ATSB recognises the achievements of women on International Women’s Day

The ATSB recognises International Women’s Day as an opportunity to celebrate the cultural, social, economic and political achievements of women and progress for gender parity.

ATSB Transport Safety Investigator Sarah Fien at work

This is particularly important in the traditionally male sector of science, technology and engineering and maths (STEM), which is the foundation skill set for many ATSB Transport Safety Investigators.

ATSB Transport Safety Investigator Sarah Fien said her experiences working in STEM-related fields has brought her immense satisfaction.

“There are so many professions that require an understanding of STEM. You never know where it is going to take you,” Sarah said. “Developing analytical and enquiring thought processes can be helpful in a wide variety of careers.”

Before starting at the ATSB, Sarah worked in the IT industry as a programmer and project manager, a flight instructor, charter pilot and competed in aircraft aerobatics.

There are so many professions that require an understanding of STEM. You never know where it is going to take you

“STEM opens up a world of possibilities. Work that is interesting and challenging can drive a purposeful life,” she said.

Working as a Transport Safety Investigator provides Sarah with an opportunity to use a range of her STEM-related skills.

“An investigation I found personally rewarding was a runway excursion involving a Cessna 550, VH-FGK, at Lismore Airport, NSW, on 25 September 2015. This provided an opportunity for me to apply my maths programming skills and undertake hands-on data analysis,” said Sarah. “It was satisfying to be able to use my skill set to determine that the parking brake had remained engaged for the take-off run, which reduced acceleration and caused a nose-down moment that prevented the aircraft rotating.”

ATSB Chief Commissioner Greg Hood said International Women’s Day provided an opportunity to pause and take stock of progress in gender parity.

“The ATSB is proactively working to build its gender balance,” said Greg. “We currently have 12 established females transport safety investigators. Many of our female staff members, including those working in our operational support teams, are part of our leadership team. I am also particularly pleased to have the support of a very experienced female ATSB Commissioner in Carolyn Walsh,” Mr Hood said. “Just a few weeks ago, I was also delighted to welcome four new female Transport Safety Investigator recruits to the ATSB.”

For information on International Women’s Day visit the website

Last update 02 May 2018