Chapman Freeborn moving the dial for women in aviation on International Women’s Day
Chapman Freeborn, the global air charter specialist, has won wide support across the aviation sector for its campaign to help raise the profile of women in the industry on International Women’s Day.
It has been hugely encouraging to see the response to a Chapman Freeborn campaign to celebrate women in aviation on International Women’s Day and highlight the variety of roles available to women in the sector.
This is a day when the topic of the aviation gender gap always comes up for discussion, and especially in relation to the low percentage of female pilots – and equally low representation at board level across the industry.
There is no doubt that progress on both those issues has been slow and that the pace needs to be accelerated.
But the good news is that the voice of women in the sector is growing louder, and it feels like companies in aviation are truly trying to move the dial.
Our International Women’s Day Campaign has earned support from major names in the sector, including Gatwick Airport, easyJet, Wizz Air, the British Women Pilots’ Association and The Ninety-Nines Inc (the International Organization of Women Pilots since 1929).
They all were willing to send quotes that showed their own commitment to the cause and recognised the importance of encouraging more women into aviation – and making changes to address the gender imbalance.
There was also an inspirational quote from young Rita Rams, a cadet working towards her pilot’s licence at the L3 Harris Airline Academy.
Rita Rams, cadet on the Integrated Airline Transport Pilot Licence Course at L3Harris Airline Academy:
“As someone who was looking at a career in aviation, seeing the number of female pilots and role models marketed by pilot training companies provided me with the inspiration and reassurance that a career as a pilot is achievable.
“I am now in the advanced part of my training, which means that I will be a fully qualified airline pilot in 16 weeks.
“Training has been both challenging and rewarding, but gender has made no difference in developing any of the capabilities and competencies that the course requires from us. I have loved every second of it.
“I look forward to a long career as a pilot, and hope to act as a role model to inspire many other women to consider it as an exciting and viable career opportunity.”
The battle to close the gender gap amongst airline pilots has received regular publicity, which is vital when you consider that only 6% of pilots globally are women.
It has resulted a range of airlines introducing campaigns to train and employ more female pilots, actions which the industry hopes will start to redress the balance. Both easyJet and Wizz Air are good examples.
However, we also need to raise awareness of the sheer variety of roles available to women in aviation, many of which are not on the flight deck.
Women make up 45% of employees at Chapman Freeborn – which is an 8% increase on last year – and we do not employ pilots. Our female employees undertake a wide range of roles, whether that is in the office or on the ground. They hold positions across the Chapman Freeborn Group, with roles in passenger charter, VIP charter, cargo, Magma Aviation, On Board Courier , Arcus Air Logistics and with our animal transportation specialist Intradco Global.
Chapman Freeborn has also recorded a 17% increase in women in leadership and managerial roles compared to 2021, which is encouraging.
The message we really need to get across is that aviation is an exciting, rewarding sector to work in and that we need to do more as an industry to encourage women to consider it as a career.
Campaigns should involve celebrating female role models already working in aviation, championing women for board level promotion, improving working conditions for women and doing everything possible to close the gender gap.
Catriona Taylor, Group Passenger Operations Director at Chapman Freeborn Airchartering comments:
“Businesses in the sector are increasingly focused on addressing that issue, but if change is to happen at the speed required then we all need to work together to raise the profile of women in the sector, increase representation at board level and encourage more women into the industry.
“I am proud to work for an organisation such as Chapman Freeborn which promotes women in aviation – and to work alongside so many other talented women. And it’s wonderful that we are all employed in a sector that we love.”
Erica Resendes, Operations Manager, Intradco Global
“Once I started in the aviation industry, I knew I never wanted to leave. I think it is extremely rare to find that career where you are happy even when things are difficult.
I feel very fortunate to have found that. I truly believe that this industry gets in your blood. It is impossible not to have an interest in aviation once you have been part of it.”
Zori Marshall, Chief Legal Officer, Chapman Freeborn Air Chartering
“Aviation is a sector that I’d recommend to other women because it is global, multicultural and exciting,
I know it has been seen as a male dominated sector, but I’m encouraged that the world’s awareness and willingness to tackle gender balance is under way.”
International Women’s Day reminds us, however, there is still a lot of work to do if we want to make this great industry of ours diverse, fair and equal.
We’d like to send out a big thank you to every business across the sector which was willing to speak out on International Women’s Day.
Together our voices can make a real impact.
The full list of participants in the Chapman Freeborn campaign:
Gatwick Airport – Alison Addy, Head of External Engagement and Policy
easyJet – Lynne Clark; London Gatwick Base Captain
Wizz Air UK Marion Geoffroy, Managing Director
Avia Solutions Group – Vilma Vaitiekunaite, Chief Communications Officer
The Ninety-Nines – Robin Hadfield, Director
British Women Pilots’ Association – Sharon Nicholson, Chairwoman; Annabel Cook, Deputy Chair
L3 Harris Airline Academy – Rita Rams, cadet on the Integrated Airline Transport Pilot Licence Course