A former fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force, Mandy Hickson has long been a role model for female armed forces officers. The only female member of the RAF Frontline Tornado Squadron and the second female to fly a Tornado GR4, Mandy is passionate about inspiring women to scale male-dominated sectors and is often booked as a female motivational speaker. When booked as a female motivational speaker, Mandy helps women to navigate the working world, inspiring them with her story and helping them to carve their own success stories.
From the age of 17, Mandy was passionate about becoming an RAF pilot but unfortunately failed computer-based tests. Despite the setback, Mandy was ultimately able to join the RAF and has since completed 45 missions and three tours of duty for her regiment. Mandy is also the founder and Co-Director of Inspiring Women for Work, an organisation she set up to help women increase confidence in corporate settings and help with their professional development. Mandy has also authored the book An Officer, Not a Gentleman to document her story as a female RAF pilot.
Since leaving the RAF, Mandy has dedicated her time to becoming a performance coach. Having scaled a male-dominated sector, Mandy is an inspirational female figure who advises audiences on how they can build empowering and effective teams, make decisions under pressure and nurture cultures of self-confidence. Having also experienced the working world as a mother of two, Mandy is an expert in maintaining work/ life balance and the challenges that women face throughout their working lives.
Having also been a consultant for TAG Aviation and a Resource Management Facilitator for Global Air Training, Mandy is now booked for a variety of speaking events at businesses, schools and women’s group as an inspirational woman in a male-dominated sector. A pioneering female pilot, Mandy is proof that anything is possible with perseverance and that gender should not limit potential. Inspiring men and women alike with her stories of challenge and setbacks, Mandy Hickson is a fantastic female motivational speaker who inspires other women to follow in her footsteps and eliminate male dominance within the forces.
We sat down with Mandy and discussed her new book, working with an all-male squadron and what it’s like to fly a fighter jet on the front line. Read our interview with Mandy or watch our exclusive Q&A with Mandy Hickson, conducted by our Senior Content Executive, Megan Lupton.
Mandy Hickson is regularly booked to engage audiences at events, read their latest feedback below:
“As managers, we were left with a powerful impression of the importance of making decisions that actively empower our teams to step up and to learn, first on safe ‘training ground’ and ultimately in high stakes contexts”
“Mandy spoke with such passion, energy and enthusiasm; had the audience laughing at times and in total silence at others, as she linked her personal experience in the RAF with nursing. She had taken the time to understand the values our staff developed and was able to thread those through her whole speech. It was truly inspirational and I would not hesitate to recommend her”
“Mandy is a fantastic public speaker. She is both inspirational and extremely well prepared. Her ability to relate her own experience working under extreme pressure and in high performing teams to everyday situations is most impressive. She tops it all with a wonderful sense of humour and great modesty. Listening to her talking about the many challenges that she has successfully overcome should be compulsory for all girls”