To mark International Women’s Day, Etihad Airways has pledged to increase its female workforce by 25 per cent over the next five years. This is in line with the International Air Travel Association’s voluntary "25by2025" campaign, which aims to improve gender balance within the aviation industry.
Etihad is the first airline in the UAE to make the commitment. “We are so proud to already have thousands of strong, ambitious and talented women working with us. We are excited to continue our journey of investing in gender diversity and human development as, ultimately, this leads to a more engaged workforce and a higher performing financial environment,” says Tony Douglas, group chief executive officer, Etihad Aviation Group.
The airline has also posted a video on its social media channels highlighting how it is “stirring the winds of change forward” by adopting more gender-neutral language. The Arabic term for business class translates more directly as “business man class”; Etihad has opted to remove the “man” from this phrasing, as a reflection of the growing number of women in senior positions travelling premium.
Currently, more than 36 per cent of Etihad’s employees in managerial positions and half of Etihad’s UAE national staff are female. This year, Fatima Alhammadi became the first female Emirati to graduate as a fully qualified B1 aircraft maintenance engineer from Etihad’s Technical Engineer Development Programme, which started 13 years ago.
“At Etihad, one of our strengths is the diversity of our world-class pilots. We are proud of the fact that we value all of our pilots equally – gender is simply not a factor when it comes to remuneration. We are also pleased that our pipeline of female pilots, who contribute significantly to both Etihad and our community, is growing rapidly and this is something we will continue to invest in,” says Ibrahim Nassir, Etihad’s chief human resources and organisational development officer.