Speaker Bio

Mandy Hickson

Finding a love of flying early in life, Mandy fought hard to achieve her ambition to be a pilot in the Royal Air Force. She was the second woman to fly the Tornado GR4 operationally and later in her career in the RAF, Mandy learned the lessons of juggling life as a working mother of two young children. Now a civilian, Mandy draws on her experiences and her charisma to train and inspire others.

As a business consultant the focus of Mandy’s sessions are: overcoming the fear of failure; self belief; teamwork, leadership and the empowerment of your team; decision making under pressure; communication; and risk taking. She looks at the critical role of the human in the system to transfer these experience from the front line to the corporate boardroom. She is also a highly demanded keynote speaker in the business and education sectors, where she talks with humour and great passion to inspire those around her.

Mandy joined the Vistage Speaker Bureau in May 2018 from the Academy of Chief Executives, with an average score of 4.4 out of 5 over the last 18 months.

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Mandy Hickson (née Wells) was born in Cheshire in 1973. Mandy joined the Air Training Corps at school which stimulated an interest in the military and aged 17, she was awarded an RAF flying scholarship; from this she went on to attain her private pilot’s license.

Mandy gained a BSc Joint Honours Degree in Geography and Sports Science, from the University of Birmingham. Mandy continued to foster her love of flying with the University Air Squadron, becoming its president. In her final year, she won several inter squadron national aerobatics competitions.

On graduation she applied to join the RAF as a pilot, but failed the flying aptitude tests. The tests can only be taken twice, and after failing them a second time it appeared to be the end of that avenue. Undeterred she went on to join the RAF in 1994 as an Air Traffic Controller. Throughout officer training she continued to make her case for becoming a pilot. Finally, the RAF decided to offer her pilot training as a test case, having demonstrated her skills as a pilot in the real world, versus the simulation environment for the aptitude tests.

Able to fulfill her ambition, Mandy trained on the Firefly, Tucano and Hawk aircraft. Throughout training she was awarded many prizes for leadership. She was only the second woman to fly the Tornado GR4 operationally; she completed three tours of duty and flew 45 missions over Iraq with No. II (AC) Squadron.

She was trained as the Squadron’s Combat Survival and Rescue Officer, involving arduous initial training on Dartmoor, and working closely with the Americans, she instructed the Squadron members on Escape and Evasion tactics in areas of conflict. Throughout her time in training and on the Squadron, Mandy was the only female aircrew.

Mandy holds a current Airline Transport Pilot’s license and is a CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) approved Crew Resource Management Instructor (human factors facilitator).

Mandy is married to Craig and has two children Jack and Jamie. Since leaving the RAF, she continues her support for the services in the Volunteer Reserve (VR), through flying on the Air Experience Flight, passing on her experience and enjoyment of flying to Air Cadets. She also supports her local community as a School Governor, President of her local Tennis Club and an Ambassador for the Sport and Physical Activity Alliance for Hampshire County Council. She is also on the Board of Trustees at the Victory services Club, London.

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My programmes
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Managing Business Critical Risks

Using facilitated training sessions that are designed to be fun but with helpful and powerful ‘take-aways’. My aim is to stimulate the attendees to think in a new and subtle way, so that they can effectively and safely navigate through their business demands.

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Managing Business Critical Risks

Overview

Mandy relates her experiences of working within an elite team to business audiences with great clarity, outlining how the same values apply within any competitive environment.

Mandy is a renowned speaker at professional conferences. She demonstrates only too well the importance of remaining calm under pressure and leading, quite literally from the front, to get the best from herself and her team.

Since leaving the RAF Mandy has trained as a Human Factors facilitator with the Civil Aviation Authority, and now uses her in depth knowledge of aviation, calculated risk taking, decision making under pressure and the critical role of the human in the system to transfer these lessons from ‘cockpit to corporate’.

Many of you will be thinking ‘we are not in the aviation business so what does this have to do with me?’

I believe that decades of lessons learned in a high-risk business such as aviation, can be applied to any organisation that works for or with people. Human Factors training recognises that we all make mistakes but helps us deal with risk and reduce errors, giving us the tools to be more efficient and effective in our roles.

Using facilitated training sessions that are designed to be fun but with helpful and powerful ‘take-aways’. My aim is to stimulate the attendees to think in a new and subtle way, so that they can effectively and safely navigate through their business demands.

Managing Business Critical Risks

Using facilitated training sessions that are designed to be fun but with helpful and powerful ‘take-aways’. My aim is to stimulate the attendees to think in a new and subtle way, so that they can effectively and safely navigate through their business demands.

Read more

Managing Business Critical Risks

Overview

Mandy relates her experiences of working within an elite team to business audiences with great clarity, outlining how the same values apply within any competitive environment.

Mandy is a renowned speaker at professional conferences. She demonstrates only too well the importance of remaining calm under pressure and leading, quite literally from the front, to get the best from herself and her team.

Since leaving the RAF Mandy has trained as a Human Factors facilitator with the Civil Aviation Authority, and now uses her in depth knowledge of aviation, calculated risk taking, decision making under pressure and the critical role of the human in the system to transfer these lessons from ‘cockpit to corporate’.

Many of you will be thinking ‘we are not in the aviation business so what does this have to do with me?’

I believe that decades of lessons learned in a high-risk business such as aviation, can be applied to any organisation that works for or with people. Human Factors training recognises that we all make mistakes but helps us deal with risk and reduce errors, giving us the tools to be more efficient and effective in our roles.

Using facilitated training sessions that are designed to be fun but with helpful and powerful ‘take-aways’. My aim is to stimulate the attendees to think in a new and subtle way, so that they can effectively and safely navigate through their business demands.

This speaker currently has no keynotes. Please check back soon.

This speaker currently has no retreats. Please check back soon.

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