It's all about the engines that keep us going


According to the 2018-2019 report on aviation engineers, the numbers show a severe gender disbalance - male 76.46% and 23.54% of female engineers in the sector. The justifiable assumption is it’s not an easy undertaking for a woman to persevere through corporate competition in a male dominate industry and rise to a managerial position. Is it?

Lilija Boltovska, SmartLynx Head of CAMO (Continuing Airworthiness Management Organisation) can state the contrary. It did take some research and thinking, and evaluation process of future potentials, for her to choose to pursue a career in Aviation Engineering. Today she is leading a growing team of more than 25 engineering professionals and is equally accomplished on a personal level.

When finishing school, like many others, you have to make, basically, the first serious decision of your life: where to move forward? So I did research on available studying programs, evaluated my possibilities and checked future potentials of the industry. The decision was made to connect my life with aviation, now for sure I can say that it was the right decision and I am very happy about it.” 

Lilija has joined SmartLynx Engineering and Planning Department back in 2011. In a lower-level position, but a lot has changed since. “Since then I have changed several positions, got my first child, changed the company once and returned to beloved SmartLynx again. I have gained experience also in MCC and Compliance. Today, this knowledge is very valuable and helps me a lot in my current position of being Head of CAMO. 

All changes in our life are for a reason. I always opt for taking a lesson from every step and moving forward.”

What is the role of CAMO in an airline?

“CAMO - Continuing Airworthiness Management Organisation is linked to the AOC (Air Operator Certificate) in SmartLynx. This organization is “invisible” for our passengers and clients, but we are the ones, who ensure that an aircraft is airworthy, that it complies with all applicable technical and regulatory requirements at all times, ready and in a safe condition for operation while keeping the Certificate of Airworthiness valid.”

How many people are in your team today?

“Our CAMO, of course, was influenced by the pandemic and the growth was put on hold. Today we have a strong team of 25 skilled professionals. The future is very promising and our CAMO is growing together with the SmartLynx fleet. Check out our website, there are about 25 open positions only in Technical Department!”

Being a working mom with a very demanding profession, joggling between both roles, for Lilija is a two-way street and there needs to be give and take on both sides.

“It is not super easy to manage both roles, but this is a life challenge, and, to explain technically: I have 2 engines that always keep me in the air, love for my family and passion for the work I do. To keep the balance between family and work it is very important to be flexible, so sometimes different thrusts are to be applied to my engines. 

I would say to all the women out there - Do not be afraid, set up your parameters, start one engine first, then the second, and off we go!

Talking about SmartLynx, it is a very family-friendly company, and I feel support and understanding from the company and colleagues, and they can help or adapt to my needs when needed. Plus, we some very nice benefits for kids, like playroom, gifts, various events.

I have a 7 years old boy and a 9 months old girl. Yeah…Now, I am on my second maternity leave, enjoying family time, but at the same time can’t wait to return to office full force.”

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