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International Women's Day Quotes

Alison Addy, Head of External Engagement and Policy, London Gatwick Airport

“Large parts of the aviation industry are still male-dominated, but this is starting to change.  It’s fantastic that half of Gatwick’s latest intake of engineering apprentices are female and I’m noticing more and more women in operational roles across the airport that may have traditionally been filled by men.

“We still have some way to go however, particularly in engineering, technical and IT specialist roles.  We know the organisation will only benefit from having a truly diverse workforce and we plan to achieve this through a range of recruitment, training and retention practices.

“For example, it’s important that we show any women, including those just starting their career or even considering a new career, just how rewarding, varied and exciting the aviation sector is to work in.  I know it’s a cliché, but it’s true.  No two days are the same at Gatwick and – with so many passengers and aircraft passing through from all over the world – anything can happen and quite often does.”

 

Lynne Clark, easyJet London Gatwick Base Captain

“As a female pilot, I believe it is extremely important that children, especially young girls, have visible role models so we can continue challenging gendered biases around jobs and inspire the next generation to become a pilot or consider studying a STEM subject, where women are still underrepresented.

“easyJet is working hard to tackle the gender imbalance in our industry through various initiatives including our Pilot School visits, where pilots visit schools and speak to girls and all young people to encourage them to consider a pilot career in the future.

“While we have made promising progress at easyJet, there is still work to do. Increasing diversity in all of its forms in the flight deck is a long-term focus and I am proud to stand by an employer who will continue to ensure we lead the industry on this issue.”

 

Catriona Taylor, Group Passenger Operations Director, Chapman Freeborn Airchartering

“Aviation is a vibrant and exciting industry to work in but there’s a growing realisation that more has to be done to close a gender gap that has been with us for far too long.

“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.

“It’s something that everyone in aviation should be thinking about on International Women’s Day. We can sense that the dial is moving but we all need to push harder to make it happen.

“That should involve celebrating female role models already working in aviation and highlighting the many career roles available.

“The low percentage of female pilots is always used to highlight a lack of diversity in the industry. But we also need to remember there are so many other careers in aviation which offer fantastic opportunities for women – and work harder to promote them.

“I am proud to work for an organisation such as Chapman Freeborn that promotes women in Aviation and to work alongside so many other women.”

 

Vilma Vaitiekunaite, Chief Communications Officer, Avia Solutions Group

“I do believe that we are part of a historic moment where we are about to see the emergence of a breaking point for women in the industry.

“It’s overdue because I believe that aviation needs a greater input of female energy to make it a truly modern and up to date industry.

“We need more women at the decision-making level. We need women who support and lift other women. We need female aviators’ alliances in every company to help make women stronger, better paid, and more respected.”

 

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.” 

 

Annabel Cook, Deputy Chair, British Women Pilots’ Association

“Aviation is not just a form of transport, it’s a passion and a way of life. Flying for a living can take many forms, from piloting passenger aircraft to aerial photography or instructing the next generation.

“The opportunities for working in aviation also extend to other skillsets – air traffic control, engineering, medicine, marketing. The possibilities are many and gender should play no role. Aviation is a massive industry, and it needs people of all types. But just 4% of pilots are women.

“The British Women Pilots’ Association welcomes anyone who supports women in aviation. We provide an ever-expanding scholarship programme, careers advice, share and celebrate our members’ successes.

“As individuals we can each make a small difference to that 4%. Together, the possibilities are as wide as the sky.”

 

Robin Hadfield, Director, The Ninety-Nines Inc (International Organization of Women Pilots since 1929)

“Women have had a strong hand in the history of aviation since the earliest day of flight but have experienced many setbacks. While the overall numbers of women going into aviation careers has increased, the actual percentage is only showing miniscule increases – and only in some of the areas.

“We need to build upon the 3% women airline executives and 1% women airline captains, too, because while increasing the number of females in the flight deck is important, it is equally important to see a rise in the number of women in board seats in the aviation sector.

