Top 100 Aerospace and Aviation Professionals to Follow On LinkedIn 2021: 44. Fiona McKay

Fiona McKay

Fiona McKay

Credentialed Executive Coach, Speaker, Trainer| Chief Badass Officer | Courageous Leadership Expert | Lightening Rod | A&D Leader

Average Post Engagement:



United States

What I use Linkedin for:

To expand the Leading Ladies Of… Aerospace community, and showcase women’s achievements and women’s collaboration.

Number of Followers:



Aerospace & Defense, Learning & Development


Who am I:

I am passionate about empowering people to embrace their magic and uncover their full potential, with a heavy focus on supporting women. I come from a blue collar background and went on to be the first in my family to go to university, studying at Oxford. My success in my education and my career was made possible because people believed in me, people encouraged me, people spoke out for me, people went out of their way for me. I am forever grateful and will spend the rest of my life paying that forward and hope to inspire others to do the same. I have been told by others that my essence is presence, curiosity, power, strength and love. My goal is to use these qualities to drive change in the industry.

What I do:

I help people and organizations be the best that they can be, by reflecting their greatness and asking the hard questions needed to light a fire underneath then and inspire them to change the status quo. I do this through my coaching, consulting, training and public speaking work. I would love to tell you the names of who I work with, but I don’t want to break confidentiality!

My dedication to the transformation of people, products, and organizations has been full throttle since graduating from university. After spending two years teaching in an inner-city school as part of the Teach First social enterprise program, I embarked on a career at Rolls-Royce. Recognized for my exceptional leadership skills, I was advanced into leadership positions and nominated for the High Potential Pool. In my last two corporate roles with Rolls-Royce and Parker Aerospace I was the first female and youngest person ever to serve.

In 2017 I turned my attention to developing others using my varied and global industry experience. I work with both individuals and organizations to embrace courageous leadership, to super-charge their impact, and build better communities around them. In one engagement with an aerospace alliance my strategies and tools resulted in over 40% growth in revenue, an increase from 180 members to 250+, a doubling of the number of programs, improved market perception, and expansion in team size and capability. However, the thing that I was most proud of in this engagement was that I significantly increased the diversity of people onstage for their events, with more women and people of color speaking than ever before.

Throughout my career I have been dedicated to the advancement of women in A&D. In 2007 I joined the board of Rolls-Royce Women, serving for many years, and was ultimately responsible for implementing their Mentoring & Coaching activities. I have since been a speaker and a coach at various women’s events, and went on to deliver in person events. I successfully grew the annual Women In Aerospace conference from 150 attendees in 2017 to almost 300 attendees in 2019. During the pandemic I wanted to find away for women to connect regardless of our current circumstances, so I launched the Leading Ladies Of… Aerospace virtual community. Our first summit raised over $20k, the proceeds of which were donated to a women’s organization, and we were asked for ‘more, more, more.’ Today we have summits, programs, and a two thriving LinkedIn groups, one for defense and one for aerospace. We have attracted women from all levels, with many females in the C-suite joining and presenting at our events so they can lift more women through the class ceiling.

Why you should follow me on Linkedin:

You should follow me on LinkedIn because I am proactively connecting women and male allies in A&D on a global scale! I wand to make sure geography / lockdowns / finances don’t keep all the amazing women and male allies apart! You should also follow me if you want to be inspired to make a difference for women in male dominated fields and / or become a more courageous leader. My posts focus on connecting people through my Leading Ladies Of… community, promoting the successes of women and minority groups, sharing examples of women being badasses and / or collaborating together, and showcasing male allies.

Who I follow on Linkedin:

Foram Brown – Foram has launched an executive search firm for women in engineering. My work is creating a community, but her work takes it to the next step by ensuring more women are considered in the hiring process. Plus I love the way she is challenging the way people think about recruitment. Gina Radke – I love her book, “More Than,” as it fiercely talks about some of the challenges she has faced as a female CEO and how she overcomes them. Gina and I have become friends. Erika Armstrong – I love her pots because she shares both important aviation stories, and posts that bring humor into aviation. I really appreciate her book, ‘A Chick In The Cockpit,’ and I think she has a great way of engaging men – which is a very important part of changing the culture in aviation. Lorraine Diaz – she represents female mechanics in the industry and has a great brand ‘the pint-size mechanic.’ I think it is important to hear their voice of women in this field, as it is so easy just to focus on the challenges of women in office based roles. Plus she is a fierce advocate for LGBQT. A range of DE&I influencers – I am part of the ‘Future For Us’ community, which is dedicated to advancing womxn of color. I have been following a lot of the influencers involved in this group as I think it is important for me to understand DE&I beyond just women. I will never fully understand what it means to be a woman of color and the additional challenges they must overcome, but I can educate myself and learn how I can make a difference.

My favourite or most successful post:

This is difficult for me to choose, as I post so regularly and it is hard to go back and find them all! If we define ‘successful’ in terms of views, then my most successful post was a post I made about my own personal journey overcoming adversity. I think this was an important thing for me to share, as being vulnerable can lead to breakthroughs for yourself, and inspire others. It is so easy to see women like me as successful and strong and that can be intimidating for others. That is why I want to be authentic and share as much about my struggles as I do about my successes. If people understand they can make mistakes in their career, lose jobs, get laid off, but come back wiser and more resilient, then less people will lose their confidence. While this was not specifically an aerospace post, it resonated with a lot of people in aerospace, with many people – men and women – writing to me privately.

In addition to this post I have so many posts that make me so happy, especially the ones that showcase the amazing women in Aerospace & Defense and get people excited about the Leading Ladies Of… communities, e.g. C-suite post – LLOD post –


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