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  • Mattie Bohanan

The 'She' Suite

The importance of HERA's mission supports the findings of a new study that shows that the gender gap in leadership in the aviation industry continues to be a problem.

According to the joint research by consulting firm Oliver Wyman and the International Aviation Womens Association (IAWA), 60% of women in aviation leadership positions have considered leaving the industry.

The study, which included surveys of 450 aviation professionals in leadership positions, revealed that women most often leave the industry because of negative experiences. At the same time, men reported leaving for better opportunities elsewhere. Men and women also reported different impressions of the effectiveness of gender equity programs, with men reporting that such programs are accessible and effective and women reporting that they were not.

The top three reasons women reported for leaving the aviation industry included implicit bias discrimination, lack of career opportunities, and lack of flexibility (work/life balance). The top three reasons reported by men included being interested in another career/industry, lack of career opportunities, and insufficient pay.

The study's authors concluded that to close the gender gap of women in leadership roles, there needs to be an acceleration of cultural change in the aviation industry, emphasizing meeting the needs of underrepresented groups of women such as caregivers. One industry initiative that both men and women agree on is that more emphasis must be made on sponsorship programs that feature and promote women.

HERA would like to hear from women about their experiences in leadership positions and what advice you have for other aspiring leaders starting their aviation careers.

Mattie is a CFII at Auburn University, where she recently graduated with a degree in Professional Flight. She enjoys drinking her morning coffee, traveling, and spending time with friends and family. Mattie is looking forward to a successful and fulfilling career as a professional pilot whether it be in the business aviation industry or the airline industry.

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