inside and outside our country.

 

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