Women’s role in aviation focus for summit
Abu Dhabi, March 5, 2014
The most pressing issues and developments regarding the growing importance of women in aviation, aerospace, defence and space sectors will form part of the agenda at the upcoming second Global Aerospace Summit in Abu Dhabi.
The summit will run on April 7 and 8 at the St Regis Hotel, Saadiyat Island.
As part of the summit there will be a “Women in Aerospace” session on April 7. Up to 100 senior and aspiring women in the industry will meet to celebrate achievements, highlight success stories and discuss the challenges facing women in the sector. Female students from the UAE will also attend and learn about the opportunities available in the aerospace, aviation and space industries.
According to industry figures there are more than 4,000 female pilots worldwide today and the number is increasing; however this number remains minimal when compared to male pilots. This comparison applies across other areas of this male dominated industry despite the number of legendary women aviators throughout history.
The aerospace industry is no different; despite of the increasing number of science and engineering female graduates, the percentage of women in the aerospace industry remains low. There is also no clear visibility of women’s leadership opportunities within the sector.
Industry leaders at the summit will ask the “why?” question and discuss ways of collaboration to find strategic solutions that address the many underlying issues that act as deterrents to women within the industry.
Abby Bried, assistant general council – International & Alliances, United Airlines and president of International Aviation Women’s Association (IAWA), said: “During the last two decades, the number of women involved in the aviation and aerospace sectors has steadily increased and women can be found across all areas, in all roles and at all levels of leadership.”
“However, the numbers are still relatively small when compared to men, but we are making strides around the globe and many of IAWA’s Board members and members are breaking the glass ceiling, the latest being Marion Blakey, who was just awarded the Wright Brothers Memorial award. IAWA has more than 300 members in management roles in 223 companies across 33 countries.
“The Global Aerospace Summit will be the perfect platform to discuss the importance of women’s role in the aviation and aerospace sectors and how we can continue to support them to consider careers. IAWA is thrilled to partner with the Global Aerospace Summit to build momentum with Emirati women for the IAWA Annual Conference in Dubai in November 2015, and Seattle in October 2014,” added Bried.
AIA president and CEO Marion C Blakey, an IAWA member, said: "It is paramount that we continue supporting women who aspire to enter the industry. In a largely male business, women provide unique perspectives to industry issues. As the industry adjusts to worldwide economic and political change, we are now seeing women assuming greater and more visible roles."
Blakey will co-lead a senior delegation from the US aerospace industry to attend the summit.
The theme of the 2014 Summit is how investment in aviation, aerospace, space and defence can act as a catalyst for industrialisation. Within this overall theme, key issues such as optimising profit margins and encouraging investment, re-engineering the global supply chain for the 21st century, effective regulation for the industry, and ensuring there is a globally-qualified workforce, will be explored.
The inaugural Summit in 2012 attracted more than 900 C-suite executives from 52 countries. The 2014 event will also include delegates from emerging markets such as Russia, China, India, Eastern Europe and South America.
The Global Aerospace Summit is organised by Streamline Marketing Group. – TradeArabia News Service