The International Aviation Women´s Association (IAWA) is a global organization of women who hold positions of impact in the aviation and aerospace industries.
Since its foundation in 1988, IAWA has promoted increased gender parity in the industry, and has taken real action to encourage women’s participation in aviation and aerospace, understanding that their involvement is vital to the industry’s progress, innovation and continuity. Many studies worldwide, from governmental and non-governmental entities, have proved that women’s involvement in the formal economy brings growth and development, that ultimately benefit entire families, companies and societies.
IAWA is creating opportunities for women’s development in aviation and aerospace.
While certain improvements have been made since IAWA’s foundation, it is true that aviation and aerospace are far from being equal. Women are still under-represented, or earning lower salaries compared to their male peers in the same positions. Furthermore, when we look at the industry’s current threats, such as shortages of pilots and many other skilled aviation professionals, it is clear that a good portion of such threats would vanish should organizations, businesses and governments join efforts in bringing female talent to the industry, and providing an environment for professional and personal development that retains such talent. Women represent half of the world’s population, but their global insertion in the workforce is still low (close to 40% according to World Bank’s data (1)). The numbers of women in leadership roles in aviation and aerospace hover closer to 10%.
With its global outreach, IAWA has engaged in that endeavor by connecting leaders across the world to create awareness, and facilitate and lead the conversations through conferences and forums in different regions. IAWA is also creating opportunities for women’s development in aviation and aerospace, by providing a platform for networking and mentoring, as well as scholarships and internships. IAWA’s members are influential leaders who work together for a common goal of a more inclusive industry. Those of us who have been able to build a career in aviation have the responsibility to open pathways to new talent coming into the industry. Women’s leadership is fundamental to this enterprise.
Last February 28th, 2018, IAWA hosted a one-day regional forum to discuss the status of aviation and aerospace in Latin America, including human talent and opportunities for professional growth. The event took place in Mexico City, and it was a great opportunity to take part on the discussions about the direction our industry should take to ensure its progress from all perspectives.