The Women in Aviation and Aerospace Charter (WIAAC) has announced the chair of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Sir Stephen Hiller, as its new patron, to reinforce the importance of male allies in the drive towards equality in the industry. Sir Stephen takes over from Dame Deirdre Hutton, who was the founding patron of the charter when it launched in 2018.
The announcement follows the charter’s What’s your 30? self-reporting pledge that encourages organisations across the industry to outline individual goals that focus on the number 30 to boost gender representation by 2030.
Hillier’s appointment was revealed as the charter celebrated International Women’s Day with an event at the Royal Academy of Engineering, sponsored by BAE Systems. Along with Sir Stephen, speakers included Jacqueline Sutton, non-executive director of Farnborough International; Maria Kokkinou, people director, Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace; and Julian Cracknell, chief technology and information officer, BAE Systems.
“I am delighted to welcome Sir Stephen as our new charter patron,” said Sumati Sharma, co-founder of the WIAAC and partner at Oliver Wyman. “As we move to challenge gender bias, it is crucial that we have holistic support for everyone across the aviation industry. Sir Stephen’s appointment embraces these efforts, and we are confident that together we can encourage an industry-wide effort towards better balance in diversity, particularly at the most senior levels in aviation and aerospace. We would like to thank everyone in the charter for their continued support towards encouraging positive change.”
“It is an honour to be a part of an alliance that holds such high importance across the aviation industry,” said Sir Stephen. “As patron, I pledge to encourage those around me to embrace equality, fuel inclusivity and challenge gender biases from the cockpit to the boardroom.”
WIAAC also welcomed two new signatories on International Women’s Day (IWD): DEA Aviation and Incora. This brings the total number of signatories to the charter to 255.
“DEA’s signing of the Women in Aviation & Aerospace Charter on IWD 2023 celebrates the progress DEA has made in the last year in increasing opportunities for women in aviation and, as proud signatories of the charter, reflects the shared commitments to work to together to build a more balanced and fair industry for women,” said Jo Allen, CFO of DEA Aviation.
“Incora is delighted to sign the Women in Aviation & Aerospace Charter and as part of our Diversity & Inclusion Strategy, actively committing to driving gender balance across our global business – while looking at ways to support the aerospace and defence sectors to attract and retain talented women,” said Dawn Landry, chief administration officer, Incora.