The ‘grit’ to go where no women have gone before

Jaime Nieto is head of people at Sir Richard Branson's The Spaceship Company
Jaime Nieto is head of people at Sir Richard Branson's The Spaceship Company
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One of the key speakers at this year’s Investing Women AccelerateHER Conference next week is aiming to inspire attendees to have more “grit”, harnessing perseverance to fulfil their potential.

Jaime Nieto is head of people at Sir Richard Branson’s The Spaceship Company (TSC), the first aerospace system manufacturer building and testing a fleet of carrier vehicles and spaceships that will form Virgin Galactic’s human spaceflight system. Last year, it hosted five AccelerateHER Awards finalists at its base in Mojave, California.

Taking place at Edinburgh’s Informatics Forum on 23 April, at the event – whose theme this year is The Sky’s No Longer The Limit– Nieto will discuss putting together a “world-class” team. “I’m going to tell a story,” she told Scotland on Sunday. Other speakers lined up include endurance cyclist Mark Beaumont and Shelley Kerr, who manages the Scottish women’s football team. Nieto added: “I think there are probably going to be multiple things that we all walk away with.”

She explained that one of TSC’s values is “pure grit” and she will discuss its importance in leadership.

“When you’re leading a team, you have to be that inspiration point.

“If you naturally exude that, then the team can 
get really excited behind that – and they can accomplish things that they never thought that they could.”

Nieto is also keen to learn more about the Scottish space sector. It is “punching above its weight”, according to the UK Space Agency, which in 2018 announced more than £30 million of funding to support a spaceport in Sutherland.