This week we grilled Helen Milestone from the Thomas Cook Airlines Marketing team about work, life and how to enjoy Manchester Pride weekend!
Would you say that Aviation and the travel industry in general is a particularly LGBT friendly industry to work in?
Yes definitely, I meet people of all different backgrounds and sexualities every day and everyone is treated in exactly the same way. That’s not just within Thomas Cook Airlines as well, no matter what event or meeting I go to everyone is extremely friendly and welcoming.
Would you say Thomas Cook Airlines is a good company to work for, and does it have a good LGBT network and social scene?
Thomas Cook Airlines is a great company to work for and with our sponsorship of Manchester Pride, as well as other LGBT events, we have a great LGBT network. It’s really great to be a part of that and I’ve loved taking part in these events with my colleagues.
In terms of social scene, yes this is great as a company and I loved organising the Scooch float at Manchester Pride in 2015. More recently though, as I now have a 6 month old the social side of things has reduced a bit for me! J
Would you recommend Thomas Cook Airlines as an LGBT friendly company
I would absolutely recommend Thomas Cook Airlines as we are very LGBT friendly and the company really works to ensure full inclusion for all employees
Who’s your biggest inspiration family/celebrity
One of my favourite artists is P!nk who is a huge supporter of LGBT rights. I’ve seen her several times in concert and she is amazing, as well as being really inspirational through her music and public speeches.
Any tips for LGBT employees starting work at Thomas Cook Airlines?
Just be yourself and open from day one – everyone is so friendly that you should feel confident to be honest about your sexuality. I am always talking about my wife and little boy, and have only ever had positive feedback and requests for photos!
Other than Manchester Pride (of course) what’s your favourite Pride event from around the world and why?
I would have to say Sydney Mardi Gras. Like Manchester Pride it is a really inclusive and family friendly event, with the parade taking part at night.
I was lucky enough to take part in the parade in 2008 with some friends and it was one of my best nights out – dancing and singing alongside the float, with huge crowds joining in and celebrating together! I’ve managed to dig out a picture as well – the one with the face paint!
Name three things you can’t do without at a Pride event
With my sensible head on here, I’d have to say suncream and water, plus of course my phone to record the amazing time being had!
Any top tips to survive Manchester Pride Weekend?
Dress for the weather! Plus drink lots of water and spend the week before getting as much sleep as possible – that way you can party all night and ensure it’s an unforgettable weekend!
What do you enjoy most about your job?
There are definitely two key things – the people and autonomy. We have a great team at Thomas Cook Airlines and every single person is passionate, enthusiastic and working towards the same goal. We have a lot of fun as well as working hard, and I feel lucky to be a part of that.
Then with autonomy, we are given freedom to manage our marketing channels as we see fit and the wider business is very supportive of that. This allows us to try new things and push boundaries that I wouldn’t have the chance to do in another company.