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Aerospace sector delivers pledge for gender balance

Created: 19th Jul 2018

UK’s aerospace and aviation sectors have come together to work towards gender equality in the industry.

The Women in Aviation and Aerospace Charter reflects the aspiration of the industry to see gender balance across all levels.

The Charter:

 Katherine Bennett OBE, Senior Vice President, Airbus, said: 

“The launch of the Women in Aviation and Aerospace charter is a significant milestone. By signing the Charter, 50 UK firms are committing to driving change at all levels of our thriving sector.

“Such a widespread commitment to the Charter will make a genuine difference to gender diversity in aerospace and aviation; and I am delighted to be celebrating this at Farnborough. From the shop floor to the boardroom, I hope today is beginning of seeing more women in this brilliant sector.”

ADS Chief Executive Paul Everitt said:

“The aerospace industry is determined to achieve a better gender balance and making sure that women are represented at senior levels.

“Bringing together UK aerospace and aviation companies to launch this Charter is a significant commitment from our industries.

“A balanced workforce has been proven to boost productivity and morale so working towards gender equality is not only the right thing to do – it also makes good business sense.

“This Charter allows companies to set their own path to gender balance in their organisation, recognising that there is no one-size-fits-all policy; I believe this will help create more sustainable gender parity.”

Signatories of the Charter already include ADS, Airbus, BAE Systems, Boeing, Bombardier, Easyjet, Heathrow, Virgin Atlantic, and many more.

Additional quotes:

Nikki Humphrey, SVP People for Virgin Atlantic, said:

“We’re delighted to be a founding member of the Women in Aviation charter which will bring the industry together to tackle gender barriers.

“We’re committed to fostering a culture where all talent is nurtured, and earlier this year we announced a number of steps that we’re taking to close our gender gap and reflect the communities we work in. These include a 50/50 balance of men & women in leadership roles by 2022”.

Karin Hoeing, Group Human Resources Director at BAE Systems plc, said:

“We are very pleased to support the Charter as part of BAE Systems’ global efforts to increase diversity and inclusion in our business. Offering fair opportunities for all individuals to succeed regardless of race, gender or background will be a distinguishing feature for successful businesses in the future.”

Emma Gilthorpe, Heathrow’s Executive Director of Expansion, said:

“Britain can be proud of its aviation industry – our rich history of innovation, dedication to our passengers and commitment to bringing people closer together has shaped travel for the better. But there is more we all can do to help everyone in our organisations thrive.

“That’s why Heathrow is delighted to be a founding signatory of the Women in Aviation and Aerospace Charter which will help us write the next chapter in our history – ensuring that everyone in our sector has the tools and support they need to fulfil their full potential.”

Professor Sir Peter Gregson, Chief Executive and Vice-Chancellor, Cranfield University, said:

“Cranfield has got a proud history in aerospace and an exciting future – leading developments in the global aviation industry. As a university with an Athena Swan Bronze Award, we have made diversity a priority for the organisation. Organisations that embrace diversity thrive and we wholeheartedly support and embrace this charter.”

Steve Turner, Unite assistant general secretary, said:

“Unite is fully behind this initiative and positive action to break the glass ceiling encountered by women in aviation and aerospace.

“It is vital that steps are taken to ensure that gender is no barrier to success and that the talents and skills of young women are embraced to ensure the UK aerospace industry retains its status a global leader for engineering and innovation.”

Julie Elder, HR and Corporate Services Director at NATS, said:

“We are proud to be one of the first signatories to the Women in Aviation / Aerospace Charter. NATS is committed to increasing the number of senior women in our business and we firmly support this initiative aimed at encouraging more women to build exciting careers in the aviation industry.”