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UK Aviation Minister calls on industry to address gender imbalance

Ahead of International Women’s Day, Liz Sugg has highlighted how the aviation industry needs to make the best use of the female talent to keep up with the continued growth of the industry.

Transport Minister calls on aviation industry to address gender imbalance

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, Liz Sugg has written to the aviation sector, calling on them to pledge action to overcome the gender gap, ahead of International Women’s Day on the 8 March 2019.

Women account for nearly half (47 per cent) of the national workforce, but only 6 per cent of airline pilots are women.

Sugg, said: “For every 100 airline pilots, 94 are male. With a shortage of pilots in the future, the aviation industry needs to be making the best use of the talent in this country. There are already some great industry initiatives, and ahead of International Women’s Day we are calling on the aviation industry to pledge action to address this gap.”

International Women’s Day this year is being celebrated on Friday 8 March 2019, with the theme of #BalanceforBetter, to drive gender balance across the world.

There are already a number of positive initiatives taking place across the industry:

  • Baroness Sugg helped to launch the Women in aviation charter, which commits to build a more balanced and fair industry for women
  • easyJet is on track to achieve its target of ensuring 20 per cent of its new pilot entrants are female by 2020
  • Flybe’s FlyShe campaign raises awareness of gender stereotypes
  • London Stansted Airport is a signatory to the ‘Women in aviation charter’, and has a number of education programmes including its Aerozone centre which have helped inspire thousands of young girls in the last three years.

Liz Austin, HR Director at London Stansted Airport, said: “Encouraging more girls into aviation-related careers is something London Stansted fully supports, and we welcome the government’s drive to increase the number of women in these roles. Stansted Airport College was created to build pipeline of future talent, and works hard to promote the many exciting opportunities open to girls in aviation, from engineering to cabin crew. Along with our Aerozone education centre for younger children, we’re proud of the part London Stansted is playing in inspiring the next generation of the aviation workforce and look forward to seeing an increase in the representation of women in all sectors.”

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