The aviation industry has a long way to go to achieve gender balance but progress is being made, said Oriel Petry, SVP Head of Public Affairs UK at Airbus.

“One of the things that disappoints me at the moment is that our amazing wing factory in Broughton, this year only had 9.1 per cent of girls as apprentices,” she said.

“But the great thing is that we’ve got an ambition to up that to 30 per cent by 2023. And all our work experience this year has been 50/50 gender balance. So we’re hopeful that we’re going to get to a third by the end of 2023.”

‘A long way to go’

A report by the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) and the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) published earlier this year considered survey responses from more than 700 airline pilots worldwide, 750 personal testimonials and eight hours of focus groups.

It found that while women make up only 5.26 per cent of the global pilot workforce, the numbers of female pilot trainers are even worse. For example, in the UK just 0.9 per cent of Type Rating Examiners (TREs), a type of airline trainer, are women.

Adrian Binfield, head of people and culture at International Airlines Group (IAG), added: “As an industry we haven’t made anywhere near the progress that we need to. That just inspires us to want to do more.

“We’ve made some really good progress as a business but I still feel that we’ve got a long way to go.”
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