The first event attended by Baroness Vere of Norbiton in her new role as Aviation Minister was the Women in Aviation and Aerospace Charter reception sponsored by Sharing in Growth and Heathrow Airport.
Only hours into her new job, she congratulated leading aviation and aerospace companies on signing the charter as their commitment to gender diversity and fairness. The event was held to celebrate hitting the 100th signature milestone.
Sharing in Growth programme participants Oxley Group, Martin Aerospace, Produmax, South West Metal Finishing, Unitech Aerospace, Helander Precision Engineering, CW Fletcher and Walker Precision Engineering have already signed the Charter. Other signatories of the charter include Leonardo, Manchester Airport Group, London City Air Group, Babcock, Airbus, Gatwick Airport and Rolls-Royce.
Among the audience at the reception were TUI, Flybe and Thomas Cook and six Sharing in Growth representatives including CEO Andy Page and business transformation manager Ashlea Finn, who is a member of the Women in Aviation and Aerospace (WiAA) steering group.
Said Ashlea: “Sharing in Growth co-sponsored the House of Commons reception as a founding signatory to the WiAA Charter. We also ran our own WiAA seminar to coincide with International Women’s Day in March because as the business transformation programme for the UK’s aerospace industry we are uniquely placed to encourage the supply chain to commit to creating a more gender-balanced workforce and a fairer industry for women.”
Aviation Minister Baroness Vere said: “Aviation and aerospace are great industries to work in and the support of these 100 companies is an important step towards greater gender diversity. I hope that more companies will sign the Charter and I will be challenging the sector as a whole to do more. If any business is to have the highest quality workforce, diversity must play an important part. And I am delighted that so many companies have recognised this and are doing something about it. I look forward to working with them.”
Commenting on progress since the Charter’s launch at the 2018 Farnborough Airshow Katherine Bennett CBE, Co-Chair of the Women in Aviation & Aerospace Charter and Senior Vice President at Airbus, said: “Seeing so much commitment from the aviation and aerospace industries to work towards gender equality is promising for our future. We have taken a huge step towards making greater gender diversity in our industries a reality. I hope this is just the start of many great things in our journey towards gender equality in aviation and aerospace.”