Dec. 8, 2021

The Women in Aviation Advisory Board (WIAAB), chaired by former U.S. Air Force Secretary Dr. Heather Wilson, recently met to discuss progress on key initiatives.

“It’s impressive to see the knowledge and passion from the Women in Aviation Advisory Board bringing light to such an important topic. Through countless hours of research, conversation and collaboration we’ve developed a robust body of work and we look forward to presenting this to the FAA as well as supporting them as they work towards its implementation,” said Kriya Shortt, WIAAB member and Textron Aviation senior vice president of global parts distribution and programs.

The WIAAB was established in 2019 to develop and provide independent recommendations and strategies for the FAA to explore opportunities to encourage female students and aviators to pursue a career in aviation. Two advisory board members, representing NBAA, help guide the group’s work and provide a voice for business aviation.

The board plans to accomplish four tasks:

  • Present a comprehensive plan to encourage women to pursue careers in aviation
  • Identify industry trends that encourage or discourage women or girls to join the field
  • Provide suggestions for coordinating efforts of airline companies, nonprofits and aviation, and engineering associations to promote women in aviation, including coordination of scholarship efforts
  • Enhance training, mentorship and outreach programs exclusive to women

“It’s exciting to see a dedicated group of successful women in aviation committed to bringing more women and girls into the aviation industry,” said Jo Damato, CAM, NBAA’s senior vice president of education, training and workforce development. “Countless studies indicate a more diverse workforce is a more productive workforce.”

While the board focuses on recruiting initiatives for women, a key purpose is to address aviation workforce shortages in general.

“Workforce shortages continue to be one of the biggest challenges for the industry,” said Damato. “We have to cast a wider net in attracting and recruiting new aviation professionals, which includes identifying actionable methods of reaching more women and girls and demonstrating the wide range of career opportunities.”