Oct. 7, 2020
NBAA’s working group on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is moving forward with its mission to foster a welcoming culture for all throughout the industry, said Josh Mesinger, working group chairperson.
“We in the business aviation industry are committed to moving the needle when it comes to DEI,” he said. “We want to drive the initiative throughout the business aviation workforce. We believe that being more diverse, equitable and inclusive will have positive benefits on safety and profitability.
“This is a campaign that starts with awareness. We then plan on providing educational resources and tools for how to embrace DEI industry-wide,” said Mesinger, who noted Oct. 4-10 is National Diversity Week.
NBAA’s DEI working group, which welcomes members from all NBAA committees and the greater aviation industry, has defined a process to move the initiative forward. This includes:
- Gathering data through facts, surveys, stories
- Identifying the challenges and gaps in the industry
- Creating awareness of those challenges and gaps, and of bias (conscious and unconscious) and of the great potential that exists
- Creating and disseminating the tools and resources to help all those involved in business aviation with DEI
“If we actually walk the talk, we will become safer and more profitable as an industry,” said Mesinger. As an example, he noted that biases in the flight deck can be uncomfortable and lead to inadequate communication. “The more inclusive we can be, the better,” he said.
Jo Damato, CAM, NBAA vice president, educational strategy and workforce development, said that “diversity, equity and inclusion are a priority for growing the aviation workforce and NBAA is committed to this through a number of internal and external initiatives. We are hopeful that by creating an awareness that we lack diversity in our industry that we can create a desire within the industry to make business aviation more diverse and inclusive.
“Diversity attracts diversity. In that spirit, I’m proud of our engagement with many other associations focused on DEI which include Women in Aviation International, the National Gay Pilots Association, the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals and others to move that needle,” noted Damato.
NBAA staff have formed an internal Employee Resource Group on DEI that meets regularly and seeks to raise staff awareness of DEI and value of understanding various cultures, among other topics.