RX Global’s Airport Show: Encouraging More Women to Join the Global Civil Aviation Workforce – PR.com


Dubai, United Arab Emirates, May 15, 2024 –(PR.com)– Women Rising in Civil Aviation: A Look at Progress and Future Initiatives

The number of women in civil aviation, especially in leadership roles such as CEOs, pilots, air traffic controllers, and aircraft engineers, is growing, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. This growth comes as the global aviation industry expands, with the market valued at $553.9 billion.

To boost female presence in leadership, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) launched the 25by2025 initiative in 2019. This aims to increase female representation in senior aviation roles and traditionally male-dominated areas by 25% by 2025.

An International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) survey revealed that women in roles like pilots, air traffic controllers, and maintenance technicians rose to 4.9% globally in 2021. Women pilots increased to 4%, with the highest growth in Asia Pacific and Latin America/Caribbean regions. North America led with 4.6% of women pilots, followed by Africa (4.1%) and Europe (4%).

Women aircraft maintenance engineers and technicians reached 3% globally, with all regions seeing increases except the Middle East and Africa. Women air traffic controllers remained stable at 20.6%, with notable increases in Latin America/Caribbean (31.8%) and Europe (21.4%).

In the UAE, over 27,000 women are employed in aviation, making up 42% of the workforce, as reported by the Emirates News Agency. However, the Arab region has the world’s lowest female labor force participation rate at 18.4%, compared to the global average of 48%, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO).

To encourage more women in Middle Eastern civil aviation, the Women in Aviation (WIA) Middle East Conference and Awards will be part of the 23rd Airport Show at Dubai World Trade Centre from May 16. May Ismail, Event Manager at RX Global, said, “We are helping to draw more women into responsible positions in aviation to enhance growth and add vibrancy to the industry.”

Organized by the Emirates Aviation Association (EAA) and WIA Middle East Chapter, and hosted by the Airport Show, the 11th edition of the Conference and Awards will attract influential women leaders and supporting organizations. Boeing is among the sponsors, with Kuljit Ghata-Aura, President of Boeing Middle East, Türkiye, Africa, and Central Asia, emphasizing their programs that cultivate entrepreneurial skills for women.

At the WIA Conference, eight awards will be presented, including Innovative Leader in Women in Aviation, Women in Aviation Leadership, and Most Supportive Company for WAI-Middle East. Yousif Al Hammadi, President of Emirates Aviation Association, expressed pride in supporting the WIA Middle East Chapter, emphasizing collaboration for impactful industry evolution.

Mervat Sultan, President and Founder of WIA Middle East Chapter, highlighted their mission to equip aviation professionals with necessary skills and foster diversity and inclusivity in the industry.

The UAE’s female workforce participation rate is 53%, well above the global average of 47.4%. In 2018, the UAE had more women in aviation roles compared to other MENA countries.

The WIA Conference will discuss collaboration between governments, companies, and educational institutions, public perception in the digital age, urban air mobility, and adapting to a changing aviation landscape. Speakers include Kuljit Singh Ghata-Aura from Boeing, Jen Watson, CEO of Renaissance, and Dr. Maryam Kutait from Boeing.

IATA noted significant progress in closing the gender gap in Middle Eastern workplaces, with many organizations adding gender diversity to their agenda. With over 200 signatories to IATA’s 25by2025 initiative, the civil aviation industry is already seeing change, with more than 1,000 new female pilots and 28% of women in senior roles at participating airlines. However, less than 7% of board seats are held by women in the Arabian Gulf states, compared to 20% globally.