Martha Chatziliadou is a proud Greek pilot who is a shining example of Greece’s outstanding talent and excellence in the aviation industry.
Martha is currently one of 36 Greek pilots working for Emirates, who says if you work hard enough, anything is possible. “It was always my childhood dream to be a pilot. I made a plan and stuck to it, and from my teenage years onwards I did everything it took to become a pilot. I chose all the right subjects in my last three years of school – focusing on technical subjects such as maths and physics, prioritising academic studies over other things in life all in order to follow my dream no matter what,” says Martha.
Being responsible for the safety of 400 plus people on board is no easy task, however, this gifted pilot says she is always giving her 100 percent. “I always have to be alert and attentive. You have to make sure you know exactly what you are doing and always have a plan B. I personally don’t allow any sort of problems or issues to affect my decision-making and professionalism. With this approach, there’s little room for sexism in a professional environment,” Martha expresses.
Every job has its ups and downs and for Martha, the shift work is what she finds most challenging. “The hardest part of the job is the unsocial hours. The shift work, night flights, and the jetlag are difficult. It’s generally a rather unhealthy environment for the body. It can be quite difficult to maintain a good balance between work and regular life.”
As for her favourite part of the day? “The whole notion of taking off still gives me an adrenaline rush. Flying the Boeing 777 is fantastic and I’m extra grateful that I’m able to fly such an amazing aircraft. I am never bored with my job. Every day is different,” she says.
*Watch Martha flying high in the video here-
When asked what advice she has for other women considering the same career path, Martha stresses, "Don’t try to be a man. Be who you are, but make sure that you don’t expect any shortcuts because you are a woman.”
Finally, Martha adds, “Always be professional and a person of integrity. Know your stuff, be on time and do your job right. Perhaps I haven’t experienced sexism because I don’t take everything too seriously. A joke is a joke, and a stupid comment is sometimes exactly that – a stupid comment. Sometimes it’s us that are limiting ourselves. Personally, I don’t focus on the fact that I’m a woman. I just focus on being a professional."