January 18, 2018

Women in General Aviation Workforce panel

Attracting, retaining and promoting women in general aviation has always been a challenge, as females compose only about 5 percent of the industry workforce. However, NBAA is supporting a new event to be held in Boca Raton, FL on Jan. 25 that organizers hope will lead to improvements in this area.

The International Aviation Women’s Association (IAWA) will hold its first General Aviation Women’s Leadership Forum at the Privaira Aviation hangar at Boca Raton Airport (BCT), with the support of NBAA and other sponsors.

“Research shows companies are more profitable when they have diversity in decision-making, leadership and mentoring,” said René Banglesdorf, CEO of Charlie Bravo Aviation and vice president of communications for IAWA. “We’ve put together an agenda filled with industry influencers to talk about how women can help avert the coming pilot and mechanic shortages and revitalize interest in our industry.”

Sierra Grimes – NBAA’s manager of registration, conventions and membership – will be speaking at the end of the day-long event, and discussing the ideas and action items coming out of a series of roundtable discussions. Keynote speakers include Shaesta Waiz, who recently completed a round-the-world solo flight in a Beech Bonanza, and Lt. Col. Christine Mau, the first female pilot of the Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter.

Other sessions will look at how women can fix the approaching pilot and technician shortage, the effects of general aviation in humanitarian efforts and behavioral intelligence and courage in the workplace.

“I look forward to helping synthesize the day’s highlights so that we can move forward in efforts to take general aviation to the next level, with women and millennials as an important part of that growth,” said Grimes, who serves as NBAA’s staff liaison to the association’s Young Professionals in Business Aviation (YoPro) Council.