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Donna Diaz

May 2024

I first met Angela when I was working in an environment that I knew was having a negative affect on me but could not understand why?  I was experiencing high level misogyny, discrimination, favoritism and an overall unfair workplace. For many months I questioned myself, my values, my perceptions, my capabilities and thought “what was I doing wrong?”.  Turns out that I was in a very toxic environment which I had come to accept - until I couldn't.

This experience had an adverse affect on my entire life, my family, my psychological and physical physical health and my career in the aviation industry.  I had worked in the aviation industry for almost 30 years and I loved what I did. I was so very proud of what I had achieved and the role I played in the aviation industry that I was actually devastated when I found out that some people I worked with were not who I thought they were.  These were people in leadership roles that I respected, trusted and even admired until I realised they did not have my best interests at heart. Like most women I looked at myself first and tried to make sense out of what I was experiencing and even reached out to people that were employed by the company to support and guide but was only further ostracised, isolated and vilified.  This then sent me into a spiral of confusion and mental health decline as I was so hurt.  I just wanted to be heard, validated and my rights in the workplace be taken seriously. This did not happen and actually the opposite happened and I was forced out of a job I loved. I was effectively silenced. 

This is when I met Angela Garvey who came into my life at a time I was struggling to find any sense of what had happened to me. My confidence was never lower, my belief system in tatters and I was not able to trust anyone. I thought that I would never work in the aviation industry again but Angela saw something in me that I could not see in myself at that time. Her support, encouragement, empathy and compassion kept me going. As I fought to save myself and my love for my aviation career Angela shared her own personal experiences and this meant she knew exactly how I was feeling. Angela told me that I would come back stronger and for the past four years she has never forgotten about me.  I am so proud that Angela has developed Navigating Aviation and provided support and resources to help others to face and overcome significant challenges in their lives and careers.      

After almost four years, Angela still regularly checks in on me and it’s like catching up with an old friend. Angela’s achievements are an inspiration to me and I will alway cherish her generosity and wisdom. I have often told Angela she is my personal “Super Hero” and that Navigating Aviation has created a safe place for those in the aviation industry. For me Angela’s compassion and support continues to inspire me and is invaluable to future aviators and aviation professionals.    



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