In an exclusive interview with T3FS, Kimberley Long, Head of Distribution, Hahn Air Lines GmbH shares about the inspirational journey of her life.
“Be proud of being a woman but make sure you do your homework.” – By Kimberley Long
Q. To start with, I would like you to highlight your journey from ground zero to where you stand today.
I came to Germany almost 30 years ago after finishing my studies in California. My first job was in a department store which was most beneficial because I was forced to speak the difficult language of German and put it into practice.
I must say, I’ve been quite lucky with meeting interesting people along the way who gave me opportunities and inspired me to try new jobs. Even if there was one that didn’t work out, I’ve taken something away from the experience. Entering the aviation field was certainly not a planned career step, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.
I truly believe that my journey, including learning from my mistakes, has made me a better, stronger and wiser person equipped to achieve any goals I set for myself.
Joining Hahn Air was a great decision. Today, as Vice President Sales and Agency Distribution I oversee the departments: Global Account Management, Online Travel, Service Desk, Sales Support and Business Travel Management. I lead a team of 60 employees scattered across the world. No two days are ever the same…
Q. Being in the industry for so long, what comes beside and reside forever is the experience with distinguished people and the diverse culture they comes from. How difficult has it been for your survival as the trade industry is considered to be a male dominated one?
Maybe my height has helped me.
I can’t say that there have been any major distinctions between males and females in my career path. Of course, men and women often see things from a different perspective. I consider this to be healthy. What is generally needed is an underlying respect for each other. If there is no mutual respect, neither males nor females can reach their potential, which in return downgrades their common goal.
Q. What has transitioning taught you about womanhood?
I am most grateful that my parents often allowed me to partake in social gatherings as a child. This allowed me to become comfortable interacting with others and expressing myself among adults early on in life.
I love being a woman who is able to actively participate in so many facets of life.
Q. Life is now a global competition to face. How do you deal with the conditions you feel to be entangled in to?
Working globally is one of the most exciting challenges. It not only forces you to come to terms with differences, but it also teaches you to become a better observer and listener, rather than being the person who’s doing all the talking.
I don’t always have answers to all situations, however, I still very much enjoy learning, and coming to work each day. “Be proud of being a woman but make sure you do your homework.”
Q. What comes, and stays is the experience with diverse &distinguished people you meet and the organizational culture you get in. How do you foresee the changes that have brought recognition of women in Industries in recent times?
Women need to be true to themselves, while finding a manageable means of applying their personal skill-set and professional achievements within a “predominantly male driven system” that has been around for hundreds of years. That means we also need to adapt.
Working at Hahn Air is truly a pleasure. In this environment we promote the employment and advancement of multicultural, diverse women in all aspects of business to ensure equal opportunities. We have women working in IT, sales, product development and flight operations, including pilot positions. Even Hahn Air’s management team comprises of women.
Q.T3FS Magazine connects the dots between tourism, hospitality and lifestyle markets and hence the readers would love to hear a few words of encouragement and heartfelt messages that bring us together.
The longer I am in the travel industry, the more I see the significance of these areas to one’s life. We all share the need to discover and enjoy everything life has to offer, and it’s wonderful to see a magazine that puts such an integral part of our lives into perspective.
SLICE OF LIFE
1. You believe in taking risk or plan beforehand.
Plan beforehand – but be spontaneous.
2. Favourite industry leader.
Richard Branson – If you don’t succeed try and try again.
3. Novel you are inspired with.
The Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle
4. A movie that motivates you.
100 Foot Journey
5. How you spend your day on day off.
Cooking & shopping