Welcome to our seventh 'Women Of Marlow' blog - a series where we interview like-minded women in business. This week, we sat down with long time friend of Marlow, LeeAnn Yare, to chat about being a pilot, her favourite travel destinations and tips for packing lightly.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?
I am a wife and mum to two teen boys, an international airline pilot, a sports volunteer and high school board member, an interior stylist, a writer and author and social media content creator.
Did you always want to be a pilot and what was your career path to becoming a pilot?
I always wanted to fly right from about 10 years old, but didn't really see it as a real option until I had almost finished form 7 (Year 13) at high school. I went straight into full time flight training at 16 years old, became a flight instructor to build up hours and experience, and then eventually started working domestically on the turbo prop aircraft around NZ regions when I was about 21. A few years later I moved onto the jet fleet flying domestic and short haul routes to Australia and the Pacific, then eventually long haul where I am currently a 777 First Officer and pilot ambassador.
Pictured: Focus Pant - Black, Vespa V-Neck Knit Sweater, Birch Blazer - Black
A recent study said there are less than 6% of women airline pilots worldwide. Do you know why aviation is so male dominated?
Sadly the percentage of female airline pilots has only moved from about 3% to 6% in the 30+ years I have been flying, it really is a staggering statistic. While there are fewer women training to be pilots, women also face gender-unique social pressures, double standards and systematic barriers that deter their entrance into aviation. When you’re only one or two of an entire class in a high school STEM subject or on a flying course it can be tricky and often lonely to navigate. This is improving, but slowly. Initiatives like flexible work options, scholarships, female ambassadors, visibility of female pilots through marketing, PR, social media and events is a huge help and something we need more of. It’s amazing how many passengers tell me they’ve never even seen a female pilot before!
What do you love most about your job?
The travel and the people, and the fact that every single day/night at work is different from the next. But what I get most excited about is when my roster comes out and I’m crewing with another female!
What is your favourite travel destination?
That's a hard one! I have a few favourites and still have a long list of destinations on my bucket list. Hawaii has always been a go-to for us as there is something for everyone and it's warm all year round, plus it's easy with small kids. Now they are older, our last family holiday was to LA and Palm Springs, and now NYC and Chicago are on the list to visit next. Europe is a must, there are so many amazing places to visit and France is definitely a highlight, while closer to home you can't beat a long weekend across the ditch to Sydney and Melbourne or the Pacific to Fiji and Samoa.
How does Marlow fit in with your lifestyle?
My aesthetic is primarily casual/smart, and each piece I add to my wardrobe has to be a workhorse, it needs to multi-task across everything I do. Marlow fits perfectly, as it moves with me from being a busy mum involved in high school sport, to meetings and events, and of course travel. Quality fabrics make Marlow perfect for travel, easy to layer, mix and match and dress up or down as needed.
What are your tips for packing lightly?
The ever elusive perfect pack is extremely hard to achieve! I always overpack so it's something I will always be working on. Planning is key, which I usually do a couple of days out, checking the weather forecast for my destination and considering this as I think about what I have planned to do while I'm there and what I might need. I roughly plan out my outfits, making sure that I can layer and work each item in multiple ways, this I have down to a fine art and usually do as I am packing my case, and I always end up removing a couple of items before it gets zipped up!
My must pack items usually include:
A great pair of activewear tights I can walk all day in or dress up with an oversized white shirt.
A merino knit I can layer or tie round my waist.
A coat or blazer depending on the temps.
Comfortable denim is a must.
A white tee and a black tee.
A pair of black pants that I can wear casually or dress up.
A beanie and puffer/shorts/swimwear depending on the destination weather/accommodation facilities.
Two pairs of trainers, one for walking and one that will go with any outfit.
A rib/knit maxi dress.
A pair of great slides I can walk in all day.
What is your favourite Marlow piece and why?
That's a hard one! Currently I am obsessed with the Equinox Coat
, its 80% wool so is super warm but still light and easy to wear, and it's a great colour that goes with my entire travel wardrobe. I can wear it loose and open, or belted up tight if it's really cold and it has a removable hood, genius! I have just added the Birch Blazer
to my wardrobe in Alabaster which is such a great neutral I can wear all year round, it looks great with everything from denim to the Day Off Knit Maxi
in Silver Marle.