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Celebrating Inclusion: Meet the women defying stereotypes on the ramp

Celebrating Inclusion: Meet the women defying stereotypes on the ramp


Traditionally, the ramp is considered a male-dominated workplace with its physically demanding tasks and exposure to unpredictable weather. While it is common to spot women inside the terminals helping with passenger check-in, their presence on the ramp is not as widely recognised. But it doesn’t mean that women don’t thrive on the tarmac – you probably just haven’t heard of them yet.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day 2024, we have the privilege of introducing you to seven exceptional ladies who defy stereotypes and excel as female ramp agents at SATS GTR Singapore.

Meet Eva, Acting Duty Manager


Eva Emelia Binte Hanaffi, Acting Duty Manager

Eva has been working in the airport for nearly a decade, with the first seven years spent as a Customer Service Agent for AirAsia. She has always wondered what goes on below the aircraft wings.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Eva grabbed the opportunity to finally see for herself what goes on at the ramp and has been happily working alongside both male and female colleagues since.

“Ramp work is not just a man’s game,” she says with a laugh, remembering how she used to get comments about how women are not suitable for a job on the tarmac.

It was not easy, she admits, acknowledging her transition from the comfort of the sheltered confines of the terminals to the open expanse of the airside, grappling with the scorching heat and rainy weather. But she took it all in stride, using these unavoidable challenges as her motivation to take better care of her health.

Recently, Eva has even pushed the boundaries of what she can do as a female ramp associate. She acquired a licence to be an Aircraft Pushback Tug Driver, responsible for manoeuvring a tractor twice her size to ferry the plane from the parking bay to its taxi position.

She confesses how anxious she felt the first time she climbed into the driver's seat alone, fully aware of the huge responsibility on her shoulders. Yet, her determination continues to earn her team’s admiration, even being named Employee of the Month.

Meet Anya, Ramp Associate Intern


Poh Anya, Ramp Associate, Poly Intern

Anya is the youngest member of the SATS GTR Singapore Ramp Team, joining as an intern for five and a half months. Despite her tender age and petite frame, she fearlessly embraced a chance to learn the ropes of air travel.

“I find it fascinating. I always wanted to work close to aeroplanes,” Anya confides. With a background in Aeronautical Engineering, the ramp is a perfect playground for her curiosity about the activities beneath the aircraft’s wings.

In the short span of her internship, Anya has not only honed skills in ramp servicing but has made a positive impression on her role as a Headset Operator, taking charge of communication with the pilots to coordinate ground servicing and aircraft pushback.

When asked what she loves most about working at the ramp, Anya points to the unique airport scenery during early morning shifts: “I get to see the sun rise over the horizon.”

Anya’s internship just ended, but she left a mark with her supervisors and fellow ramp associates, proving that neither gender nor size matters at the ramp.

Meet Nani, Ramp Specialist


Suriani Binte Samat, Ramp Specialist

Having spent several years in the cosy confines of the airport terminals helping with passenger check-ins, Nani felt the urge for something different, something more active.

Her chance for change came after a break due to an unfortunate accident. Nani took a bold step and joined the SATS GTR Singapore Ramp Team.

Now, as a Ramp Specialist, Nani takes on a crucial job handling different ground service equipment (GSE), from the tractor to the towable sky loader. Before any flight, she gets the bay ready, checks the load, and ensures there are enough baggage trolleys. Nani is the one making sure bags and cargo move smoothly, leaving no room for delays.

What does Nani love most about her job? The freedom to move around. She’s in her element when behind the wheel of the tractor, and even after completing a flight, she’s off to help elsewhere.

Despite not being the largest person around, Nani is sure her role on the ramp is where she shines. “I’m here to prove that women can excel in any role,” she says confidently before dashing off to the bay for her next flight.

Meet Aysha, Duty Manager & Trainer


Aysha Tagle, Duty Manager & Trainer

You can easily spot Aysha by her friendly smile and the way she carries herself with confidence. She has been part of the airport scene for a while now, starting as a Claims Staff in Lost & Found. “I've been with GTR since day one,” she proudly shares.

