IEAG celebrates International Women’s Day

News & Updates

IEAG celebrates International Women’s Day

March 2023


Innotech-Execaire is giving a big shout out to women in aerospace—and more pointedly, to its own women team members. In an industry that employs close to 200,000 people across Canada, only a small fraction of them are women—and an even smaller fraction work in maintenance, repair and operations (MRO), one of the primary service offerings in the IEAG portfolio of aviation services. We wanted to highlight three extraordinary women in our ranks and hear their point of view on working in a field where most of their colleagues are men.

Laura Botterill, an aircraft maintenance engineer who works at IEAG’s Toronto facility near Pearson International Airport, has been with the company since 2018—and feels like she’s part of a family. “This is a very supportive environment,” she says. The only woman on the team, she services avionics equipment on specific aircraft types for certain clients—and points out with ease “I do the same job as the guys.”

Laura started her career as a boatbuilder and then decided to pursue a two-year program in avionics engineering at the Centennial School of Transportation. “I knew it would be a male-dominated environment— even in my college program, I was one of only four women. But I always knew I wanted to work with my hands, so whether it was boatbuilding or avionics, this was my path.” What Laura appreciates the most about her team is the sharing of information: “We bounce ideas off each other, troubleshoot together. Everyone is very knowledgeable—we help each other.”

Annie Bergeron, who started as an aircraft painter with IEAG 13 years ago, is now a team leader in the St-Laurent paint shop. After studying to be a photographer and discovering it really wasn’t for her, she noticed an ad in a local newspaper for an aircraft painting course at the École nationale d’aérotechnique in StHubert, near Montreal. “I was fascinated— I did the five-month course and was at the top of myclass,” she explains.

After almost 20 years in the field, Annie has established her expertise. But was it always easy? “When they first offered me the team leader job, I wasn’t ready. I felt I had to prove myself first,” she explains. “I was demanding of myself—and to feel comfortable, I realized that competence was key.” She says that over the years, some women have fit well while others have left. Right now, there is one other woman working in the paint shop, who works a different shift from Annie. “We’ve had to be able to adapt to our environment— and we have done that with great support from the whole team,” she adds.

Jasmine Melanson, who removes, refurbishes and reinstalls aircraft interiors at Innotech’s St-Laurent maintenance facility, thinks it’s important to highlight women in the field. “Aerospace is great—women should at least try it! There needs to be more of us!” she says—while pointing out that she has a supportive employer that has created an environment where women can thrive.

“I’m treated like everyone else—I don’t feel like I’m different, and that’s wonderful,” she adds, “But I know that if I need help, I’ll be listened to.” Jasmine joined the team two years ago. Her mother was also a refurbishment expert at Innotech—whose career there spanned 20 years. “She taught me everything about the trade before she retired,” Jasmine explains. “Once I got the hang of it, I couldn’t get enough—I really like being hands-on. But my mom also taught me how to stand up for myself—and when you’re the only woman, you need that skill.” But more important than anything to Jasmine is the pride she takes in her work. “When I see a plane I worked on leave, I am so proud—and that has nothing to do with being a man or a woman.”

IEAG salutes all women who work in aerospace on this important day and invites those who do—and those who don’t—to check out our recruitment options at Recruitment Page