We managed to fill the room at The Norfolk Club at November’s lunch and were all completely enthralled by speaker, Wing Commander Nikki Thomas.

Raised in Devon, Nikki always had a thirst for adventure and talked through her ambitions and her desire to work in a fast paced and challenging environment, even as a teenager.   The RAF sponsored her through an aeronautical engineering degree at Loughborough University and by 23 she was a junior navigator with the RAF and by 2015, she was the first woman to command an RAF fast jet squadron.

Nikki is a qualified weapons system operator with extensive experience of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.  In 2009, she was squadron leader of No 31 Squadron Tornado team, and together with her pilot, were the RAF’s first all-female Tornado jet crew.  She was the first woman to take that role in Afghanistan and one of the youngest members of the RAF to rank so highly. She was also the only female on the Tornado GR4 to become a qualified weapons instructor.

Nikki strongly believes she has the best job in the world and demonstrated that you can pretty much achieve anything if you have the drive and ambition.  Wherever we are in our different careers, we all left feeling really inspired to be a ‘bit more Wing Commander Nikki Thomas’.

Last, but by no means least, it was announced that Kate at Pink Lizard Promotions is standing down from the NBWN Committee and Carole present her with a bouquet of flowers in appreciation of her hard work in identifying some fantastic speakers in 2015.