Aysha is a jack of all trades, managing roles as a Duty Manager and Trainer for both Lost & Found and Baggage Departments. On top of that, she is also a licenced Passenger Loading Bridge (PLB) Operator and knows her way around driving a tractor.

We tagged along as she operated the PLB, and we want to tell you that it’s not just about pressing buttons. Timing is crucial, and Aysha admits she feels the pressure, but who wouldn’t?

She thrives on challenges and loves wearing multiple hats. “I believe women can be anything and everything we want to be,” Aysha asserts. Whenever the ramp needs a hand, Aysha is there in a flash, ready to help with loading bags, unloading cargo, or operating equipment.

Aysha laughs off the stereotype that women cannot handle the muscle work. “I think women are just as capable as men,” she confidently says.

As she continues her vibrant career, Aysha’s passion for teaching and sharing knowledge shines through: “I wanted to be part of a team that’s redefining the narrative.”

Meet Rahini, Ramp Associate


Rahini AP Kerishnan, Ramp Associate

Rahini compares her journey to SATS GTR Singapore’s Ramp Team to that of a leap of faith. For years, she was tied to a corporate desk job, crunching numbers and practising her accounting skills, so the opportunity to join the ramp was a welcome prospect.

While she admits that she has initial apprehensions about working in a male-dominated field, Rahini decided to push through and, in her own words, proved it was "a risk worth taking.”

An avid marathon runner, Rahini welcomes physical challenges. Her fitness plays a crucial role in handling the demands of her job as a Ramp Associate. From carrying heavy loads of cargo to positioning chocks and lightning cables, driving the PLB, and even handling Headset Operations – Rahini tackles it all.

For Rahini, being a woman at the ramp makes no difference. Having joined the team just a couple of years ago, she has made friends and earned the respect of both her male and female colleagues. In her own words, “It’s more about proving what you’re capable of, regardless of gender.”

Meet Syuhadah, Ramp Associate


Siti Nur Syuhadah Binte Abdul Aziz, Ramp Associate

With her bubbly personality, Syuhadah brings a refreshing energy to the SATS GTR Singapore Ramp Team – the company she chose for her Work-Study Diploma Programme in Airport Operations.

Over the past ten months, Syuhadah has taken great joy in immersing herself in every aspect of ramp operations. To her, the ramp is not just a workplace, but a dynamic classroom where she learns beyond textbook instructions.

Now adept in different ramp services, Syuhadah often takes on the role of Headset Operator. She has mastered crafting load plans for flights, too.

But Syuhadah’s thirst for learning doesn’t stop there. She is currently undergoing training in deployment and administrative operations, seeing it as another avenue to gain new skills. “Every day is a chance to learn,” she remarks.

Proudly embracing her role as a female member of the Ramp Team, Syuhadah affirms, “This is where I belong.”

Meet Farizan, Senior Ramp Executive


Nurfarizan Binte Isahak, Senior Ramp Executive

Farizan is more than just a leader of the Ramp Team at SATS GTR Singapore; she is the driving force inspiring the female ramp associates and specialists on her team.

One of the pioneering female ramp agents at SATS, Farizan tackled every challenge thrown her way – from climbing cargo holds to operating heavy equipment.

Many doubted her ability to handle the physical demands and unpredictable weather of the ramp, but Farizan not only survived; she became an advocate, encouraging more women to enter the field.

Read also: Farizan shares how GTR SG redefines ramp operations at Terminal 4 

Standing as a pillar of support for the entire team, Farizan is always ready to lend a hand, whether unloading bags, loading cargo, or checking for foreign object debris at the bay, she leads by example, earning respect and admiration amongst the staff.

Recently, Farizan took part as a panelist in SATS’ International Women’s Day Forum. Alongside top leaders from the SATS Group, she shared her insights and personal journey in breaking barriers and promoting inclusion in the workplace. The event also marked the launch of a groundbreaking initiative – the Network of Women (NOW), a platform designed for women within the organisation to connect and support one another.

Eva, Anya, Nani, Syuhada, Rahini, Aysha, and Farizan are the true trailblazers. These remarkable women shatter stereotypes and inspire inclusion, showing that the ramp is no longer just a man’s world. They are living proof that "if you can dream it, you can do it."


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