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Aviation & Aerospace collaboration to develop women leaders and address talent shortag

Men and women in the Aviation and Aerospace sectors joined together yesterday evening in Brussels to hear what high-profile speakers had to say about developing Women Leaders in Aviation and Aerospace in Europe and the USA. Speakers included Alessia Mosca, Member of Parliament (MEP) for the Committee of International Trade; Catherine Lang, Federal Aviation Administration Director at the Embassy of the USA in Brussels; Fabio Gamba, CEO, the European Business Aviation Association; and Veronique Dehant, Head of Section (Time, Earth Rotation and Space Geodesy) at the Royal Observatory of Belgium.

The event was a joint effort between three Brussels-based Associations – Women in Aerospace (WIA), International Aviation Womens Association (IAWA) and the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) – along with aviation and transport law firm, Verhaegen Walravens, and the Belgian Science & Policy Office (Belspo). It marked the beginning of further collaboration to expand women’s opportunities for career development and leadership in the Aviation and Aerospace sectors through the establishment of a broad network of professional contacts.

Alessia Mosca, MEP for the committee of International Trade said: “The law that imposed gender quotas in Italian company boards, the so-called "Golfo-Mosca", was an incredible effort and was made possible only by the joint commitment of both institution and civil society. I hope that the field of Aviation and Aerospace will make a similar effort by setting a new best practice for women leaders and providing role models for students who may enter the industry in the future.”

EBAA CEO, Fabio Gamba said: “It’s one thing to aim for political correctness, but in business aviation we have a challenge that is directly linked to this topic; and that’s a skills shortage. If we want to ensure the best future for the Aviation and Aerospace sectors, and the sub-sectors within them, we need the highest calibre of talent – leaders in science, politics, business, innovation and thought. This talent needs to come from the widest pool and that includes women and men. Of course, the first step is to formally assess the issue.”

The EBAA, intending to launch a study in 2015 to assess the reality of the talent and skills shortage in their industry, expects the IAWA-WIA-EBAA collaboration to be a valuable means of input, where the outcome may be investment in future projects to ensure the industry is attracting the best talent globally.

Lisa Piccione, IAWA President Elect said: “The partnering of IAWA, WIA and EBAA to promote the advancement of women in aviation and aerospace through a worldwide professional network signals the beginning of an important collaboration.  As aviation and aerospace become increasingly globalised, this platform meets the needs of an evolving industry today and will help shape future opportunities.”

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