GSSA Strike Aviation targets gender equality

By Damian Brett

Julia Knecht-Ostwaldt. Source: Strike Aviation

GSSA Strike Aviation has signed up to IATA’s “25by2025” where companies pledge that 25% of management roles will be occupied by women by 2025.

The company said that by joining the campaign it has pledged to promote gender equality and also leading by example.

Strike Aviation said that women already hold 27% of management positions at the company.

By joining the initiative the company also committed to compile and publish gender balance metrics each year and to work to further strengthen female representation.

The initiative was launched in 2019 to raise awareness that the aviation industry is still heavily male-dominated and that it remains difficult for women to pursue a career.

According to the International Society of Women Airline Pilots, in 2020 women accounted for a mere 5% of all commercial pilots and just 1.42% of captains on flights, Stike said.

Julia Knecht-Ostwaldt, chief operating officer for Europe at Strike Aviation, said: “We are all used to seeing male captains on flights, accompanied by male co-pilots, and it is still rare to see a female pilot, let alone a female captain.

“International studies show that many factors are hindering women’s breakthrough in aviation, from elements of sexism in the industry to stereotypes that aviation-related professions are incompatible with having a family. Strike Aviation is an exception here: already now, women make up 56% of our workforce and 27% of our senior management team is female.”

Knecht-Ostwaldt said women should not fear entering the aviation sector: “As soon as you prove that you have the knowledge and that you are also able to say ‘No’, they start to respect who you are and what you are able to do.

“Diversity of cultures, gender, nationalities, languages, age, people’s sex, religion and any other potentially differentiating factor only bring a broader view and growth to everyone within the Strike Group and to our clients.”

She added: “I believe it is important for our clients that the gender gap in various areas, including aviation, be narrowed and that women’s representation be fair and balanced. We take the objectives identified by IATA into account and will continue to do so in the future in choosing new talent. We aim to create opportunities for women to grow and encourage them to choose a career in aviation. It is only by working together that we can make progress.”

So far 62 signatories have committed to the initiative. In addition to the commitments of member airlines, IATA itself has committed to increase the representation of women in its own senior management, in governance roles, and among speakers at its conferences.

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