Each episode, I introduce you to women who are really walking their talk, so we can add some of their swagger to our step. We have so much to learn from this week’s guest, Kate Nnanna-Ibemgbo. Kate worked her way up to Chief Air Traffic Control Officer with the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Ikeja- Lagos over 11 years before joining the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) as an Air Safety Inspector in April 2018. She is also a caring wife, a nurturing mom of three adorable boys, and is a speaking/writing/inspirational force for good in our global community.
Buckle up, folks! We cover a lot of ground, or in this case, shall we say airspace? We talk about owning your personal space and exhibiting grace under duress, navigating ultimatums in a “man’s workplace”, and the importance of making and taking quiet time. Plus, we explore the depth of a mother’s love, talk about acceptance, and Kate shares poignantly how she is consciously leaving her footprints in the sands of time. So. Much. Awesome. All packed into one episode.
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There are times I meet people in this world when I can literally feel the sphere of energy around them. Kate is one of these people. She's tirelessly inspiring, working to connect her Air Traffic Controlling sisters, young girls, and pretty much any woman who crosses her path. We are like-minded sisters, who also deeply believes that we have so much more in common and how interconnected we all truly are. Dive into this episode by clicking the links below.
Selected link love + resources from the episode:
Patti Wilson on Le vital corps Salon, Episode 31 (Great gobs of gratitude to Patti for making sure Kate and I connected the very 1st morning of the annual Professsional Women Controllers conference, a conference that my heart + brain will not soon forget.)
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Quotes + selected highlights from the episode
All of this wisdom is from Kate herself (with some minor edits for readability).
[00:31:31] It’s not easy walking in a male-dominated environment. I tell people the earlier you accept the fact, begin to put down your feet, and make them know that you’re there for the long haul and there to give your input, the better. I don't throw a pity party.
[00:32:41] When you get a punch in the gut, do you stay doubled up, or do you stand up and face your attacker? That’s what I did. I realized I needed to be strong for myself.
[00:36:41] I keep telling my my fellow sisters we are here to stay. We are here to make our mark in a very subtle, but powerful, way. What it means is that we should come together as a tribe - the tribe women looking out for one another.
[00:37:10] [On standing together with her ATC sisters, but also for anyone oppressed group] We are not just a piece of the puzzle. We are part of the puzzle. If you remove us, there won't be a complete picture at the end of the day.
[01:00:35] [About her son] He is an inspiration. He is. I've never seen a stronger person in my life. I've never seen a more dedicated person in my life.
[01:01:02] I just want to give back to life what life has given to me: That is a child who is unique. That is why I am the way I am.
[01:02:03] I crave my quiet period a lot because that is when I get the snippets of my inspiration. That is when I take note of what is happening around me and begin to receive the messages fed into me.
[01:02:52] What actually denies us what grows into a desire is when we don't listen to ourselves.
[01:04:38] All I want to do is impact life. All I want to do is to be another star. I don't want to be a shooting star at all.
[01:19:34] I make sure I leave my footprints in the sands of time. It mustn’t be huge footprints. They can be little footprints that people will step into and make their footprints bigger.
[01:21:00] Enough of stepping into glass slippers and more of shattering glass ceilings.
[01:21:26] When people say, “Because she's a woman,” why would you classify me like that? I'm a human being with potential. Give me my space, and watch me grow. We need to celebrate ourselves, appreciate ourselves, and accept ourselves. When we do that, the other people have no other option than to accept us.
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