British engine maker Rolls-Royce has become the first original equipment manufacturer to sign up to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) 25by2025 pledge. The pledge is a global initiative that aims to improve the gender balance within the aviation industry. By signing up, Rolls-Royce is committing to Increasing the number of women in leadership positions to 25 percent by 2025.
Rolls-Royce joins its airline customers in taking up the challenge
As we edge towards International Women’s Day on the 8th March, the time couldn’t be better for Rolls-Royce to make a public declaration of its commitment to diversity in the workplace. IATA’s 25by2025 campaign has already drawn the support of numerous airlines, but Rolls-Royce is the first OEM to sign up to the pledge.
Jacqueline Sutton, Chief Customer Officer – Civil Aerospace at Rolls-Royce commented on the pledge in a statement to Simple Flying, saying,
“With only three per cent of CEO positions in our industry held by women, we have a clear and recognized gender imbalance challenge that must be addressed. We are proud to be the first non-airline to participate in this exciting IATA initiative, which leads the way in taking the necessary steps to solving this issue. As a company we are committed to the diversification of our workforce and to developing the many talented and gifted women among us into leaders of the future.”
The commitment by Rolls-Royce will not only see it striving to bring more women leaders into the aerospace business, but it will also be held accountable to IATA. The engine maker will report back to IATA on key metrics regarding diversity, both to benchmark its own progress and to inform the wider community of its efforts.
25% by 2025
IATA’s campaign to boost female representation in the aviation industry was launched in the autumn last year. It came about after former Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxton set out a challenge to the industry to encourage more women into aviation. IATA’s campaign is in response to that, and within weeks of its launch, 30 airline CEOs signed up to the pledge during the Wings Of Change Europe event.
Since then, the commitments have still been rolling in. IATA says that over 50 airlines have already signed up to the pledge, and today one manufacturer joins them. Nevertheless, having an OEM joining the campaign is a big deal for IATA, proving just how wide initiatives like this can reach.
Alexandre de Juniac, IATA Director General and CEO, commented on Rolls-Royce joining saying,
“25by2025 aims to improve gender diversity in aviation. With Rolls-Royce joining, we are adding a new dimension to the campaign, which initially focused on airlines. Gender diversity needs to be a priority across the value chain. I hope that the leadership of Rolls Royce in signing up to 25by2025 will inspire more of our industry partners to join.”
The fact that the pledge is relevant for an OEM like Rolls-Royce just goes to show how deep the gender imbalance runs in aviation. It would be great to see more equipment manufacturers and industry partners signing the pledge too, and with International Women’s Day on Sunday, there’s never been a better time!