JetBlue will launch a new internal career development program for its crewmembers and frontline staff. The program aims to support the airline’s long-term diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy. Let’s find out more about what this means for JetBlue employees.
According to a press release by the airline, JetBlue is launching two new development tracks for its existing employees. The tracks are:
- For frontline operational staff: an opportunity to move to corporate service roles
- For crewmembers: opportunities to pursue jobs as pilots or aircraft maintenance technicians
For frontline staff looking to go into corporate roles, the path will include classroom learning and two rotational job placements based on the airline’s needs. At the end of the program, JetBlue will also provide job placement assistance to complete the transition. Overall, the goal is to grow airline leadership through the ranks rather than external hires.
For crewmembers hoping to become pilots or aircraft maintenance technicians, JetBlue is working to remove two major barriers to these careers: financing and fear of losing stable employment. By providing a pathway, JetBlue can tap into internal potential and continue its existing corporate culture.
In a statement explaining the new program, JetBlue Chief People Officer Mike Elliott said,
“We created these initiatives because at JetBlue our crewmembers and culture are key to our success. Our new initiatives will help remove some of the barriers candidates may face so we can better help talent continue to grow. Realizing we don’t all start from the same place, equity and accessibility are at the center of our new crewmember development efforts. These new programs will help us build a more diverse internal pipeline.”
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Another issue companies and airlines around the world are tackling is diversity. JetBlue is taking this challenge head-on and laying out lofty goals to become a more equal and inclusive airline. In addition to the career development tracks, the airline will also improve diversity at leadership levels. JetBlue’s goals are:
- Doubling the race and ethnic minority representation at the officer and director level, from the current 12.5% to 25% by the end of 2025
- Increasing the representation of women at the officer and director level from 32% to 40% by the end of 2025
JetBlue is already among the leading US airlines when it comes to diversity in executive teams (only behind Southwest). However, there is still more work to be done and the airline is already making these changes.
After a difficult 2020 for both the airline and its staff, JetBlue is hoping 2021 will be a year for recovery. The carrier managed to avoid large-scale furloughs or layoffs thanks to quick cost reduction measures, but load factors and revenues remain low. For now, JetBlue is hoping vaccines and falling cases will allow its 2021 growth plans and European expansion to lead it to a recovery.
What do you think about JetBlue’s new development programs? What else can the airline do in the future? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!