From the SDGs: Relevant targets

5.1) End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.

5.2) Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation.

5.5) Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life.

From the SDGs: Aviation-relevant indicators

5.5.2) Proportion of women in managerial positions.

Did you know?

Women make up 41% of aviation employees in Europe, but a much lower percentage in technical roles.

Relevance to aviation

Aviation is working to achieve gender balance across the sector however, the industry is aware that work is still needed to encourage balance in technical areas such as engineering and flight crew. More work needs to be done to encourage interest from young women to join technical areas and men to join frontline staff.

Examples of action

  • Alaska Airlines promotion of diversity, including the Forum for Engaging Men, Advancing Women programme, which brought together leaders from a range of industry segments to share candid dialogue about what men can do to support and advance women in the workplace.
  • The International Aviation Women’s Association exists to promote air transport as a career choice for women, and support their advancement in the industry. 
  • Air India and Vistara Airlines in India have both started offering woman passengers special services to ensure they are free from harassment. The services, which include a woman-only row of seats or no middle seating for female passengers have proved popular amongst customers and are not charged for.
  • GE Aviation has a specific programme of action called Cultivate to develop and retain women engineers in the business. Already, a 50:50 gender parity has been reached in the engineering development programme.
  • Airlines such as British Airways are ensuring that gender equality is one of their central aims in promoting diversity among the workforce, particularly in leadership positions.
  • easyJet has set a target of having 20% of new pilot cadets be female by 2020, a significant increase on the current figure of 6%. 
  • Airbus promotes gender equality through a number of programmes aimed at inspiring women and young girls to become involved with aviation.
  • ICAO has been supporting the ‘Dreams Soar’ project, where the first ever Afghan-American female pilot, Shaesta Waiz, has been conducting an around-the-world flight to encourage more young women to become pilots.

How governments can assist

  • Encourage young women to consider aviation as a career, particularly in technical roles, by promoting science, technology, engineering and maths education from an early age.
  • Government border protection agencies can work more closely with industry partners to reduce human trafficking.