UAE’s aviation sector boasts strong female representation

The United Arab Emirates’ aviation sector is now boasting a workforce composed of 42 percent women, equating to nearly 27,000 employees, according to a report by the Emirates News Agency on Wednesday. Mervat Sultan, the president of the Middle East Chapter of Women in Aviation, addressed the Women in Aviation 10th Anniversary Conference, highlighting the increasing female representation within the industry due to active engagement with women interested in pursuing aviation careers.

In her speech, Sultan asserted the importance of nurturing a generation for nation-building, emphasizing the critical role of women’s empowerment, education, and training in achieving societal betterment. She stressed the need to inform parents and children about the plethora of employment opportunities in the aviation sector.

Contrary to traditional notions, women’s roles in aviation are not confined to being pilots, with many women serving as engineers, air traffic controllers, medical, technical, and legal staff, she added.

In conjunction with the Women in Aviation 10th Anniversary Conference, the 22nd edition of the Airport Show opened for a three-day exhibition in Dubai. The focus was on the brighter prospects for complete recovery, growth of passenger demand, and emphasis on future mobility, sustainable infrastructure, and innovation.

First Lieutenant Pilot, Dubai Police Airwing, Sheikha Mozah Bint Marwan Al Maktoum, addressed the considerable gender gap in the aviation field, asserting the need for an effective strategy to tackle this disparity. She shared her initiative, Shehana, a Women in Aviation Association, aimed at empowering women in the aviation industry through local, regional, and international partnerships and collaborations. She reiterated the respect and inclusion women receive in the UAE, urging for greater collaboration from sponsors, government, and organisations supporting women in aviation.

Kuljit S Ghata-Aura, President, Boeing Middle East Türkiye and Africa, praised the UAE’s strides in empowering women in the aviation industry. He pointed out Boeing’s commitment to supporting gender equality in the workplace, referencing a pledge signed by the company in December 2022 along with 15 other UAE private sector companies to increase women’s representation in leadership roles to 30% by 2025. This move aligns with the UAE’s gender balance agenda and has already resulted in an increase in women’s representation in the global Boeing workforce to 24.6%.

Several key stakeholders and leaders were honoured at the event, including Suzanne Al Anani, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects, who received the Innovative Leader Award in Women in Aviation. Awards were also presented to other notable companies and individuals in recognition of their contributions to the industry and their support for women in aviation.

Back in February, Oman Air announced that Maha Al Balushi has become the first female Omani Captain in the airline’s history. 

Image Credit: John McArthur on Unsplash

Tags : UAE