On Wednesday, the Women in Aviation & Aerospace Charter launched its Propelling a Gender Balanced Industry report with Korn Ferry.

The report surveyed more than 1,500 people working across aviation and aerospace, amongst other sectors, around their experiences and also includes a comparison with women’s football, using lessons learnt from their journey to aide progress in our own sectors.

It is undeniable that there has already been progress on improving gender balance in the sector over the last several years, not least in the creation of the charter back in 2018, but there is still a very long way to go to create an inclusive environment for all to thrive in. It is not about promotion one faction over another, it’s about enabling and encouraging all people to work in the sector, and in doing so improving the balance.

One of the key takeaways from the report is that we need to create a purpose for all, not just a ‘women’s strategy’. It is important everyone is brought along on this journey, as it’s the only way to bring about long-lasting change.

Another lesson is that we should invest in reshaping attraction, recruitment and progression with the sector to enable improved gender balance, this requires a dedicated focus and detailed understanding of the conditions.

Finally, we must not be a ‘one hit wonder’. We must treat change as a long-term programme, it is not going to happen over night or with one initiative. It will require sustained focus to create a diverse and inclusive culture in our workforces. While the journey will differ for each organisation, the results will be just as fruitful.

The report goes on to recommend next steps including encouraging organisations to commit to the conversation – this will be the foundation of change; create accountability for achieving gender balance to ensure it isn’t forgotten about; and, coordinate the approach amongst Charter signatories for measuring progress.

This is why being a signatory of the Women in Aviation & Aerospace Charter is so important, it is not just a symbolic gesture, it requires you to report on progress and enact change – not just sign a piece of paper and forget about it.

I would encourage readers to go on to download and read the full report which has many insights to share about perceptions and experiences within the sector, as well as tangible takeaways for organisations to progress their own journeys.

To watch the report’s launch event, please click here.

If you would like to find out more about how to get involved with the Women in Aviation & Aerospace Charter, please email Heather Gilchrist.