“I feel the future for women in the aviation industry is very bright. There is a need for pilots in general and it’s a great time for women to take representation. 

“People become pilots for the same reasons. They love flying, and they love to use their talents and be respected for them. And mostly, they love the feeling of belonging to this strong family called aviation.

“Today the Ninety-Nines are professional pilots for airlines, industry and governments; we are pilots who teach and pilots who fly for pleasure; we are pilots who are technicians and mechanics. But first and foremost, we are women who love to fly!

“We should encourage women to do whatever it is that they really want to do.”

 

Marion Geoffroy, Managing Director Wizz Air UK

“At Wizz Air, we are committed to making aviation a more diverse environment and understand the vital importance of having female role models, whether that’s in pilot roles or across top leadership positions.

“One of our top priorities is to encourage more women to consider a career as a pilot, and as part of this, we have already been sending our female pilots to schools across the UK to act as role models and inspire more women, at an earlier stage of life, to think about flying as a career.

“To further promote women’s career advancement in aviation, we also offer a Cabin Crew to Captain programme, which supports existing cabin crew members to obtain a commercial pilot licence. As the aviation industry recovers from the pandemic, it is now more important than ever to cultivate a positive and inclusive environment.”

 

Zori Marshall, Chief Legal Officer, Chapman Freeborn Air Chartering

Zori is relatively new to the aviation industry and is an example of how opportunities exist for women who have no experience of the sector.

She said: “I had already travelled the world working in the oil and gas industry and then in renewables and clean energy before arriving here. But I wouldn’t say aviation was an industry I was always aiming for, although I went to university in Toulouse which is an aviation hub for Airbus, and I have always loved flying.

“I remember my very first flight was aged six or seven from Angola back to Bulgaria and it caught my imagination.”

Zori says she chose aviation for the next step in her career after realising that she thrives best in a multicultural and multinational environment.

“That was how I was brought up in a French school in Angola where there were 13 nationalities amongst 40 student,” she said.

“We all spoke at least three languages, normally French, Portuguese or English plus our own native tongue.”

As CLO, Zori is now responsible for the legal strategy of the Chapman Freeborn Group and its legal compliance.

“Aviation is a sector that I’d recommend to other women because it is global, multicultural and exciting,” she added.

“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. It’s long overdue.

“In the meantime, women also need to play their part by pushing through the barriers.

 

Erica Resendes, Operations Manager, Intradco Global

Erica has entered the world of animal transportation with Intradco Global, a global specialist in transporting horses and other animals by air, having spent much of her previous career in ground handling. Erica is based in Toronto Canada.

It’s an example of how you never know where the aviation industry will take you!

“My very first job was in aviation, as a check-in agent at Toronto Pearson International Airport, almost 15 years ago. But I could never have predicted where it would take me,” she said.

“I have a double major in English and Anthropology and then went to teaching school, so it certainly wasn’t the plan!

“However, 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.”

These days, Erica’s role is to manage complex air charter, freight and project movements of live animals. She is the first point of contact for clients to discuss, design and execute an operational plan.

Intradco Global is well known in the industry for moving some of the most famous horses in the world of sport, as well as a wide range of species. It’s even transported elephants and giraffes!

“My favourite part is flight day, when you get to see all the hard work pay off and it all comes together. That and the animals, of course. Because who doesn’t like working with animals?”

Other careers within Intradco Global include flying grooms who look after horses as they fly around the world.

“It just goes to show there are a lot of different careers in the industry that the general public do not even know exist,” said Erica.

“For example, when I was working in load control, everyone that I explained my job to was surprised as they did not even know that a job like that existed.

“We need to let women know the full range of careers available and increase the numbers. My message to women is don’t be intimidated by being a minority in the aviation industry. As women we are strong, passionate and a force to be reckoned with! Being part of aviation is like being part of a community, and you will be welcomed.”

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