Lou-Ann Seet believes that the biggest challenge facing women who want a career in aviation is the lack of a network, a problem she is working to address through the Singapore chapter of Women in Aviation International (WAI).

From a young age Seet had a passion for aviation. She recalls a childhood of travelling with her mother, who spent decades working with both Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific. At the age of 16, Seet decided on a career in aviation.

Lou-Ann Seet

Source: Women in Aviation

Seet speaks at the annual gala dinner of Women in Aviation’s Singapore chapter

Initially she trained to be a pilot, and even obtained a private pilot’s licence, but ended up working on the corporate side of the industry, initially with private jet charter firm Hongkong Jet, Collins Aerospace, and now flight tracking firm FlightAware. During her career Seet has also been involved with the Asian Business Aviation Association.

FlightAware, says Seet, offers the opportunity to engage with a range of players in the aviation sector. Moreover, it supports the aeronautical aspirations of employees who happen to be pilots.

“The biggest perk is that being a flight tracking company they really allow employees to further our ratings and our flying experiences,” she says.

“Beyond that, FlightAware does have a good number of mentors. So I get a very different slice of leadership styles and learning that can help me during my career here in the Asia-Pacific. It’s a flexible, nimble company with a good brand.”

Seet is also the second president of WAI’s Singapore chapter, which she founded in 2021 with Marie Louise Philippe, its first president.

Seet and Philippe had known each other from other associations, but felt something was lacking. They decided that Singapore needed a forum where women interested in aviation could network, and also help those who wanted to join the industry to break down barriers.


Just three years after its founding, the association has 200 individual members and 13 corporate members. The membership is split between 90% women and 10% men.

“The biggest obstacle for women entering the industry is not having that network,” says Seet. “Not having anyone to ask about aviation, not having that connection to a friend or a senior professional who is in the industry.”

Seet has met women from sectors such as finance and technology who are interested in aviation, but unsure about how to enter.

“They find the barriers to be quite intimidating, and believe that they need to be something like a pilot or engineer or somebody quite technical.”

Despite its young age, the Singapore chapter of WAI is very active, with several programmes to help women and girls.

Lout-Ann Seet

Source: Women in Aviation

Seet has a private pilot’s license

One is a programme that pairs mentors – both male and female – with female aviation professionals. The initiative’s objective is to build the confidence and leadership skills of mentees and offer exposure to different career paths. As for the mentors, they get the opportunity to help shape the sector’s future leaders.

The programme is run by human resources consultants and involves the establishment of goals, as well as regular meetings between mentors and mentees.

“Women and a lot of professionals we see do not have the mentorship and coaching guidance to help them understand what the industry is like, what their blind spots are, and to listen to their challenges,” says Seet.

The chapter also hosts an annual ‘Girls in Aviation Day’. This sees girls aged between 8-17 years get more exposure to career possibilities as well as female role models in the industry. The activity, which enlists the support of WAI’s corporate partners, also sees girls get tours of industry locations such as engine shops and simulator centres.

Also supporting young women is a scholarship programme that was established in October 2023. This will see the chapter provide scholarships to students who are passionate about aviation and studying in a related field, such as engineering or technology.

While the chapter receives some funding from corporate members and the nominal fees it charges members, a big fundraiser is its annual gala dinner, where the chapter sells seats. The event attracts a number of prominent players in the Singapore aerospace scene.

Seet says that Singapore is very supportive of women in aviation roles, with senior government and corporate figures supporting the chapter’s local events. She observes that women are gaining increasing prominence in Singapore’s aviation sector, noting that JoAnn Tan became the chief financial officer of Singapore Airlines in 2023.


Asked for advice about how girls and young women might approach entering aviation, Seet suggests joining a network such as WAI.

“Without any commitment of a full-time career, this is the best way to know and connect with different people and members in our group, and get a sense of what the roles are like and the responsibilities,” she says.