Mandy Hickson

Former RAF Fast-Jet Pilot & Second female to fly a Tornado GR4

  • Has undertaken 45 missions over Iraq and three duty tours
  • Author of ‘An Officer, Not a Gentleman’
  • Finalist in the Inspiration of the Year category at the Ex-Forces in Business Awards

Discover Mandy Hickson’s biography of published work below.

An Officer, Not a Gentleman

When Mandy Hickson is booked for events, they are known to discuss the following speaking topics:

Maintaining Essential Work/Life Balance in a Demanding Environment
Maintaining Momentum Despite Losing Top Talent
Amazingly Still Having to Break Through the Glass Ceiling
The Building & Empowerment of Effective Teams
Nurturing a Culture of Self-Confidence & Aspiration
Decision-Making Under Extreme Pressure
Overcoming Innate Risk Avoidance Tendencies
A Wavering of Confidence & Self-Belief

Mandy Hickson, a pioneering female pilot turned motivational speaker and business navigating consultant, has carved out an extraordinary career, making her an inspirational figure in the realms of leadership and female empowerment. As only the second female to fly a Tornado GR4 on the front line, Mandy’s journey is a testament to resilience and determination. Her groundbreaking role in the Royal Air Force (RAF) saw her undertake 45 missions over Iraq and three duty tours, often as the sole female aircrew member, highlighting her bravery and powerful attitude in a male-dominated field.

Mandy’s journey to becoming a pilot was far from straightforward. After displaying early promise and earning an RAF scholarship at 17, she faced significant setbacks, failing her RAF flying aptitude test twice. These early failures, however, did not deter her. Demonstrating remarkable perseverance, she was eventually selected as a test case by the RAF, a pivotal moment that set her on the path to success. Her story is one of overcoming obstacles, achieving ambitions, and breaking barriers, which she now shares with audiences as a keynote speaker.

Her frontline experiences have endowed Mandy with an unparalleled understanding of risk management, leadership, and human factors. These skills, combined with her fast-paced and engaging storytelling, make her talks truly remarkable. As a motivational speaker, she offers transformative insights into teamwork, crisis management, and human error, translating these lessons seamlessly into the corporate world. Her dynamic speeches are designed to resonate with a wide range of audiences, providing valuable workplace tools and strategies.

Since transitioning to civilian life, Mandy has continued to serve as an inspirational role model, particularly through her volunteer work with the Air Experience Flight with Air Cadets. Her recent trek to the Everest Base Camp in 2023 further exemplifies her persistence and determination. Additionally, her book ‘An Officer, Not a Gentleman’ chronicles her journey and the mental and physical skills required to thrive as a pilot and mother. Mandy’s remarkable career has earned her accolades, including being shortlisted as a finalist in the Inspiration of the Year category at the Ex-Forces in Business Awards. Through her involvement in female groups such as Inspiring Women for Work, she continues to empower and inspire, offering tangible value to her audiences and solidifying her status as a leading figure in female empowerment and leadership.

Official Testimonials

Mandy Hickson is regularly booked to engage audiences at events, read their latest feedback below:

“Much like the fighter jets you flew, the noise (feedback) about your presentation can still be heard. The feedback has been fantastic with many saying “Mandy was the most inspirational speaker I have ever heard”. You are extraordinarily talented, hugely determined and beautifully funny with a great ability to connect with people – for such a high flier you are very grounded! Thank you for sharing, it was a great pleasure.”

Peter, Managing Director, Old Mutual International

“I just wanted to let you know that Mandy was truly amazing yesterday. The feedback we have had was incredible and everyone agreed how inspiring she was and in awe of what she has achieved. I didn’t get to say goodbye to Mandy, but please pass on my thanks to her and it was a pleasure to meet her. I know we will all really enjoy reading her book.”

Liz, Team PA, Quintain

“Mandy, great to meet you. Your session was particularly well received. I am delighted I was able to stay to hear you talk. Your story is very inspirational and I recognised many of the challenges you have faced as a woman in a predominantly male world as these issues are industry-agnostic. I am sure we could spend hours sharing our war stories (literal and metaphorical !). I do all I can to help the next generation navigate these challenges and not experience the same difficulties as those who have gone before. You are clearly doing the same.”

Sue, CEO, M&S Bank

To enquire about Mandy Hickson for your event or corporate function, simply contact us via or call a booking agent on 0203 0070 320.