Women in A/AA Moves the Needle on Gender Diversity

Last Wednesday, 19 October, A/AA met for its sixth Women in Aviation/Aerospace Australia Summit where it was clear that there has been demonstrated improvement in advancing gender diversity in our industry, since the inception of Women in A/AA in 2013.

Born out of a need to attract and retain female talent to the industry, at an A/AA Skills Summit in 2012, the Women’s initiative has encouraged companies to keep their finger on the pulse of gender diversity advancements and growth.

Said to be the best Summit yet, attendees heard exciting and pleasing statistics and strategies that are becoming well entrenched in organisations to improve flexibility, inclusion and equality. Jason McHeyzer’s concept of ‘delegating yes, escalating no' is very progressive, Squadron Leader Amanda Gosling, representing Air Force Gender Programs reported that the female pilots in recruitment has increased on average from 2.9% to 20% which is a 600% improvement since 2012.

Sam Lane, AFL journalist kicked off the day with an in depth look into the inner workings of the AFL and the new and exciting Women’s league, which now includes 50% of the population previously only on the side lines. Up and coming talent LEUT Natalie Davies, NAVY squirrel pilot, debuted as a presenter and impressed the audience with her achievements, iron woman pursuits and the importance of composite mentorship.

The common theme of the day was ‘you can’t be what you can’t see’ and this further highlights why we, as a collective group, must continue to pursue a goal of equality in our industry.

At this year’s summit, compared to previous years, we saw an increased percentage of male representation. We require 100% of the population to make meaningful change to become a reality.

In 2017 Women in A/AA will launch the CDI network - Collaboration for Diversity and Inclusion. The CDI network will meet four times annually to discuss and publish best practice for gender diversity strategies in the aviation and aerospace industries. This important step forward will be sponsored by A/AA partners and to be part of these workshops companies must be members of A/AA.